The Mitsubishi Lancer is a semi-luxury vehicle built by Mitsubishi Motors. It has been known as the Colts Lancer, Dodge/Plymouth Colt, Chrysler Valiant Lancer, Chrysler Lancer, Eagle Summit, Hindustan Lancer, Soueast Lioncel, Mitsubishi Carisma, and Mitsubishi Mirage in various countries at different times, and will be sold as the Galant Fortis in its home market from 2007. It has also been sold as Lancer Fortis in Taiwan with a different facelift compared to Galant Fortis from September 15, 2007.
Since its introduction in 1973 over six million Lancers have been sold.
In 1979, the Lancer EX was unveiled in Japan. Two engines were only offered back then, a 1.4 L MCA-JET equipped engine paired with Mitsubishi's Silent Shaft Technology, which generated and a 1.6 L engine that generated and . The MCA-JET system was something new than the used carburator system. The MCA stands for Mitsubishi Clean Air which meant that the EX passes both Japan and US emission standards whilst the new cylinder head design of the engine gave way for a third or Jet valve that introduces an extra swirl of air to the combustion chamber swirling the fuel-air mixture for a cleaner, efficient and thorough burn. Another new breakthrough in the Lancer is the Silent Shaft Technology which is actually two counterbalancing shafts that rotate in opposite directions, cancelling the power pulses a normal 4 cylinder engine would be inherent back then, reducing engine noise and vibration providing a smoother ride. The 1.8 L Sirius 80 engines was then introduced in the Lancer in 1980, along with a new , 1.2 L engine a year after providing a wider choice of engines for the Lancer. Also, a turbocharged, engine was added in 1980 for a sportier performance and an Intercooler system was integrated in the existing turbocharged engine to produce in 1983.
In Europe, the Lancer EX was offered with a turbocharged 2.0 L 4–cylinder engine known as the Lancer EX 2000 Turbo. It was the first Lancer to use the very first 4g63 engine which was then used in succeeding models such as the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 and the Lancer Evolutions I to IX. It achieved a maximum output of and manages a top speed of in less than 15.5 s. A new feature on this model is that it is equipped with ECI or Advanced Electronically-Controlled Fuel Injection which gave the Lancer more power and outstanding fuel economy as it did 23.0 mpg in city driving and 28.8 to 37.2 mpg in highway driving. A rally version of the Lancer EX 2000 Turbo was made for the 1000 Lakes Rally that gave .
In 1982, a new model was launched called the Lancer Fiore also know as third version, based on the Mitsubishi Mirage. The Fiore was often sold as a Lancer in international markets, but also the Mirage Sedan and, with the five-door hatchback model, remained in production for a good part of the 1980s. In Australia, it would eventually be sold as the Mitsubishi Colt Sedan. Thus, Mitsubishi had two similarly sized models competing in the same market segment.
The following year, both Mirage and Lancer lines were renewed from the third generation. The Mirage four-door and Lancer sedan became the same car. Fuel injected and turbocharged models were an integral part of this range. A station wagon was added in 1985, and it spawned a raised, four wheel drive version. Often, the Mirage (or Colt) would be the name used on the three-door hatchback, and the Lancer name used on the remainder.
In 1988, a more aerodynamic-looking Lancer was launched, following the shape of the Galant. A five-door hatchback was added to the range. The Mirage and Lancer nomenclature continued. The station wagon continued on the old platform and shape, as did, in some markets, a five-door version of the Mirage. In Australia, all models were sold as the Mitsubishi Lancer. By that time, the Lancer name was shared with the Dodge Lancer sold in North America. The sedan was sold as the Mirage Aspire in Japan.
In some markets a 'van' model was produced, being the three-door hatchback (which had an upright profile) without rear side window (this triggered a reduced sales tax burden in the Dutch market).
It was only in 1991 that there was greater differentiation between the Mirage and Lancer. Although both were on the same platform, the Lancer sedan received different sheetmetal from the Mirage four-door. The Mirage variant was sold in North America under the Eagle Summit name. Minivan models, such as the Mitsubishi Space Runner and Mitsubishi Chariot, were mechanically related. In 1993, the Lancer wagon, named the Libero in Japan, was launched. An electric version was also released named the Libero EV that ran on NiCd batteries. A V6 variant was also introduced with only 1.6 L, making it the smallest mass-produced V6. The high-performance, turbocharged GSR version formed the basis of the contemporary Lancer Evolution (or 'Lancer Evo') from September 1993, using the drivetrain of the successful Galant VR-4 rally car.
