New for 2009-Mitsubishi

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2008
  • Eclipse coup_ and convertible on sale as early 2009 models

  • Galant midsize sedan gets fresh look and new Sport editions

  • Lancer adds Ralliart edition with 237-hp turbo engine; new engine for sport-tuned GTS

  • Lancer-based Evolution, launched during 2008 model year, continues to entice ardent sport-compact fans

  • Fate of Raider pickup truck uncertain

  • i MiEV electric concept to undergo field testing in California

2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Mildly modified in appearance for 2009, Mitsubishi's rakish, low-slung Eclipse hatchback coup_ and Spyder convertible again come with a 4-cylinder or V-6 engine. Mitsubishi says the 4-cylinder GS and V-6 GT models display more differentiation than in the past. Mitsubishi's 3.8-liter V-6 engine generates 265 hp. For 2009, GT models add Active Stability Control. New high-intensity-discharge headlights are available, along with a new spoiler.

For 2009, all Mitsubishi Eclipse models are front-wheel drive (FWD), with seating for 4. The SE coup_ has been dropped. Spyder convertibles have a power fabric top with a full inner headliner and a heated glass rear window. GS models can have a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, while GTs get a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission.

2009 Mitsubishi Endeavor

The 2009 Mitsubishi Endeavor is largely carryover from last year. A stability-enhancement system became standard on all 2008 versions of Mitsubishi's midsize crossover sport-utility vehicle, which uses a 3.8-liter V-6 engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission.

2009 Mitsubishi Galant

Launched as an early 2009 model, the Galant FWD midsize sedan gains a 4-cylinder Sport model and a Sport V6 model. Front- and rear-end sheetmetal has been revised, and rear glass is wider. The DE trim level is gone, but Galants also come in base and Ralliart form, the latter with a 258-hp V-6 engine and special suspension tuning. Under the Sport V6 hood, the engine produces 230 hp. Four-cylinder Galants are rated at 160 hp.

Sport models ride on new 17-inch alloy wheels and feature fog lamps, a sunroof, and automatic climate control. Ralliart sedans have 7-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels and aluminum-trimmed pedals. Mitsubishi's Sportronic automatic transmission has 4 speeds with the 4-cylinder engine, and 5 with either V-6 engine. Sport V6 and Ralliart sedans include a premium Rockford Acoustic Design premium audio system with Sirius satellite radio. A Partial-Zero-Emission Vehicle with a reduced-power 4-cylinder engine is offered in five states.

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer

A new Ralliart version of Mitsubishi's compact Lancer sedan arrives for 2009. Beneath its ducted aluminum hood, a 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine develops 237 hp. Equipped with Mitsubishi's new Twin Clutch-SST transmission, like the Evolution MR, the Lancer Ralliart comes with all-wheel drive (AWD) and an Active Center Differential. The Ralliart gives shoppers a midpoint between the Lancer GTS and the performance-packed Evolution.

Thoroughly reworked for 2008, with a newly available, gearless continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Lancer comes in three other trim levels: DE and ES with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, and GTS with a 168-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. In addition to a sport-tuned suspension, the GTS version includes fog lamps, a rear spoiler and sport front bucket seats. A hard-drive music server is available for the Lancer GTS, which contains new high-contrast instruments.

Seven air bags are standard, including a driver's knee air bag. Anti-lock braking is optional for the DE sedan, but standard on others. Either a 5-speed manual gearbox or the CVT may be installed. In the GTS, the CVT includes a Sportronic setup that simulates gear changes, using steering-wheel paddles.

2009 Mitsubishi Evolution (Evo)

In June 2008, the MR edition of Mitsubishi's high-performance, Lancer-based Evolution (Evo) went on sale, as a late 2008 model. Earlier in the year, Mitsubishi launched the GSR edition of its newly redesigned Evolution. Descended from rally racing cars, it reflects the harsh but formidable character of the previous Evo generations, the first of which were sold only in Japan.

Both the MR and the GSR are members of the Evo X group, and both get the same engine: a 291-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that cranks out 300 lb.-ft. of torque. MR is the tamer member of the duo, meant to attract a new breed of buyers. Manual shift is available for the GSR, but the MR comes only with Mitsubishi's new Twin Clutch Sportronic transmission, a 6-speed unit that functions much like two separate 3-speeds. Gear changes may be made using magnesium paddle shifters at the steering control, or switches on the console. Three modes are provided, topped by Super Sport, which makes the Evo racetrack-ready. Rather than FWD, like the Lancer sedan upon which each Evo is based, the MR edition has new S-AWC (All-Wheel Control).

2009 Mitsubishi Outlander

First introduced for 2003, Mitsubishi's compact crossover SUV was redesigned for 2007, with a new V-6 engine, the segment's first flap-fold tailgate, and the option of 7-passenger seating. A 4-cylinder engine debuted in this Outlander's second season, standard in the ES model. An SE model blends the economy of the 4-cylinder engine with the features borrowed from the premium XLS edition. Four trim levels have been available, with FWD or AWD. Little significant change is likely for the 2009 model year.

2009 Mitsubishi Raider

Mitsubishi's compact pickup evolved from the Dodge Dakota, but Dodge added an optional V-8 engine to the Dakota for 2008, while Mitsubishi stuck with a single engine: a 3.7-liter V-6, mating with a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. No word yet on the Raider's fate as the 2009 model year begins.
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