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Monday, February 25, 2008

Mitsubishi Sportback Concept

World debut of this sleek 5-door sports car concept।

As Mitsubishi motor show stands so often are, this year's Frankfurt offering is an eclectic mix of city car, off-road vehicle, Paris-Dakar racer and World Rally Championship contender (plus, of course, the next generation Evo IX which is the WRC car's road-going cousin).

It's an increasingly strong range, but Mitsubishi, in the wake of their difficult DaimlerChrysler connections, have bigger ambitions yet. This especially extends to Europe, because no less than 80 percent of Mitsubishi sales are now outside of Japan.

So there's a raft of new models to come and the Concept Sportback unveiled in Frankfurt will be one of them, apparently with very few significant changes. According to Mitsubishi, the Concept Sportback gives "clear indications of the company's vision for its next generation C segment cars," and will be one of the first cars to be built on their new global platform.

If it reaches production looking like the concept car, we should be very grateful। The five-door sports hatch with a coupe-like roofline is one of this year's more attractive, understated renderings. In fact it looks almost as though you could drive it out of the doors now, and a lot of people would probably like to.

The Sportback is clearly aimed at the heart of the European market and its looks could really make it stand out। Mitsubishi says it's practical as well as emotional with deceptively roomy rear packaging. True to the marque's sporting heritage, it will have performance to match the looks. For now they're talking front- or four-wheel drive and a range of four-cylinder engines (plus diesel engines for Europe, of course) with options of 200 horsepower and more. If it goes as well as the concept looks, the production model should be another Mitsubishi hit.


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