Mitsubishis current lineup is… shall we say spartan. It’s hard to see the brand’s performance history in what they sell now; in fact, you’d never know that just seven years ago, the brand was still selling one of the most capable sport compacts of all time, the Lancer Evolution. Since then, the brand has been all about the Outlander, Eclipse Cross, and Mirage. For 2023, though, the brand is looking to bring back some excitement as Mitsubishi has announced the return of the Ralliart performance brand to the US.
It’s been a while since Mitsubishi has offered something under the Ralliart sub brand in the US. The last vehicle to carry the brand was the Evo lite Lancer Ralliart. That was way back in 2010. That same year, Mitsubishi announced that Ralliart would be ending operations. With the brand coming back, though, don’t expect much performance. While the Lancer Ralliart was actually an Evo lite with decent performance, these new Ralliart cars are going to be largely cosmetic special editions.
Limited edition Ralliart models are coming in early 2023 for the Outlander, Outlander Sport, Eclipse Cross, and Mirage/Mirage G4. In its release, the brand confirmed that these will be all show, no go, look-better-than-they-perform appearance packages.
The legendary Ralliart name returns to the U.S. in early calendar year 2023 with Outlander, Outlander PHEV, Eclipse Cross, Outlander Sport and Mirage receiving unique body effects, graphics and other rally-inspired touches. All models will be built in limited numbers and available in White Diamond paint with a contrasting black roof on Outlander, Outlander PHEV, Eclipse Cross, Outlander Sport and Mirage.
In my mind, “rally-inspired” touches would be a turbocharged engine and a six-speed manual. But I digress.
In other Mitsubishi updates for 2023, the brand has made its S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) standard on every trim of the Eclipse Cross and Outlander Sport! So that’s something. And a new Outlander PHEV based on the recently introduced updated Outlander is coming later this year.
But honestly, the Ralliart news is a bit of a letdown. For a performance subbrand with the history it has to come back after all these years to just be a limited-edition appearance package says a lot about the direction Mitsubishi has gone. While the new Outlander looks to be a pretty decent effort, it would’ve been nice to have gotten something more from them.