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Detroit show: Lancer Ralliart breaks cover

Up for a challenge: Lancer Ralliart takes on the Subaru WRX.

Mitsubishi unveils its WRX fighter ahead of mid-2008 Australian debut

15 Jan 2008

MITSUBISHI used the North American International Auto Show to reveal its Subaru WRX challenger, the Lancer Ralliart.

The turbocharged all-wheel-drive sedan is expected to arrive in Australia from as early as July, although the exact timing is yet to be locked in.

Mitsubishi revealed in Detroit that the warm Lancer will slot in between the standard Lancer and the slingshot Lancer Evo X although did not give an expected price.

It uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder MIVEC engine that uses an intercooled turbo and generates a healthy 177kW of power.

21 center imageThe show car runs a six-speed Twin Clutch-SST automatic gearbox. No manual gearbox was mentioned and it is not yet clear whether one will be offered when the car goes on sale.

The Lancer Ralliart AWD uses an active centre differential and features a front helical limited slip differential and a rear mechanical LSD.

While it is expected to deliver impressive Evo, the Ralliart AWD system is not as advanced as the AWD system used in the top-of-the-range Evo.

Mitsubishi has clearly linked the Lancer Ralliart to its more powerful Evo brother, giving it aggressive front end styling and a vented aluminium bonnet that suggests it has some serious firepower.

A body kit that includes side skirts a rear bumper extension, a higher rear spoiler and unique 18-inch alloy wheels will also help distinguish the Ralliart Lancer from the VRX model in Australia.

In the US, the Ralliart Lancer will be fitted with luxury items including keyless start and Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, while options include Recaro seats, Rockford Fosgate premium sound system and Xenon headlights.

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