The Mirage Asti Coupé in Japan was offered as the Lancer Coupé in many export markets.
The fifth generation Lancer was rebadged as the Proton Wira sedan and 5-door hatchback models in Malaysia in 1993 with 1.3, 1.5, 1.6 and 1.8 L engine capacities. A short-lived 2.0 L diesel model was also available. Currently, the car has stopped production as one of the longest running Proton models in Malaysia after Proton Saga, which is also based on a previous Lancer model. The Proton Wira was recently replaced by Proton's latest model, the Proton Persona.
Model and trim levels:
Model and trim levels
Model and trim levels:
In 1995, the Lancer was renewed for its sixth generation, building on the earlier model's format. Apart from the Evo models' continuation, it did not depart from the established Lancer formula. A sedan and wagon (Libero in Japan) were offered, with a related Mirage model. The coupé continued as the Mirage Asti in Japan, known as the Lancer Coupé elsewhere. The 1995 Lancer (Model from 1995-2002 in some countries) is more popularly known as the 1997 Lancer. A turbocharged GSR version continued to be sold until the end of the 1990s. This platform was also the basis for the Mirage, as it was known in North America and various other markets.
From 1996-2004, the Mitsubishi Carisma replaced the Mitsubishi Lancer in some markets.
It is of note, that the Lancer Evolution V was the only Lancer Evolution to gain Mitsubishi the WRC constructors championship. However, driver Tommi Makinen was able to claim four WRC driver's championships for himself, in 1996-1999, driving Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution III, IV, V & VI.
It should be noted that despite the introduction of the eighth generation Lancer Cedia in 2002, the CE series continued to be sold alongside it until mid-2004. The sedan was available in GLi trim, until it was finally discontinued in 2003. The coupe was facelifted and now only available in GLi and MR trims.
Due to its appearance, affordability, and the rise in status of the Lancer Evolution, this generation was quite popular with young car enthusiasts and the aftermarket modified Japanese car scene. Some popular modifications include exhaust systems, suspension, after market stereos and replica Evolution body kits.
Model and trim levels:
Series I (96-98) and Series II (98-99)
Series III (99-03)
Series IV (02-04) coupe update only
The year 2000 saw the release of the seventh-generation Lancer Cedia in Japan (meaning - Century Diamond); though in most markets the seventh generation Lancer continued, built at Mitsubishi's Mizushima plant in Japan. The new model was available in sedan and station wagon forms. The Mirage, apart from the export models, became a different car in Japan that was unrelated to the Lancer. In Europe, the Lancer was not offered in some countries, being too close to the size of the Dutch-built Carisma, so the Evo VII model sold there bore the Carisma name. This is the first generation in many years where the Lancer nameplate is universally used.
In North America, the Lancer Cedia was introduced in 2002 as a direct replacement for the Mirage. It is powered by a 2.0 L 4G94 engine producing 120 hp (89 kW) and 130 ft·lbf (176 N·m) of torque.
In Australia, the seventh generation Lancer was introduced as the CG series in July 2002 with the 2.0 L 4G94 engine. It was introduced as a replacement for the seventh generation sedan, and was sold alongside the popular seventh generation coupe.
In Mexico, the Lancer was available in DE, ES, LS and GS trims with a 2.0 L DOHC 4G63 engine. There were no estate versions: only the four-door saloon.
Due to Mitsubishi's deteriorating financial situation and slow sales, the Lancer Sportback wagon was cancelled in the United States one year after its release. But the Mitsubishi Lancer wagon was sold in Canada, Japan, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and is still available in the latter as of July 2008.
In August 2005, all Lancers were upgraded to the 2.4 L 4G69 engine, producing 115 kW (154 hp) and of torque. The upgraded engine also saw a change in trim levels and upgraded equipment—the ES and LS models now featured a more upmarket looking black interior, while the VR-X gained a new black grille to closer resemble the Lancer Evolution IX. The equipment levels of all models were also upgraded, with the LS and VR-X gaining climate control, and a premium audio system sourced from the luxury Mitsubishi Verada. The Exceed model was discontinued, and all updated models now used JDM sized rear bumpers instead of the larger USDM sized versions. Additionally, the wagon also saw these changes; and as of 2007, continues to be sold alongside the sedan.
