With a pedigree that goes back over twenty-five years, the Lancer boasts a storied legacy that is still in effect today. Known for its sporty style and efficient performance, the Mitsubishi Lancer remained one of the more visible models on the Japanese automaker's roster throughout the '70s and 80's, but it wasn't until the '90s when the model began to find its niche in the market. The Lancer parts were completely redesigned for the 2002 model year, taking over for the Mirage in the lineup. Upon its re-launch, the Lancer was equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine good for 120 horsepower mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission with a four-speed automatic offered as an option. It was offered in three trim levels: ES, O-Z Rally, and the LS, with each displaying a variety of options to choose from. LS models received the four-speed automatic as standard equipment, however.
In 2004, several changes were introduced into the Lancer lineup. The Lancer Sportback wagon was unveiled along with a new performance-based Ralliart trim. The Sportback wagon and Ralliart sedan versions of the Lancer were outfitted with a 2.4L four-cylinder engine good for approximately 160 horsepower. On all models, such Lancer parts as the front-end, a grille, and the headlights were upgraded. The Sportback wagon only lasted one model year, however, as it was dropped for 2005. The LS trim was also discontinued. A new Sun and Sound package became available for the O-Z Rally, as did new O-Z racing-style wheels. 2006 welcomed in another redesign. This time around, the Mitsubishi Lancer was given a new front fascia, daytime running lamps, and a sensor for airbag deployment. ES models included a rear-stabilizer bar and wheel covers, while the Ralliart trim displayed new side-impact airbags as standard. Before the model year was up Mitsubishi introduced the SE trim, which showed off chrome door handles, alloy wheels, and other distinctive styling cues on Lancer parts.
2008 welcomed in the ninth generation of the Mitsubishi Lancer. The powertrain wasn't changed all that much, as a 2.0L four-cylinder engine was used, producing up to 152 horsepower and 146 pounds-per-foot of torque. And once again, the engine was geared to a standard five-speed manual transmission. However, a new CVT was the option in lieu of the previous four-speed automatic. The exterior of the car was thoroughly restyled, featuring a sharper nose and more smooth lines. Trims included the DE, ES, and GTS, with the separate Sun and Sound package also offered with the ES and GTS, respectively. A slew of changes came the model's way for 2009. Mitsubishi brought back the Ralliart and a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with it that produced up to 237 horsepower. The GTS version of the Lancer also got a bump up to 168 horsepower with the aid of 2,4L four-cylinder configuration. A minor refresh came for 2010, as antilock brakes, stability control, and power accessories were made standard across the board. A new wagon version of the Lancer also premiered.
The Mitsubishi Lancer has enjoyed a lot of attention since it popped on the scene and it is easy to see why. As a compact, the Lancer has an awful lot of flair thanks to its exterior styling that is both sporty and graceful. Does it have some punch to it? More than most would expect, as the Mitsubishi Lancer handles the highway with confidence and vigor. Fashionable high-tech amenities highlight the interior, providing both comfort and convenience. The Lancer has it all, and is well on its way to becoming a dominant force in its class.
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