MITSUBISHI MOTORS REVEALS THE 2004 LANCER RALLIART PERFORMANCE SEDAN AT THE 2003 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
(Original text from CHICAGO, February 12, 2003)
Today at the 2003 Chicago Auto Show, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) revealed the latest performance-oriented sedan joining the Lancer family.
Set to arrive in showrooms this fall, the new 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart creates excitement behind the wheel by delivering improved acceleration and sharper handling in an affordable package.
This front-wheel-drive, four-door Lancer sedan has been treated to a host of drivetrain, suspension and styling modifications designed to appeal to enthusiast drivers.
The exterior treatment of Lancer Ralliart offers a peek at some of the future styling cues to be shared by the rest of the Lancer sedan family.
The Lancer Ralliart is a front-wheel-drive performance variant that fills a niche in the product line between the styling-focused Lancer O – Z (R) Rally sedan and the rally-conquering, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Lancer Evolution.
“Considering its long list of standard equipment and improved performance, we expect the new Lancer Ralliart to attract consumers as a value-laden package with an attractive price starting under $18,000,” said Pierre Gagnon, chairman and chief executive officer of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
This four-door compact sedan relies on a new high output 2.4-liter, SOHC, four-cylinder engine that enhances performance.
The new engine utilizes variable valve timing to improve efficiency, reduce emissions and increase output to 160 horsepower.
The new, larger displacement motor benefits from induction and mechanical enhancements that include the use of Mitsubishi’s MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and lift Electronic Control) variable valve timing system that helps optimize engine performance at both high and lower speeds with alternate camshaft profiles.
The improved breathing allows the engine to develop superior response and power at all operating speeds with a powerband that is well-suited to the five-speed’s gear ratio spacing. A four-speed automatic transmission also will be available for the new Lancer model.
In keeping with the performance-oriented nature of the vehicle, the suspension performance has been upgraded with stiffer springs, dampers, a red, tubular front strut-tower bar, and a larger rear stabilizer bar.
The Lancer Ralliart comes standard equipped with stylish Euro-flange, 16-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels and wider 205/50R16 tires that help extend the vehicle’s cornering limits.
The Lancer Ralliart also relies on the stopping power of larger four-wheel disc brakes and offers an available ABS with EBD option.
As it appears on the Ralliart model, the new Lancer will wear an extended front fascia common to all 2004 Lancer models.
This revised front end has been fitted with a sporty split- grille arrangement, and a new, sculpted halogen lamp arrangement.
Revised decklid sheetmetal, clear taillight lenses, and a unique aerodynamic package that includes a new rear wing help complete the Lancer Ralliart’s impressive visual package.
Lancer Ralliart Interior
The Lancer Ralliart’s interior is equipped with the same supportive front seats as found in the Japanese market Lancer Evolution GT-A.
The seats feature premium black fabric with red trim, an embroidered Ralliart logo, and see-through headrests on the front seats.
Other stylish interior accents include carbon fiber instrument panel accents and titanium-hued audio panel trim.
Price and Packages
Pricing for the new Lancer Ralliart is expected to start under $18,000 when the vehicles arrive in showrooms in fall of 2003. Popular options will include ABS w/EBD and a Sun and Sound package with a power sunroof and 315-watt, six-speaker, Infinity CD audio system with eight-inch DVC subwoofer.
Also on display at the Chicago International Auto Show, Mitsubishi presents an example of a 2004 Lancer LS.
This economical sedan which includes a power glass sunroof for 2004 and also offers ABS with EBD, exhibits some of the revised front and rear end styling cues that appear on the exciting new Ralliart model.
The 2004 Endeavor also appears on the convention room floor. Job #1 for this mid-sized crossover S.U.V. took place in Mitsubishi’s Normal, Illinois manufacturing facility in mid-January.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all of the North American operations of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.
As a single company consolidated on January 1, 2003, MMNA and its subsidiaries manufacture, distribute, finance and market Mitsubishi brand coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of nearly 700 dealers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Mitsubishi Motors sold its first vehicle in the U.S. in 1981 and began building cars here in 1988 at its manufacturing facility in Normal, Ill.