A Family Car Leaving its Mark in the Motorsports World

The first generation Lancer, a sporty new addition to the Mitsubishi lineup in 1973, is probably Mitsubishi's best known and most successful rally car of the 70s. From the beginning it proved itself with a string of four straight wins in the Australia's Southern Cross Rally, a triple crown victory in the East African Safari Rally and a 1-2 finish in the Bandama Rally. With numerous victories in some of the toughest rallies in the world, the first generation Lancer again helped to establish the Mitsubishi Motors name in the world of motor sports making it synonymous with dependability and high performance. And today the current Lancer is carrying on the winning tradition with spectacular victories in the WRC, APRC (Asia-Pacific Rally Championship) and various national rally championship events around the world.

Not to be denied, the Lancer was created to complement the already full Mitsubishi Motors lineup by filling in the size gap between the Galant and the Minica. On top of being sporty, it incorporated the latest ergonomic as well as safety features of the day. Some of its special features included a tilt steering wheel to ensure the perfect driving position, a collapsible steering column for driver safety and high performance disc brakes for sure stopping power. Its monocoque body adopted a new aero-nose-line styling, a revolutionary concept in vehicle aerodynamics. To address a wide variety of consumer needs, the Lancer lineup consisted of 12 model variations with engines ranging from 1200cc to a more powerful 1600cc.

The Lancer 1600 GSR with its wide stance and short wheelbase coupled with a light overall weight and the powerful Saturn engine best portrayed Lancer's true ability in sporty performance.

In 1975, the Lancer Celeste, a sporty hatchback coupe, made its debut to round out the Lancer lineup. This model proved very popular with its 1400cc and 1600cc Saturn engines.

In 1979, the Lancer underwent its first major model change with the release of the Lancer EX. The Lancer EX offered a choice of two award winning engines: the 1400cc, MCA-JET equipped Orion engine or the 1600cc Saturn 80 engine, both integrating Mitsubishi's Silent Shaft technology. This second generation Lancer was developed for the post oil crises era and incorporated many class leading features to upgrade motoring enjoyment. Its new styling was simpler, adopting what was called a "boxy look" design. The interior was brighter and more spacious and adopted a new high performance heating/ventilation system to improve interior comfort. For the family on the go, the Lancer EX offered a larger, deeper trunk space to provide added convenience. A strong lightweight body adopting a 4-link rear suspension upgraded handling as well as assuring a smooth, quiet ride. The 1800cc, Sirius 80 engine was introduced in 1980, followed by a new 1200cc engine in 1981 providing for a wider choice of engine application to the Lancer lineup. For even sportier performance, a turbocharged, 1800cc engine was added in 1980 and in 1983 an integrated intercooler system to provide 165ps.

1982 saw the release of the Lancer Fiore and the Mirage 4-door sedan. They were basically the same model with minor changes being made on the Lancer Fiore. What was marketed on the export markets as the Lancer was marketed on the Japanese market as the Mirage 4-door sedan. They featured front engine, front wheel drive and the engine adopted in the Mirage was the first 1400cc turbocharged engine marketed in Japan. This 1400cc, Orion G12B engine equipped with the small TC04 turbocharger developed 105ps/5,500rpm and 15.5kg-m/3,000rpm.

With the full model change of the Mirage in 1983, the new Lancer Fiore marked the 4th generation of the Lancer line. The Lancer Fiore incorporated the latest in computer control engine technology including an electronic fuel injection for its high performance 1600cc turbocharged engine with a power output of 120ps. For the fuel conscious, a 1800cc diesel engine was added as well as the new 1500cc MD (Modulated Displacement) engine which was developed by Mitsubishi Motors and introduced to the market for the first time.

In 1985, the Lancer Station Wagon, also marketed as the Mirage Station Wagon was introduced to address expanding user needs and to extend the versatility of the Lancer lineup. The following year saw the addition of a full-time 4WD. This model went on to become very popular in both the commercial and private sectors overseas as well as in Japan.

The 5th generation of the ever popular Lancer lineup was released in 1988. This model was marketed as the Lancer in Japan and as the Lancer Hatchback on the export markets. The Mirage 4-door sedan marketed in Japan was known as the Mitsubishi Lancer overseas. The 4-door, Lancer Hatchback adopted an aerodynamically stable aerowedge shape and a new interior geared towards active family lifestyles. With its spacious rear seating, adopting large accessible rear ledge shelf, double action seats as well as a large capacity open trunk space this new model offered greater applications in a passenger vehicle. On the performance side, the Lancer Hatchback featured a choice of five engines and four different suspensions. The VCU type full-time 4WD assured sporty handling over various terrain conditions.

