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Stephen Walker with the 
Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart road test car (copyright image)

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart road test (copyright image)

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart road test (copyright image)

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart road test (copyright image)

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart road test (copyright image)

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart road test (copyright image)

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart road test (copyright image)

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart road test

by Stephen Walker

5th April, 2010

Home > Road Tests > Mitsubishi

The appeal of small sporty cars is obvious. This market segment has grown immensely over recent years with more and more manufacturers catering for the strong demand for cars with driver satisfaction as the keynote feature.

Mitsubishi is a leader in this field with two entrants, the highly acclaimed but expensive Lancer Evolution and the much more affordable Lancer Ralliart. Both offer driver enjoyment to the 'max'.

For this road test, we drive the Ralliart version of Mitsubishi's very successful Lancer range. The Ralliart is available as either a sedan or hatchback. We drive our preferred version, the sedan.

But to highlight the appeal of this car you need to list the stylish appearance, the excellent performance, the brilliant specifications, the technological advances, the safety aspects, the comfort and the outstanding value afforded by the very reasonable pricing structure. However, the sheer enjoyment of the driving experience is the ultimate highlight of this excellent piece of motoring. It makes you feel good, real good in fact, when you drive the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

Our driving experience reveals that you just cannot drive too far when you're behind the 'wheel' of the Lancer Ralliart. The fact is we drove it a total of 922 kms around Melbourne and beyond. To ensure we drove it enough we took a 'run' north on the Hume Highway to Albury (NSW) for lunch. It was on the Hume that we got the car up to 110 km/h, which is the highest speed we ever take a road test car - the same as all responsible motorists.

The 'specs' of the Lancer Ralliart highlight performance, performance and performance. Seemingly with more power than Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a Cabinet meeting, the little Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart has 177 kW of joy and 343 Nm of torque. This is always going to be enough to satisfy the smile on any driver's face. There is a lot of get up and go with this car. In fact, it can do 0-100 km/h faster than a politician can get in front of a television camera. And that is fast! The engine is a 2 litre intercooled turbocharged unit.

A significant portion of the driving enjoyment associated with the Lancer Ralliart is the superb 6 speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. It charges gears quicker than any driver could ever hope to achieve. It maintains the engine revs during changes, thus playing a vital part of the performance equation. Paddle shifters are included, too.

Stopping the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is the job of the excellent four-wheel disc brakes, aided and abetted by the firm suspension. More vital components of the performance equation.

All-wheel drive and traction control are part of the deal with the Ralliart, just as they are with the Lancer Evolution.

However, one thing is absolutely certain, the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart isn't an apology for the higher priced and overly exciting Lancer Evolution. The Ralliart is an extremely worthy competitor in the high performance 4-cylinder market segment. It stands tall on its sports tuned suspension against anything that the numerous competitors can muster.

Driving the Lancer Ralliart provides so much joy that it does bear comparison with Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution. However, the "Evo", with 217 kW of power @ 6,500 rpm and 366 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm is much more powerful. But that doesn't detract from the very obvious high performance potential of the Lancer Ralliart. It simply indicates that Mitsubishi has both the high performance and the very high performance bases covered. It is an enviable position for the successful Japanese company to be in!

Standard equipment for the Lancer Ralliart includes, but isn't limited to, trip computer, power windows, keyless ignition, supportive front seats (with bolsters), climate control air conditioning, 6-disc audio system, user-friendly cruise control, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, automatic headlights, "Datadot" security, stylish 18" alloy wheels and plenty of sporty styling touches (inside and out) to ensure the Lancer Ralliart looks the part.

A choice of five colours is available for the Lancer Ralliart: white and the optionally available blue, red, silver and black.

You almost have to believe that Mitsubishi made a mistake with the Lancer Ralliart prices. But it is true, the Lancer Ralliart starting price is in the mid-$40,000s, (excluding dealer delivery fees and the various statutory charges). This represents extraordinary value for money.

All told, the various aspects of the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart add-up to just one conclusion. This is one mighty fine piece of motoring offering bountiful performance within a well considered and stylish package.

And one more thing, the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is like a youngster on red drink ..... hyperactive!

More Mitsubishi News ..... here

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