With the current model selling 3,000 units in four-door saloon and estate when most buyers want hatchback, Mitsubishi has developed the new Lancer, previewing as Concept Sportback, with a hatch variant. It will be available in five- and four-door, but not estate.
Pricing will rise – the current model starts at a budget conscious £10,000 – but will be competitive with the likes of Mazda3 and Ford Focus. Mitsubishi tentatively suggests sales between 5,000-10,000, but points out it will take a couple of years to reach peak.
Looks-wise, and according to Mitsubishi performance-wise, this Lancer is a world away from the current model. It introduces a large, gaping, blacked out grille similar to that featured on two American-only models and apparently inspired by jet fighter plane’s air intakes.
The wedge-like profile, wide track and high rear shoulder gives a sporty appearance.
The design is intended to accommodate a wide variety of engines and transmissions, including four-wheel drive and the ‘world engine’, a petrol unit developed with Daimler-Chrysler and Hyundai, and capable of producing in excess of 200bhp.
Click here to be taken to the Frankfurt 2005 picture gallery.