Mitsubishi Motors, which is a Japanese manufacturer, has produced the Mitsubishi Lancer since the year 1973. This compact car has been known by many names including the Dodge/Plymouth Colt, the Colt Lancer, Chrysler Lancer, Chrysler Valiant Lancer, Hindustan Lancer, Eagle Summit, Mitsubishi Mirage, and the Soueast Lionel. Since the year 2007 it has been sold in Japan as the Galant Fortis.
From beginning production in the year 1973 through the year 2008, there were more than 6 million units sold. According to the company there were 9 generations developed before the latest model.
The very first Lancer was launched in the year 1973 and filled the gap that was left between the smaller Minica kei car and the bigger Galant. The 1600 GSR model was sporty and started the long history of the Lancer’s success. It won the Safari Rally two times and then the Southern Cross rally 4 times.
There were four different body styles available, a two door sedan, a four door sedan, the 5 door station wagon and a hardtop coupe with 2 doors. There were different engines available including a 1.2 L, a 1.4 L, and a 1.6 L.
The vehicle was marketed using several names including the Dodge Colt in the U.S., the Dodge Lancer in some of the Latin America countries, and as the Plymouth Colt in Canada.
The Lancer EX was revealed in the year 1979 in Japan. There were 2 engines offered at the time, the 1.4 L and the 1.6 L. The 1.4 liter was MCA-JET equipped and was a new concept as compared to the carburetor system that had been used in the past. MCA refers to Mitsubishi Clean Air and meant that the EX would pass both the United States and Japan’s emission standards that were set.
In addition to the improvements to the engine the Lancer lineup also introduced a Silent Shaft Technology. This involved 2 counterbalancing shafts that would rotate in opposite directions. This cancelled the power pulses that are found in a 4 cylinder engine. This technology reduced the engine vibrations and noise.
The current model of the Mitsubishi Lancer is offered in 5 trims, the DE, the ES, the SE, the GT, and the Ralliart. The lower trims are both front wheel drive and have a 148 horsepower engine. The SE is all wheel drive and the GT is a front wheel drive and each of these trims has a 2.4 liter engine. The Ralliart trim offers a turbocharged engine as well as all-wheel drive. The standard transmission for all of the trims is a 5 speed manual, except in the Ralliart. The continuously variable transmission is optional for these trims. The Ralliart has an automated clutch manual transmission.
The current generation of Lancer dates back to the year 2008. At first the only trims that were offered were the DE, the ES, and the GTS. Each of these had a base four cylinder engine until the year 2011. The GTS is similar to the current GT, but it had a suspension that was sport tuned. Stability control was only available for the Ralliart until the year 2010. It then became the standard for each of the vehicles in the Lancer line.
Overall, the Lancer is one of the models of vehicle that has been greatly approved with each generation that has been released. When compared to the other compact sedans that are on the market, the interior quality, refinement, and fuel economy are somewhat lacking. The latest version of the Lancer is a sporty sedan that is quite attractive.