2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback headed to the U.S.

Tom Ludwick

Are you an American yearning for the sporty styling of the Mitsubishi Lancer and the convenience of a five-door hatchback? Well, you're in luck. The company confirmed that the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, which was shown at the 2008 Paris show, has been approved for U.S. consumption.

Block out the memory of the 2004 Lancer Sportback, whose shape resembled a Volvo station wagon. The sloping back of the 2010 Sportback is much sportier. The shape is essentially the same as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Sportback concept that was shown at the 2005 Frankfurt auto show.

Ironically, an STI-challenging Evo version of the Sportback will not be available. The two versions offered will be the GTS and the Ralliart. The GTS comes with the 2.4-liter engine mated to either a five-speed manual or a "six-speed" CVT. The Ralliart gets the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that puts out 237 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. Like the Ralliart sedan, the six-speed twin clutch TC-SST transmission is the only available gearbox.

The hatchback bodystyle and the large spoiler over the rear window are the only significant differences between the Sportback models and their sedan counterparts. The Sportback will go on sale in the summer of 2009 as a 2010 model. Pricing will be announced shortly before car's launch date.

I guess you have to like hatchbacks. I'm ready to buy if the performance is there.
As the Subaru Impreza's Sedan/Saloon body is less successful than the hatchback, this is the opposite. The Lancer is easily one of the most attractive, well thought out compact sedans on the road today, but this looks like a total afterthought. I almost think that I would have liked it to look more like a fastback wagon instead.

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