2008 Lancer launched!??...
Just saw it on the Net
I'm still unsure, because it seems way too early for a 2008 model!...
But the website shows it, pricing is listed everywhere!...
I found a review:
First Test: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
Mitsu's current Lancer proved a good basis on which to develop a halo machine like the rally-bred Evolution. But in Clark Kent-issue, econocar trim, the Lancer was a midpack offering at best. For 2008, Mitsubishi throws out everything but the nameplate and starts from a much better place.
Although this ninth-generation Lancer shares some platform architecture with the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass, and Mitsubishi's own Outlander crossover, draw no conclusion from any of them. Nothing you can touch or see is the same. This Lancer is 1.3 inches longer in the wheelbase, 2.6 inches wider, and just a skosh shorter overall than the version it replaces and will be served in three different trim levels: base DE, luxury-equipped ES, and sport-tuned GTS.
Stripped of the Evo's wings and wicked visage, the previous Lancer's design was as visually exciting as a worn bar of soap. This one's more interesting, with an aggressive face and a Volvo-ish profile. It looks nice from most angles, although the rear end is slabby and doesn't wear its taillights well. The GTS we spent the most time in appears downright edgy with its aggressive fascias, rear spoiler, and 18-inch rolling stock.
Although performance versions will follow-more on that in a minute-the 2008 Lancer will be launched with one engine offering and a choice of two transmissions. The new 2.0-liter DOHC four is all aluminum (previous-gen Lancers employed an iron engine block) with MIVEC variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust cams. It's rated at 152 horsepower, while California's PZEV version has 143. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual, but the automatic offering moves the bar. It's a continuously variable transmission, aimed at enhancing performance and mileage over a conventional autobox. On the GTS, the Sportronic version of the CVT includes nifty steering-column-mounted aluminum shifter paddles that would look at home on a Ferrari. In manual mode, it has six stepped ratios to paddle up and down through.
Mitsubishi is tired of being hammered over boring interiors and cut-rate materials. Much ground has been gained here. The cabin is better designed, appears well assembled, and is trimmed in plastics and surfaces of appropriate quality. It's no advance over the Civic or Mazda3's environs, but is now at least competitive. The GTS continues the racy treatment inside with supportive sport seats and is the only model offered with an optional Navigation and Technology package. One extra-cost feature not to be missed is the 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate Premium Audio system, which may be best in class. It sounds strong, clear, and appropriately thumpy. Seven airbags and a tire-pressure-warning system are standard, and there's adequate room in back for normal-size adults.
2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
Base price: $17,900 (est)
Price as tested: $21,000 (est)
Vehicle layout: Front engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
Engine: 2.0L/152-hp/146-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Curb weight (f/r dist): 3032 lb (59/41%)
Wheelbase: 103.7 in
Length x width x height: 180.0 x 69.4x 58.7 in
0-60 mph: 7.7 sec
quarter mile: 16.0 sec @ 88.4 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph: 117 ft
600-foot slalom: 66.5 mph (avg)
Lateral acceleration: 0.83 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight: 27.5 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)
The 2.0-liter GTS five-speed we tested ran 0-to-60 in 7.7 seconds, more than a match for the last 2.3-liter-equipped Mazda3 we tracked at eight seconds flat. The Lancer's engine is smooth enough, although not as sweet sounding as the Honda's. In our slalom test, the Mazda holds a slight advantage at 67.0 mph, versus the GTS's 66.5, although our Lancer numbers were obtained at a facility with slightly less grip, so the reality is likely a draw. The Lancer's chassis is structurally stiffer than before, which makes for more precise tuning of the suspension without a squeak, rattle, or groan to be heard. The steering turns in with confidence, body motions are well controlled, and understeer doesn't check in until you push the car hard. Think of its state of tune as sporty in a still-everyday-car kind of way.
Props to the CVT transmission version, which we also drove. In automatic mode, it does the usual CVT thing of seamlessly moving the engine up and down the powerband. And it's a hoot in manual mode, with the "shifts" taking place the instant you pull a paddle. Just like an F1 video game.
Our first impressions of the new Lancer are good. Perhaps other than the CVT, it doesn't reset any paradigms, but it puts Mitsu solidly in the compact-sedan game. No bad place.
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