Mitsubishi left a large gap between its latest Lancer economy car and the Lancer Evo X, a street-legal professional-grade rally car based on the Lancer platform, both in terms of tech and price. For people who don't want to pay the 40 grand for an Evo X, but want something more fun than the base Lancer, Mitsubishi offers the Ralliart version.
The Lancer Ralliart uses a 2-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, like the Evo X, but only produces 237 horsepower, 54 less than the Evo. Likewise, torque is at 253 foot-pounds, 47 less than the Evo. Although not as high-stepping as the Evo, we found the Lancer Ralliart delivered thoroughly satisfying performance on the road. The small displacement engine and performance programming make the power come on quickly, while turbo-lag is kept to a minimum by the transmission.
One of the big tech bonuses in the Lancer Ralliart is the standard dual clutch transmission, called Sport Shift Transmission (SST) by Mitsubishi. Essentially a manual transmission, it uses computer-controlled clutches to shift gears, eliminating the clutch pedal. This high tech transmission allows for two shift programs in the Lancer Ralliart (there are three programs in the Evo X), standard automatic shifting and sport shifting. In Sport mode, it holds low gears to keep the engine speed up, so the turbo is almost continuously engaged, meaning no spool-up time.
You can also choose manual mode for gear selection. Unlike the manual modes on most automatic transmissions, gear engagement feels hard and precise, as if you were shifting gears with a manually operated clutch. Another bonus of the SST is better fuel economy over an automatic transmission. … Read more