Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart to take on WRX

What looks like an Evo X, smells like an Evo X and goes like an Evo X but isn't an Evo X? Mitsubishi's new Lancer Ralliart of course.

What looks like an Evo X, smells like an Evo X and goes like an Evo X but isn't an Evo X? Mitsubishi's new Lancer Ralliart of course.

Lancer Ralliart at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show

During the Detroit Motor Show last week, Mitsubishi took the covers off the Lancer Ralliart -- its Subaru WRX challenger -- which should go on sale later this year. At first glance there's not much difference between the Evolution X and the new Ralliart. They both feature 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder engines driving all four wheels.

Look closely and you'll notice that the Ralliart misses out on the Evo's pumped-up flares, and runs on a smaller wheel and tyre combination. A quick perusal of the spec sheet also reveals that the engine gets downrated from 206kW to 175kW, while the four-wheel drive system misses out on the Evo's S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) system.

Like the Evo, Mitsubishi's Twin Clutch Sport Shift Transmission is available in the Ralliart. The system is an automated manual gearbox, much like VW and Audi's Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), with two clutches; one clutch each for the even-numbered and odd-numbered gears. So when you're in, say, first gear and the gearbox will have second gear pre-selected with the other clutch; this allows for much faster gear changes than a conventional manual.

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