Not to be confused with the four-door Ralliart sedan that went on sale last fall, this latest five-door version is scheduled to arrive in the States this September. With an MSRP expected to come in at $27,490, which is only $500 more than the sedan, it's basically the same car with a more functional hatchback-style rear end.
While it looks like something that might appeal more to our polar pals in the North (in fact, this bad boy is already on sale in Canada), the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback will compete hatch-to-hatch with the Subaru Impreza WRX and the new Mazdaspeed3 which is due out later this year.
Mated to its award-winning super all-wheel control (S-AWC) system and Mitsu's six-speed automatic tranny with sequential shift TC-SST, the Ralliartís 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled Mivec four-cylinder (4B11) is essentially the same powerplant found in the more aggressive Lancer Evolution models. Here, however, a smaller single-scroll turbo, smaller intercooler and different intake plumbing results in only 237 hp and 253 ft-lbs of torque, which is still plenty.
Interestingly, fuel economy (17/25 mpg, city/hwy) is nearly identical to the 290-hp/300 ft-lb Evo's, albeit with slightly better highway numbers.
Ralliart models line-up between the regular Lancers and pumped-up Evo models, though it's important to point out the latter trims aren't available in the new five-door Sportback body style.
More: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback: First Drive