Mitsubishi has given the green light for a production version of the five-door Lancer Sportback, which was first displayed as a concept car back at the 2005 Frankfurt Show. If designers stick with the styling of the concept version, we think the wagon-based Sportback would actually look better than the sedan.

The new model will join Mitsubishi’s lineup next year, following the release of the sedan and Evo models that will hit showrooms by the end of the year. The Lancer range will kick off with a 1.5L petrol engine, followed by another 1.8L petrol unit and Mitsubishi’s new 2.0L diesel engine, plus a range topping turbo 2.0L petrol unit in the Evo. Transmission options will include a both five and six speed manuals, plus a new CVT, four-speed auto and a six-speed automated manual, according to the engine.

The new Lancer is a crucial model for Mitsubishi and the car’s aggressive lines puts it in good steed against its arch rival, Subaru’s awkwardly styled Impreza. Also on display at the Frankfurt show will be the second generation Outlander and the Delica D5 crossover.