With aggressive, muscular sheetmetal that closely mimics that of the head-turning design of the one-of-a-kind, ultra-high-performance Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sports sedan, the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer is unquestionably one of the most stylish 4-doors available in its price segment.
And with four models to choose from - the very affordable Lancer DE, the well-equipped Lancer ES, the more powerful Lancer GTS (all three models featuring front-wheel drive) and the super athletic all-wheel drive Lancer Ralliart - it's no wonder that this sports sedan is the best-selling 4-door in Mitsubishi's expansive model lineup.
Several key changes take place across the Lancer model lineup for the 2011 model year. The Lancer DE and ES models receive a new advanced fuel-saving technology in the form of new electric assist power steering. The performance-oriented Lancer GTS and Ralliart editions now boast a convenient USB port for plugging in a memory stick or easy iPod ® access, plus this dynamic automotive duo gain Mitsubishi's remarkable FUSE HandsFree Link System™ that allows for hands-free access to Bluetooth®-enabled cell phones, an iPod ®, or a USB drive with the use of simple voice commands.
What's more, every 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer model sees its highway fuel economy improve over last year's models, with the Lancer DE & ES increasing to an impressive 33 miles per gallon.
The exceptionally well-engineered global platform underpinning the Lancer sedan has proven to be so robust in both quality and structural rigidity that this chassis serves as the foundation for not only the high-performance Lancer Evolution but also the very popular Mitsubishi Outlander crossover utility vehicle (CUV).
Though it may be low on price, consumers will be pleasantly surprised by the base Lancer DE's standard equipment package that includes a sensuous sounding 4 speaker, 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with digital signal processor, speed compensated volume and equalization control; power door locks and windows with driver-side auto down/up; anti-theft engine immobilizer; remote keyless entry; auto-off halogen headlamps; a blacked-out front grille and stylish side air dams.
The Mitsubishi Lancer ES model features all of the content included on the DE but adds further amenities including air conditioning with micron cabin air filtration; a chrome grille, color-keyed outer door handles and side view mirrors; height-adjustable driver's seat; anti-theft security alarm system; a steering wheel with illuminated audio and cruise control switches; 60:40 split folding rear seat with folding armrest and cupholders.
A capable, normally-aspirated 16-valve 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine featuring Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) for optimized power production, improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions that produces a full 152 horsepower (143 bhp PZEV in California) is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission in both the Lancer DE and ES models. A continuously-variable transmission (CVT) is available as an option.
The Mitsubishi Lancer GTS sees a 20 horsepower boost in power (to an output of 168 hp) thanks to a larger-displacement 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. A smooth-shifting 5-speed manual gearbox comes standard, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with INVEC-III and Sportronic® shifting with magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters is also available. The GTS adds a slew of upgrades over the ES model including automatic climate control; sport front bucket seats; leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake; 18-in. alloy wheels; rear spoiler and front air dams; FUSE Hands-Free Link System™; chrome exhaust finisher; fog lights; FAST-key; a 6-speaker audio system and a more capable sport-tuned suspension including a front strut tower brace.
At the top of the Mitsubishi Lancer performance food chain resides the remarkable Ralliart model, featuring a 237 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled MIVEC-equipped inline-4 engine and rapid-shifting 6-speed automated manual Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST). This Ralliart version of the Lancer is also equipped with many of the advanced active electronic driver aids found on the legendary Lancer Evolution, including full-time All-Wheel Control (AWC) with Active Center Differential (ACD) a front helical limited-slip differential, rear limited-slip differential and Hill Start Assist (HSA) technology that, once the driver removes their foot from the brake pedal, holds the vehicle in a stationary position on a slope for several seconds until the driver depresses the accelerator pedal. [via Mitsubishi]