The ES and LS models were given a minor facelift for the 2007 model year; this time gaining the same front grille as the US models, and putting it into line with the current corporate look—similar to that of the Colt and the locally built 380. Prior to the introduction of the all-new ninth generation Lancer, a limited edition ES model dubbed 'Velocity' went on sale. This package included VR-X grill, rear spoiler, leather/alcantara bolsted seats, sports pedals, 15" OZ alloy wheels and chrome exhaust tip—all for the same price as the previous standard ES.
In Pakistan, this variant was launched in 2005 with cosmetic changes from the front and the back. Thai production was switched to the new model, and in all markets except for India the seventh-generation model was no longer marketed, four years after the Cedia's introduction.
India received the new Lancer in 2006, known locally as the Mitsubishi Cedia to distinguish it from this version that is still assembled and sold as the Lancer because of its continued popularity.
In some European markets, the Lancer began to take the place of the Carisma in 2004. It is powered by a 1.3 L SOHC 4G13, 1.6 L SOHC 4G18 engine and a 2.0 L DOHC 4G63 (all 4-cylinder).
In Malaysia, the Lancer was made available after Mitsubishi had sold all its shares in Malaysian carmaker Proton, marking the return of Mitsubishi in Malaysian market after being absent since 1985 due to the agreement with Proton. The Lancer sold in Malaysia was powered by the 4G18 engine which also powered the early 1.6 Proton Waja model.
In the Philippines, the Lancer was offered in 4 trims- GLX as the base, with a 5-speed M/T, the GLS with a CVT, the MX with a CVT plus leather seats and the GT, which is an Evo-inspired, and a 4-speed automatic with sports mode.
In 2005, Mitsubishi revealed the Concept-X model car at the Tokyo Motor Show and its Concept-Sportback model at the Frankfurt motor show. The new Lancer is based on these two concepts. The new Lancer was officially revealed in January 2007 at the Detroit Motor Show and went on sale in North American markets on March 2007. New Lancer features Mitsubishi's next-generation RISE safety body.
In Canada, a fourth model (SE) was introduced to the Lancer lineup late in the model year. The SE model is a cross between the ES and GTS models. The SE is an ES model, dressed to look like the GTS. It includes the skirt package similar to the GTS, a rear spoiler, and unlike the GTS model, the SE includes a sunroof. Features not included in the SE model that are found in the GTS are the FAST key, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone interface, automatic climate control, Rockford Fosgate sound system, carbon fiber trim pieces, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and 18" wheels.
For U.S. markets, starting with the 2009 model year, an ES-Sport version was released similar to the SE model for the Canadian market. Externally the ES-Sport is similar in appaearance to the GTS' skirts, spoiler, mirrors, etc (with the exception of the wheels, the GS-Sport retains the GS wheelset). The GS-Sport also uses the GS 2.0 liter engine.
The 2.4 L 4B12 engine is offered on the GTS for the 2009 model year.
The new Lancer was released on September 15, 2007 in Taiwan and has been named Lancer Fortis. It's powered by a 4B11, 2.0 litre DOHC engine outputting and the transmission is a 6-speed (fixed gears in sport mode) version of the CVT. However, unlike other Lancer models in USA and Japan, Mitsubishi has changed the front and rear ends to make it look like a family car.
Due to popular demand of the 7th-gen Lancer in Singapore, it will continue to be sold alongside the new Lancer which will be called the Lancer EX to differentiate itself from the former. The 1.5l, 2.0l and the GTS (marketed as the GT) variants are available in Singapore.
In Malaysia, only the GTS is offered and is marketed as the 2.0GT.
Hong Kong received its unique edition of the Lancer in 2008, dubbed the Lancer 2.0. The car comes in two trim levels, without a name for either of them. Both are equipped with the 4B11 2.0 4 cylinder engine, 7 airbags, 8 speaker stereo system (manufacturer not known), Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with HID as well as 18" alloy wheels. The upper trim has Ralliart style body kit which includes a revised front bumper, side skirt, rear bumper with diffuser and the addition of a correct-to-Evolution-X rear spoiler,while the lower trim make do without the abovementioned features.
As of May 2008 the previous generation Lancer is still sold alongside the "New Lancer" in both saloon and wagon forms.