In all its different configurations (Sports Saloon, Sportback, Ralliart, and Evolution), the new Mitsubishi Lancer family is at the forefront of Mitsubishi Motors' renewed offensive in the passenger car segment, but with a twist.
After 36 years of rallying (starting with the Mitsubishi Lancer 1600 GSR in 1973) and 17 years of 'Evolution' legend, it was only legitimate for the newest generation of Lancers to go racing as well, keeping the Mitsubishi sporting flame alive and supporting Lancer's initial steps in the market, be it with the Lancer Evolution Group N rally car or the more extreme Racing Lancer cross-country racer.
Tackling the uncharted territory of a South American Dakar rally this year with this all-new Racing Lancer, Mitsubishi Motor Sports' driver Stephane Peterhansel is probably in the best position to appreciate that twist, having owned Lancer Evolutions since the late 90's (with two successive 'Evo VI'), then a VIII and a IX, all the way to today's 'Project Global' Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
As he puts it:
"Very small-looking next to our Racing Lancer, the new Lancer Evolution is really a fantastic machine. With its TC-SST twin clutch gearbox and improved comfort and features, it is really a unique machine in the marketplace: set it to 'Sport' or 'Super Sport' and play with the paddle shifts and all of a sudden you are behind the wheel of a fantastic video game-like sports car. Then, move to 'Auto' and the car can travel over long distances in full comfort mode." He added: "It is meant to be less manic that my older VIs were for instance, but at the same time, I can't think of any other sports car that can offer that dual personality really"Published 5 January 2009