2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Five-door hatchback
  • Lancer Sportback GTS is front-wheel drive
  • Lancer Sportback Ralliart is all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Mirrors the option packages found on the Lancer sedan
  • Adjustable cargo floor and folding seats

Introduction

Mitsubishilaunched the all-new 2009 Lancer Sportback at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, but just recently confirmed that the car would be sold in the U.S. as a2010 model. The Lancer Sportback is essentially a production version of the 2005 Concept-Sportback show car, looking very similar to the Lancer sedan but incorporating a large rear hatch for additional utility. The rear seats fold via remote releases in the trunk, creating generous capacity within the cargo area. The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback will be available in standard GTS or performance-oriented AWD Ralliart trim levels when it arrives in the U.S. later this year.

Model Lineup

Mitsubishi currently sells its Lancer compact sedan in five different trim levels. The new Sportback variant shares the same basic architecture, technical features and optional equipment as the sedan,but in just two trim levels: GTS or Ralliart. Compared to the sedan,the Sportback is slightly longer and it gains substantial cargo-carrying flexibility thanks to its large rear hatch and one-touch auto-folding 60/40-split second-row seats. Additionally, the rear cargo-area floor may be lowered 3 inches allowing up to 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space, according to Mitsubishi. For additional utility, the roof is designed to accommodate a plug-in Thule brand sport rack for large objects such as surfboards, skis or bicycles.

The standard Sportback GTS features automatic air conditioning and climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, sport fabric seating surfaces with a 6-way adjustable driver's seat, and a 140-watt,6-speaker audio system. The performance-oriented Ralliart model receives a longer list of features including upgraded premium fabric seating surfaces and the option of race-proven Recaro sport-bucket driver and front passenger seats. Major options on both models include a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with 9 speakers including a subwoofer, satellite radio, power glass sunroof, navigation and keyless entry. The Sportback GTS is also available with a Touring package with Xenon HID headlamps, stability control, traction control and rain-sensing wipers.
 

Hardware

The standard 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback GTS model is powered by a2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 168 horsepower and 167 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, or an optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The performance-oriented Lancer Sportback Ralliart is fitted with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 237 horsepower and253 lb.-ft. of torque. Its turbocharged engine is only available with an automatic 6-speed Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST)sending power to a standard performance-enhancing AWD system thatMitsubishi calls Super All-Wheel Control (AWC). The AWC system includes an Active Center Differential (ACD), Active Yaw Control (AYC) rear differential, Active Stability Control (ASC), and sport anti-lock brakes (ABS). The automatic transmissions on both the GTS and Ralliart are fitted with magnesium-alloy paddle shifters for manual control.

Technology

Instead of using a torque converter to transfer power to the wheels like a traditional automatic transmission, Mitsubishi has fitted theLancer Sportback Ralliart with its Twin-Clutch Sportronic ShiftTransmission (TC-SST). Introduced on its high-performance LancerEvolution X, the TC-SST utilizes twin, wet multi-plate clutches that are controlled by a sophisticated electronic control unit allowing lightning-fast shifts with almost no loss of power, Mitsubishi says.The driver is able to choose one of three modes for the transmission:Normal, Sport and S-Sport. Normal mode is for comfortable driving around town. Sport mode is enthusiast-oriented, as it uses higher shift points and engine braking. For the fastest shifts, and the most abrupt gear changes, enthusiasts will prefer the competitive S-Sport mode,according to Mitsubishi.