Mitsubishi will use the upcoming motor show in Paris to officially unveil its 2009 Lancer Sportback performance hatch. Sporting the same proportions as the sedan version of the car that went on sale last year, the new hatchback looks a great deal sportier, even despite the fact that these were always sedans that made the legendary Lancer family so popular among thousands of WRC series fans.
Still, legends or no legends, there are lots of competitors to consider and the hatchback version of the affordable and sporty car will have to fight its way to consumers’ wallets against close ranks of such fierce contenders as the new Subaru Impreza, Ford Focus, Mazda3 and other serious rivals just to name a few.
Well, I must admit that the car seems to be well-prepared for the task. Although its interior still looks horribly, devastatingly cheap with all this easy-to-scratch hard plastics everywhere, fake carbon fiber inserts and something that looks like aluminum, but still possibly some more aluminum-painted plastics (I still dig its instruments panel with a small monochrome LCD information screen positioned between the speedometer and tachometer gauges), the car still looks fine on the outside. In fact, it looks like a great donor vehicle for an ultimate rice rocket if you are ready to go this way.
According to official press release, the 2009 Lancer Sportback will be motivated by a choice of three engines that are mated to their fast and efficient Twin Clutch SST gearbox.
So far, the cars may be ordered with either a 1.5 liter 109 hp or 1.8 liter 143 hp gasoline engines or a 2.0 liter 140 hp diesel powerplant, which will be available in the spring of 2009. I really hope that respective upgrade programs from serious tuning specialists will arrive soon.