Mitsubishi's Concept Sportback gives a hint at the styling of the 2007 Lancer
11 August 2005

The Vauxhall Astra will have some serious competition in the C-segment style stakes from 2007 if this new Mitsubishi concept is anything to go by. Concept Sportback will get its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September, and its dynamic lines preview the dynamic look of Mitsubishi’s next Lancer, which goes on sale as a Focus-rivalling five-door hatchback in 2007.

The Lancer sits on an all-new platform that Mitsubishi claims is flexible enough to spawn a range of models over the next few years, including a replacement for the road-biased four-wheel drive Outlander. This computer-generated teaser image follows a pair of sketches issued last month and reveals the aggressive face of the new Lancer, which will be the first public appearance of Mitsubishi’s future design direction following its split from former ally DaimlerChryslerIt follows the current fashion of a gaping mouth dominating the front-end, flanked by neat slit headlights, with a wedge-like profile rising to the high-shouldered rear end. The sketches of the tail released last month show a diffuser-style rear bumper with twin exhausts contrasting with Nissan Murano-style crossover styling cues. As with the transition from CZ2 concept to new Colt, expect the bulging arches and aggressive aerodynamic tweaks to be toned down for the road car.

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Performance fans will be pleased to hear that the legendary Evolution name will return on the next Lancer. A concept version of the tenth incarnation of the four-wheel drive rally-bred saloon will be unveiled alongside the new Outlander at the Tokyo motor show in October.

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