Mitsubishi announced today that they will be bringing the utilitarian 2010 Lancer Sportback to the U.S. this summer, quirky styling and all. Watch out, Subaru!

In a move that absolutely no one expected (read: sarcasm), Mitsubishi will give U.S. customers the opportunity to purchase their versatile 5-door Lancer Sportback sometime in 2009. The Sportback adds the extra utility in the form of a wagon-like rear end with a one-touch auto-folding 60/40 split rear seat. In order to squeeze even more space out of the rear cavern, Mitsubishi has cleverly included a rear cargo floor that can be lowered by up to three inches allowing for a maximum 52.7 cubic ft. of cargo space. For you outdoorsey types, Mitsubishi has designed the roof rack to accommodate a plug-in Thule sport rack to tie down your skis, snowboard or even a body rolled up in a rug. Imagine the possibilities.


Powertrain options will come from the standard Lancer and Lancer Ralliart range, meaning you get a 2.4-liter 168 HP, 167 ft-lb with either a five-speed manual or six-speed CVT automatic transmission in the Sportback GTS or if you opt for the Sportback Ralliart, you get a 2.0-liter MIVEC turbocharged engine with a whopping 237 HP and 253 ft-lb of torque. The Sportback Ralliart gets the quick-shifting six-speed Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) shared with the Lancer Evolution, as well as some nifty magnesium paddle shifters.

Pricing is expected to be announced soon. We'll keep you up to date.

Mitsubishi Press Release:

Mitsubishi Motors Brings Versatile New Five-Door Sportback To Award-Winning U.S. Lancer Lineup

CYPRESS, Calif., January 30, 2009 —

Mitsubishi Motors North America today confirmed that the versatile all-new five-door Lancer Sportback will arrive in U.S. dealerships this summer for the 2010 model year. The Sportback will meld high performance and progressive design with an extra dose of utility to feed the most active lifestyles. The newest member of the multiple award-winning Lancer family is part of Mitsubishi's refocused efforts to introduce new models designed to meet evolving consumer demands. MSRP will be announced nearer to its summer on-sale date.

"American consumers are increasingly asking for fun, attractive, yet practical cars that complement their active and individual lifestyles," said Dan Kuhnert, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Mitsubishi Motors North America. "The Lancer Sportback answers those calls with a heady mix of performance, aggressive styling and the bonus of greatly increased utility, and will be available in two versions - the economical GTS and high-performance Ralliart. The five-door platform has considerable upside potential in the domestic market."

Mitsubishi designers created a dynamic new shape for the Sportback that is instantly recognizable as a Lancer from the front, with its signature "jet fighter" grille, while being completely fresh from the C-pillar rearward. The key element is a sleekly sloping rear door with integrated "roof wing" that creates a visually distinctive shape while making the Lancer significantly more versatile. The door extends down to the rear bumper to make loading cumbersome objects like surfboards, camping gear and bicycles as easy as possible.

The Sportback's overall length is just slightly longer than the Lancer four-door sedan, yet it gains substantial cargo-carrying flexibility-especially when the 60:40-split rear seats are folded flat. One-touch auto-folding rear seats make the newfound space almost effortless to configure. To add still more volume, the rear cargo-area floor of the GTS version can be cleverly lowered three inches, yielding 52.7 cubic ft. maximum cargo space. The roof will also conveniently accommodate a plug-in Thule® Sport Rack for additional flexibility.

The Sportback's basic architecture, technical features and most optional equipment is shared with the Lancer sedan, a winner of several awards, including:

* J.D. Power and Associates' 2008 Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study, naming the touch-screen interface system an industry-leader and the first non-premium brand to ever capture the award
* NHTSA 5-Star Safety Rating
* IIHS Top Safety Pick
* CNET Editors' Choice (Lancer Evolution)
* MSN Top-10 New Cars

Sportback GTS models feature Mitsubishi's efficient 2.4-liter engine with 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque, mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed CVT automatic transmission.

The Sportback Ralliart is powered by a 2.0-liter MIVEC turbocharged engine that pumps out 237 horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque. All-Wheel Control (AWC) with Active Center Differential (ACD) is standard, as is the quick-shifting six-speed Twin Clutch-Sportronic® Shift Transmission (TC-SST) that it shares with the Lancer Evolution. Both the CVT and Twin-Clutch transmissions include magnesium-alloy paddle shifters.

Premium interior features like those found on the Lancer sedans are also part of the Sportback's resume. Key components in the Ralliart version include a standard 140-watt CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers or an available 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate Premium Sound System, in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability, plus Sirius Satellite Radio. A hard disc-drive navigation system with Mitsubishi's exclusive Diamond Lane Guidance to provide route guidance is optional, as are Recaro sport seats that provide optimal support for the driver and front passenger.

The Lancer Sportback also formed the basis for Mitsubishi's 2009 Dakar Rally effort earlier this year. The Dakar is the most grueling rally race in the world and Mitsubishi vehicles have won the event 12 times since their first attempt in 1983.

As an important test bed for future technology, the Racing Lancers used at the Dakar reflected Mitsubishi's ongoing efforts to minimize the automobile's environmental footprint with such features as clean diesel power, bio-fuel capability and plant-based "green plastic" body components.

About Mitsubishi Motors North America:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, sport utility vehicles, and light trucks through a network of approximately 480 dealers. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit

[via Mitsubishi]