Mitsubishi gave the world its first look at the next Lancer saloon at the Detroit Auto Show - and also wheeled out a prototype that will become the high-performance Evo 10.
For the first time, the Evo will be a clear member of the Lancer family. The pointer on view at Detroit, called Prototype X, is '95% of the car that you'll be able to buy,' says Mitsubishi. The only differences from the production car concern some external detailing and trim.
The whole Lancer range, including the Evo, is likely to be on sale in the UK at the beginning of 2008.
The new Lancer shares its underpinnings with the recently launched Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4, as well as some Daimler-Chrysler models, including the Chrysler Sebring saloon and convertible.
Its 152bhp 2.0-litre engine is also a joint effort, being part of the world series of power units designed in partnership with Daimler-Chrysler and Hyundai.
The 2.0-litre engine is one of five confirmed for the Lancer range. There'll be a 140bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel sourced from Volkswagen, a 110bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine from the Mitsubishi Colt hatchback and a couple of turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol motors.
The most extreme of them will power Evo 10. Mitsubishi won't confirm its power output, but claims the car will out-perform the current Evo 9 in every way. A paddle-shift six-speed gearbox and new four-wheel-drive system are also promised.
There'll be a model to bridge the performance gap between mainstream Lancers and the Evo, too. It will have a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and four-wheel drive, but be less hard-core than Evo. It is scheduled to join the line-up in 2008.
• Mitsubishi also announced that it is working on a new family of turbodiesel engines for small and medium-sized cars, to be ready by 2010. The company claims the new units will produce no more carbon dioxide than a small three-cylinder petrol engine and will meet diesel emissions standards anywhere in the world, aided by 'cutting edge turbocharger technology' being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
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