Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart
Any chance we get to grill a Mitsubishi PR person about the 2009 Lancer Sportback, our questioning inevitably centers on whether the five-door will be packing the Lancer Ralliart's turbocharged, all-wheel-drivetrain. At the New York Auto Show, we were told that the Sportback would "probably" carry the Ralliart's 237-hp, turbocharged inline-four and Evo IX-derived AWD system, but nobody from Mitsubishi would confirmed it. Some snooping at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) website reveals that Mitsubishi has already filed with the Feds for three different drivetrains for the 2009 hatch, including the GTS' 2.4-liter four-pot attached to either a CVT or five-speed manual, and a 2.0-liter DOHC turbo equipped with an "Automatic (S6)." The automatic in question is almost assuredly the six-speed twin-clutch (TC-SST) gearbox available on the Ralliart. For those of you unable to get around the recently redesigned 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX hatch's shape, a credible contender has arrived, and it should be hitting dealers this spring.