NEW FOR 2009:

– New Sportback, Ralliart and Sportback Ralliart models
– New Lancer SE and GT models

An all-new model for 2008, the Mitsubishi Lancer expands its lineup with the introduction of the new Ralliart sedan, and Sportback (hatchback) versions of the Lancer and Ralliart. The Lancer sedan trim lines also change, with the ES model replaced by the SE, and the introduction of a GT trim line. The Lancer Evolution model is covered in a separate entry.

Three engines are available. The Lancer DE, SE and GT use a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, with five-speed manual or optional CVT. The Lancer GTS uses a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, with five-speed manual or optional CVT with six-step manual shift mode. Ralliart models use a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with six-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic (TC-SST) automatic transmission and paddle shifters. Lancer models are front-wheel drive, while Ralliart models use a full-time all-wheel drive system.

Features on the DE include 16-inch steel wheels, auto-off headlamps, variable intermittent wipers, power mirrors, tilt wheel, four-way adjustable driver’s seat, driver’s knee airbag, tire pressure monitoring system, and CD/MP3 stereo. Anti-lock brakes can be added as an option.

The SE adds 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, fog lamps, chrome grille surround, colour-keyed mirrors and door handles, rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, cruise control, floor mats, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, premium seat fabric, driver’s rear seatback pocket, 60/40 split-folding rear seat with centre armrest, dark silver trim, dual map lights, centre armrest with covered storage, rear seat heating ducts, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, auxiliary stereo input, wheel-mounted audio controls, and pre-wiring for Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.

The GT adds power sunroof, Rockford Fosgate six-CD stereo, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and Sirius satellite radio.

The GTS adds 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, sport-tuned suspension, front strut tower bar, leather-wrapped wheel, sport seats with suede fabric, geometric print trim, and chrome inside door handles. It uses a CD/MP3 stereo and has an optional sunroof.

The Ralliart adds stability control, traction control, aluminum sport pedals, Recaro racing seats with fixed head restraints in premium fabric, xenon headlamps, and colour-keyed aero package.

Smooth and fun to drive, the Lancer gets even better with the addition of the higher-performance models, and with the practical, cargo-friendly Sportback editions. The interiors are roomy for the car’s size, with plenty of space for rear passengers, and everything is fitted together quite well. The new Ralliart models bridge the gap between the more sedate Lancer and the fire-breathing Evolution.

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