2008 Detroit Auto Show: 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

  • Competes with: Subaru WRX, Mazdaspeed3, Dodge Caliber SRT4
  • Looks like: A Lancer GTS with an Evo’s hood
  • Drivetrain: 235-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with twin-clutch transmission; four-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Summer 2008

Mitsubishi is filling the gap in its lineup between the 2009 Lancer GTS — which gets an improved 168-hp engine itself — and the top-of-the-line Lancer Evolution with the 2009 Ralliart that debuted here in Detroit. The Ralliart has a detuned version of the same turbocharged engine in the Evo, which puts out 235 hp. Amateur mechanics might have some fun trying to bump that number up.

It’s kind of hard to figure out which Lancer is the Ralliart in the Mitsubishi booth. It has the spoiler from the GTS trim and the hood from the Evo. If you’re really stuck, there’s a small Ralliart badge on the grille.

We’d guess prices will be very close to the Subaru WRX, which rings up at $24,850. Mitsubishi will offer Recaro front seats as an option, along with comfort features like a moonroof, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo and 30GB hard-drive navigation system. More photos below.

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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