Mitsubishi Lancer is by no means a regular car and the history hidden underneath the Lancer designation is just the living proof. The first time the automotive world heard about the Lancer was in January 1973 when the Japanese company rolled off the assembly lines a total of twelve versions, equipped with engines ranging from 1.2- to 1.6-liters. Ever since that moment, Mitsubishi's Lancer managed to make a name for itself in almost every single sector it stepped in.
The Ralliart nameplate however joined forces with Lancer's engineers only for the eighth generation, in 2004, with the de-tuned version created to serve as the second most powerful Lancer in the whole range.
The current Ralliart was revealed to the public in 2008 at the North American International Auto Show, while sales in the United States started in October the same year. It arrived in Europe a few months later and now competes against Subaru Impreza WRX and Volkswagen Golf R20.
Unfortunately for all models carrying the Ralliart badge, Mitsubishi's motosport and high-performance division closed its doors in April, citing the same difficult economic recession that pushed giants General Motors and Chrysler under Chapter 11 protection as the main reason. However, we've learned that Mitsubishi might take the whole division under its very own umbrella, which is the first sign that Ralliart could live on anyway.
The Ralliart flavor of Mitsubishi Lancer or, if you prefer, Chrysler Lancer, Eagle Summit, Hindustan Lancer, Soueast Lioncel, Mitsubishi Carisma or Mitsubishi Mirage (the model used various names depending on the location and the company that handled production) is actually a de-tuned version of Evolution X addressed to people who'd like a sporty car at a more affordable price.
Obviously, Evolution X served as source of inspiration for the Ralliart version, so some of the design and technical elements can be seen on this cheaper variant too. The car was especially created to fill the gap between the base Lancer and the amazing Evolution X, so most of its features are somewhere in between the ones provided by these two models.
We took the Lancer Ralliart for a testdrive, so keep reading to find our findings on the 2.0-liter MIVEC turbocharged intercooled engine, the 6-speed Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) or the full-time all-wheel drive system.Continue reading