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http://www.channel4.com/4car/news/news-story.jsp?news_id=16734

22 Nov 07 11:40

The new Evo X that goes on sale in the UK next spring marks a critical moment in the renewal of Mitsubishi, which has spent three years recovering from a traumatic separation at the end of an unsuccessful partnership with Mercedes.

New compact and full-size SUVs are on the way, along with a big saloon and almost certainly the electric version of the i city car. But the focus for now is on the Evo X, the hot version of an all-new Lancer that arrives first in four-door form and next summer as a five-door. The UK is getting the new cars nine months ahead of the rest of Europe, benefitting from sharing right-hand drive with Mitsubishi's Japanese home market.

The Evo will come with a choice of five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed twin-clutch SST (Sport Shift Transmission), both with sophisticated full-time four-wheel drive systems. The manual will have a choice of medium- or high-spec levels, and will be offered with power upgrades from the regular 295bhp to 330 and 360bhp. The SST version will be more luxurious, and a power upgrade at the end of 2008 is likely but not definite, as the performance doctors get to grips with the finer points of the new transmission.

The five-door range will be topped by a high-performance Ralliart version that will not be badged Evo, but will borrow heavily from the four-door-only Evo, and will use the four-wheel drive system from the Evo IX. It will have 260bhp and cost considerably less than the Evo X.

Pricing details will be announced on 14 December, but expect the Evo X to cost from £30,000 to £40,000, with the base specification much improved - now including a radio and airbags, for instance. The five-door line-up will have an entry model priced around £12,500, but the four-door will be higher-spec only. Non-Evo versions of the Lancer will be priced and specified to compete with the Mazda 3.

Addressing journalists yesterday, Mitsubishi UK managing director Jim Tyrrell said that the new Lancer range as a whole was much closer to the range-topping Evo X than had been the case with previous Evos.

'They now clearly share the same DNA. It's always frustrated me that there's been no connection between the Ralliart-prepared Evo range and the rest of the Lancer family. We now have a full range of vehicles, the DNA of which is about sportiness and great styling.'

The Lancer slots into a company line-up recently boosted at the bottom end by the i city car, which sold out its entire 2007 UK allocation of 300 cars in two and a half weeks. The range will in 2009 be strengthened at the top by the new Shogun Sport, available with a 2.5-litre diesel engine, a choice of manual or automatic gearbox and seven seats, and aimed squarely at farmers and the horsebox-towing market.

Like the i, the Outlander is also in short supply and the UK is likely to follow other markets in struggling to meet demand for the new Lancer, said Tyrrell. Colt sales are rising, but he admitted that the Grandis MPV continues to sell poorly.

The Concept cX shown at Frankfurt will go into production to replace the Shogun Pinin, while the i-MiEV, the electric version of the i, is looking very likely to get the green light - not least because it's company president Osamu Masuko's 'favourite toy'. The president thinks 'the future of the company may be shaped by this to some extent', said Tyrrell. But the coupe version, the i-MiEV Sport shown at Tokyo, may prove to be an interesting red herring.

Another recent show car, the highly stylish large saloon, the Concept-ZT, will replace the Galant in 2010 or 2011.
 

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Regarding those FQ versions In the Evo article Lance Bradley said
"We'll be offering uprated and fully warranted manual Xs from launch next year, but we'll be testing tuned versions of the SST for a while, just to be certain it is as reliable and durable as the manual. It will be - the factory builds tremendous potential into its cars - but we have to respect the Japanese engineers' caution."

 

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I don't doubt that one bit. I'm on a factory 6 speed in my '05 MR pushing over 500 all-wheel horsepower without a hitch. I suspect that a lot of driveline issues that people in OEM transmission Evos have is due to a lack of knowledge of how to drive a manual transmission. The collection of blue flywheels I see at my dealership is testament to this.
 

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wow 360 that would be great.but i do agree with kmx on the issue of the driveline issue being due to not know how to drive a manual shift.i have seen alot of manual cars get destroyed because of this and even worse not not when to shift and grind every gear.
 

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You can blame the drivers of the cars so much for the transmissions breaking, but if they were beefier, they would still be more resilient. The fact that they recognized weakness in the manual and completely redesigned the 5 speed is proof enough that they admitted that there was room for improvement.
 
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