Mitsubishi Prototype S Released Ahead of Geneva
Weekend internet leaks resulted in one more lifted embargo – this time from Mitsubishi, releasing photos of its Geneva-bound concept, the Prototype S. Underneath the concept make-up is the new Lancer Sportback headed for the European market.
From the A-pillar forward, the Prototype S borrows heavily from its platform mate, the Lancer sedan (Galant Fortis in other markets), with its aggressive nose and blackened trapezoidal grille. There will no mistaking what is in the rear-view mirror – Mitsubishi’s new corporate “face”. The flowing roofline gracefully tapers into the D-pillar but creates a potentially large blind spot.
Prototype S is the near-production version the 2005 Concept-Sportback, which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It loses that concept’s sleekness but befittingly gains more muscular lines.
Powering this hot hatch is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder DOHC turbocharged engine – the same heart that will be beating in the Lancer Ralliart when it comes to North America this summer. With 236 horsepower, it will be sure to provide a bite with its bark. Its twin-clutch transmission, active center differential, and full-time 4WD will insure the Sportback will not bore anyone.
As of now, it is uncertain whether it will be sold outside of Europe. Hatches are slowly making their presence known in North America, albeit in a more economical context. Stylistically, the Lancer Sportback is Mitsubishi’s response to the Subaru Impreza five-door. Sportback would complement the Ralliart sedan nicely, giving customers the option for added flexibility. Additional sales never hurt anyone, except the competition.
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