2009 mitsubishi lancer sportback ralliart 006

2009 mitsubishi lancer sportback ralliart 006

With Subaru's defection from sedan to hatch-only status for the WRX STI, some fans lost their love for the rally-bred monster and started eying the heretic's choice: the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. But fans of the Lancer have so far been stuck with the opposite problem: no hatchback.

That problem is solved, however - or at least nearly so. There won't be a hatchback version of the Evo X, but the previously announced Lancer Sportback GTS and Ralliart models have been priced for the U.S. today, and with starting prices of just $19,190 for the GTS with a five-speed manual and $27,590 for the 237-horsepower, twin-clutch Ralliart version, there's sure to be some serious cross-shopping going on for Subaru and Mitsubishi fans alike.

Tuning potential for the Ralliart model is huge - it uses a detuned version of the same 4B11 engine found in the Evo X - and with its use of the TC-SST dual-clutch transmission and standard AWD with active center differential, the Sportback Ralliart is one of the best values on the market, priced almost dead even with Subaru's manual-shifted WRX Premium.

For more on the Sportback, including details on the GTS and more on the Ralliart, check out our story on their confirmation for U.S. sale.