We apologize for the gratuitous Britney jab, we know it’s below our usually impossibly-high standards of thinly-veiled sexual references. Unfortunately, in light of recent reports that the Detroit 3 have largely fallen out of favor with the American public, we’re feeling rather listless in the face of the exciting new arrivals to the import sports car market. So we admit we’re picking the low hanging fruit, but we’re too depressed to care. Anyway, about the car…
The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is heralded as the next greatest thing to enter the sports-car-on-a-budget arena, and is expected to retail around $25,000 while still featuring many of the same qualities as its powerful $35k big brother, the Lancer Evolution. Some of the new Ralliart’s more obvious design cues are surface-oriented, featuring the same aluminum hood layout, vents, and scoops as the Evo. Underneath the hood, the Ralliart also features the Evo’s 2.0L I-4 engine, but with a smaller, single-scroll turbocharger and intercooler. Still respectable in its own right, the Ralliart’s shrunken Evo engine boasts a net power output of 235-hp and 253 lb-ft of torque.
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Except for possessing the Evo’s 6-sp twin-clutch automated manual transmission and Mitsubishi’s Active Center Differential, the rest of the Lancer Ralliart bears a stronger resemblance to it’s budget younger sibling, the Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. Like the GTS, the Lancer Ralliart features a steel roof and suspension [as opposed to the Evo’s aluminum body frame] as well as mechanical limited-slip differential. While the Lancer Ralliart isn’t quite as “Race Me” as the Evo, it channels significantly sportier feel than the Lancer GTS, making it the perfect choice for the lead footed penny pincher.