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Mitsubishi undercuts Evo with Ralliart

Mitsubishi unveiled the Lancer Ralliart at the 2008 Detroit auto show.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart
The Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart shares many features with the Evo X. CNET Networks/Sarah Tew

For the last year, we eagerly followed the development of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, lapping up every new detail like a thirsty dog. With the launch date rapidly approaching, we considered trying suspended animation to make the time go by faster, but Mitsubishi just threw us for a loop, showing off the Lancer Ralliart at the 2008 Detroit auto show. Ralliart is Mitsubishi's tuner brand, delivering hopped-up versions of its existing models. The Lancer Ralliart unveiled in Detroit seems identical to the Evo X, spinning us out as we try and figure out which one we want more. Both cars share the same 2-liter turbocharged and intercooled engine. Both cars have all-wheel-drive with settings for tarmac, gravel, and snow. They share the same twin-clutch transmission and offer a Rockford Fosgate stereo system. You can get the 30GB hard-drive-based navigation system and music server in both. The main differences we can discern are that the Evo X has a higher rear spoiler and vents behind the front fenders. Mitsubishi hasn't announced pricing for the Ralliart, but it should be a little cheaper than the Evo X. But if we find ourselves seriously short of cash when these cars come out, the more mundane Lancer GTS gets a more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine for the 2009 model year, remedying our main complaint when we reviewed the 2008 version.

Click here for more 2008 Detroit auto show coverage.