The 6th generation Lancer came on the market in 1991. It featured an original new design and styling which differentiated it from its cousin the Mirage. Longer and wider, this Lancer could accommodate four adults in spacious comfort. It offered five engine variations with the sportiest boasting 195ps from its 1800cc intercooler, turbocharged unit. A new 1500cc, 16 valve, DOHC engine as well as for the first time in its class, a 1600cc, V6, DOHC, 24-valve engine were simultaneously introduced.

In 1992, the Libero, the replacement for the highly popular Lancer Station Wagon was unveiled. It incorporated aerodynamic good looks of the 90s and offered VCU, full-time 4WD. The new 4D86, 2000cc, turbocharged diesel engine was adopted for economical efficiency and high running performance.

In 1995, the 7th generation Lancer came onto the scene. This new Lancer projected a bolder, more aggressive image-yet very affordable, dependable and loaded with passenger safety features. This new Lancer is slightly larger and sportier than its predecessor wih an aggressive front end design and simple yet sharper character lines. It offers a luxurious interior environment unlike other vehicles in its class. The aerodynamic efficiency of the new exterior design made possible, a superb CD (air drag coefficient) of 0.30, contributing further to economy. The stylish new interior color scheme features color coordinated door inserts which stretch past the door armrest for enhanced air of quality. The soft padded insturment panel and dashboard are ergonomically designed and laid out for upgraded operational ease. All of the switches, controls and meters have been laid out for easy access and recognition.

This Lancer adopts a lightweight, high rigidity body, improved suspension system and the engine/transmission is laid out horizontally. Combined, these new improvements ensure to minimize noise and vibrations for a smoother, quieter ride.

As for enhanced safety, the Lancer integrates SRS (supplementary Restraint System) airbags which comes as a package for both driver and front seat passenger or for the driver side only. Models with SRS airbags incorporate a newly designed, sporty 3-spoke steering wheel and seatbelt pretensioners, which tighten the seatbelts in the event of a frontal impact. In addition, 3-point ELR-ALR (Emergency Locking Retractable - Automatic Locking Retractable) selectable rear seatbelts which are designed for easy and safe attachment of child seats come standard in all models.

In 2000, Mitsubishi introduced the 8th-generation Lancer. The all-new Lancer Cedia compact saloon projects a new look. It has the diamond cut nose design seen in the Galant, Pajero and other cars in the Mitsubishi lineup as well as the new truncated tail design that improves rearward visibility and aerodynamics. On the inside, the new Cedia features an integral center panel and a new flat, low-line dashboard design, which together contribute to the airy quality of the cockpit. The deeply-raked center panel houses the climate control and in-car entertainment switches and controls. Also integrated are easy to see high-contrast gauges and dials. Other elements enhancing the quality of the interior include a wood-grain trim dash panel and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The extended wheelbase adds to riding comfort while the larger tire turning angle give the new Lancer a tight turning radius. McPherson strut front suspension coupled with trailing arm-type multi-link rear suspension offer greater handling and running stability, while also minimizing noise and vibrations for a smooth, quiet riding comfort.

The Lancer Cedia is fitted with Mitsubishi's advanced GDI engine, with the power transferred to the wheels via the all new INVECS-III CVT transmission (1500cc model) or the INVECS-III Sport Mode 6-speed CVT (1800cc model). This new-generation powertrain offers low fuel consumption and sporty performance. For passenger safety, the new Lancer incorporates Mitsubishi's high-rigidity body, which combines an energy-absorbing front section with a strong and rigid occupant cell to provide outstanding crash protection. The Lancer comes with SRS airbags for the driver and front passenger, and front seat belts equipped with pre-tensioners and force limiters. These and other safety features assure enhanced active and passive safety.

The new generation Lancer Cedia Station Wagon came onto the scene in 2000. Based on the theme "Active Touring Wagon," the new Lancer Station Wagon retains the basic concepts of the Lancer Cedia sedan.

The new Lancer Station Wagon incorporates the same diamond-cut nose styling found on the sedan, while the overall functional beauty and quality of its appearance is enhanced by the clean surface composition of the body sides and tail as well as the truncated roof line. The interior features an integral center panel. The flat, low-line dash and instrumentation panel design enhances the spaciousness of the interior environment. Comfort, spacious, easy-to-drive, economical, smooth, durable, reliable, quiet...these are all adjectives synonymous with the new Lancer Station Wagon.

Copyright(C) 2001 MITSUBISHI MOTORS, All Rights Reserved.
Home Page