What is it?
This is the car that bridges the sizeable dynamic and performance gap between the most powerful mainstream Lancer, the 141bhp 1.8 petrol, and the 290bhp Evolution, providing hot hatch buyers with a Mitsubishi alternative to hot hatches like the Focus ST, Golf GTI and Impreza WRX.
In this five-door guise it also fills out the Lancer range with the body configuration most popular in this segment, which is also available with other engine and trim packages.
The Ralliart’s 237bhp compares well to rivals in the segment, and it’s dynamic arsenal also includes four-wheel drive and a six-speed paddle-activated twin-clutch transmission – there’s no manual option. Compared to the Evo, the hatchback loses 53bhp, the Evo’s super-sticky (but wear-prone) rubber and – most critically – active yaw control.
What’s it like?
It might be unfair to compare the Ralliart with its pricier stablemate, but the comparison is irresistible – and sadly, not entirely favourable. If you know the Evo you’ll notice the difference at the first bend, the Lancer’s tendency to understeer unmasked by the missing yaw control as its nose pushes to the outside of the curve.