Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback

From Mitsubishi press: Looking for more space and utility but don't want to lose the athleticism and convenience that an accomplished sports sedan can offer? Then Mitsubishi has you covered with its tantalizingly-styled, fleet of foot 5-door version of the company's best-selling Lancer sports sedan, the 2011 Lancer Sportback.

And with three different versions of the Lancer Sportback available for the new model year – including the all-new, lowest-priced Lancer ES – this is one hot hatchback that can address an enthusiast driver's need for speed, lively handling and seating for 5 or plenty of cargo area with the fold-flat back seat stowed.

Each 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback model features its own unique engine, with peak horsepower ratings of 148 horsepower for the entry-level ES, 168 bhp for the mid-grade GTS and a vigorous 237 bhp on tap in the stellar Ralliart edition.

Setting the entry-level Lancer Sportback ES in motion is a very fuel-efficient 2.0-liter (1998 cc) DOHC MIVEC 16-valve normally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine that achieves a welcome 33 mpg highway fuel economy. Designated internally as the 4B11 engine, this unit is essentially a non-turbocharged version of the powerplant found under the ventilated aluminum hood of the extreme Lancer Evolution super sports sedan.

The mid-level Lancer Sportback GTS includes a more powerful, larger displacement 4B12-designated engine that measures 2.4-liters in displacement (2360 cc) and has an increased compression ratio of 10.5:1 to the previously mentioned 4B11's 10.0:1. Power is rated at 168 horsepower (161 bhp from PZEV-rated engine in cars sold in California) at 6,000 rpm and 167 lb-ft. of torque (PZEV – 161) at 4,100 rpm.

Both the Lancer Sportback ES and the GTS models are available with either a crisp-shifting 5-speed manual transmission or Mitsubishi's advanced 6-speed continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with INVEC-III technology for the smoothest shifts possible.

Reigning supreme in performance is the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4B11T engine in the Lancer Sportback Ralliart that makes a hearty 237 hp at 6,000 rpm and an even more impressive 253 lb.-ft. of constant torque between 2,500 and 4,750 rpm.
All three of these engines share several key design characteristics including an aluminum block and cylinder head along with a 6,500 rpm redline. Both the ES and GTS engines can run on regular unleaded (87 octane minimum) gasoline with the turbocharged Ralliart engine requiring premium unleaded of at least 93 octane.

Gallery: Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback