The all new 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer compact sedan comes ready to do battle in one of the most hotly contested segments in Canada. The new model’s design reveals a heavy emphasis on the brands sporty image, garnered from the street rod version of the Lancer, the EVO as well as years competing in World Rally Championships.
Under the hood, is an all new DOHC 4 cylinder engine with MIVEC head, producing 152 HP. The engine was developed in conjunction with Hyundai and DaimlerChrysler and is billed by the parties involved as a new series of World Engines. Lancers get either a 5 speed manual or a Sport tuned CVT transmission, driving the front wheels. The CVT transmission gets steering wheel paddle shifters that access 6 programmed shift points, mimicking the feel of a DSG (direct-shift gearbox) transmission.
The Lancer platform was developed with a focus on rigidity and is reportedly over 50% more rigid than the outgoing model.
According to representatives of Mitsubishi Canada, designers not only concentrated on the dramatic exterior but also interior appointments as the driver will spend most of their time interacting with the vehicles interior not its exterior. The handsome dash layout is quite functional and does have an ergonomic flow. Also new are well integrated steering wheel mounted audio and convenience controls.
The 08 Lancer will feature an onboard computer for all trims levels allowing drivers to access outside temperature, average speed and fuel economy, estimate range till empty and a maintenance reminder. Optional features will include some decidedly up-market items such as Fast Key technology (a keyless entry and ignition system) and Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition in English, French and Spanish. A 650- watt Rockford Fosgate 6 disc in dash audio system powers 9 speakers spread around the cabin including a 10-inch sub-woofer hidden in the trunk.
During a brief ride in a Lancer GTS, the engineers appear to have done a commendable job done on tuning the Lancer suspension; all those years of rallying in the desert appear to have borne fruit here.
The new Lancer will come in 3 trim levels: DE ($16,598- $19,498), ES ($19,698- $20,798) and GTS ($21,698- $24,798).
As Mitsubishi opens 14 new dealerships across Canada this past year and a potential for a further 15 dealerships in the foreseeable future, the oldest Japanese car manufacturer continues to have a significant presence around the globe.