2008 Mitsubishi Lancer

We'll have our first good look at the next Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution at the upcoming Detroit auto show, where Mitsubishi will unveil the 2008 Lancer that'll go on sale in early 2007. The non-Evo Lancer, pictured, will come in three trim levels, all of which will have a 152-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. This updated four-banger has the same displacement as that of the current Lancer engine, but it's got a dual-overhead-cam layout instead of a single camshaft and 32 more horsepower. Mitsubishi will offer a five-speed manual or, for the first time, a CVT; no traditional automatic will be available. The CVT in the top trim level (GTS) models will come with high-quality paddle shifters borrowed from the new Mitsubishi Outlander sport-ute, which shares its platform with the Lancer ... and the Dodge Caliber and the Jeep Compass and the Jeep Patriot.

This Lancer is wider and has a longer wheelbase than the outgoing model, but it's a bit shorter in overall length. The car's styling is quite handsome, in a modern Volvo sort of way from the front and side perspectives, while it resembles an Alfa Romeo 156 from the rear.

Mitsubishi Concept X

The Evo X is the Lancer that most people are anxiously awaiting, however, and this platform's longer wheelbase, wider track, and improved engine have us frantically rubbing our mitts in anticipation of getting behind the wheel of that car, which we're guessing will come out sometime in 2008. The next Evo was previewed by the Concept X--also pictured--featured at the 2005 Tokyo show.

Surely Mitsubishi Motors North America is hoping, requiring even, that this Lancer is a huge sales success. As far as we're concerned, that'd be fine, but we care more about the upcoming successor to the fantastic Evo IX. Bring us the boost!

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