Here at Super Street, we've never really marched to the beat of our own drums when it comes to building project cars. Through the years our staff has taken on most of the Honda and Acura makes, turned out a S-chassis Nissan or two, and oddly enough, had a Skyline and Super GT Supra. OEMs have turned to us many times, too, for our input and for 2010, we're partnering up with Mitsubishi to see if we can turn out their new Lancer Sportback Ralliart in pure SS form.
You might be thinking, "Why not a Evo X GSR?" - well, we asked ourselves that, too. Despite a more powerful engine configuration and tuned suspension/brake package, the GSR already has plenty of aftermarket support for it; the Ralliart - and more specifically the Sportback version - is newer and since it's one step down from the Evo means it needs a little help, especially if it wants become the type of car its older brother is. All is not lost, however, because the Ralliart is still a performer. Using a different induction configuration and single scroll turbo on this 4B11, it puts out very well at 237hp (about 50hp less than the GSR) with 253lb-ft, and essentially uses the same drivetrain found in the Evo 9 - not to mention it's blessed with a Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST), similar to the style (not the exact unit) the current Evo X MR has. That means you can drive it like an "auto" or use the paddle shifters for manual operation; we love both. TC-SST also gives us two different driving modes - Normal and Sport - and can even be adjusted for three driving surfaces: Tarmac, Snow and Gravel.
So what's the game plan? Quite simple. We're going to max-out performance for the stock engine configuration first - maybe a new hardpipe kit, air filter, downpipe, exhaust and ECU re-flash; then we'll see if the rumors of trading out to a GSR manifold/turbo and re-flash for 300hp is true. We want this to be a primo street car that can handle light track time, so we'll be setting it up with coilover dampers and stiffer sway bars as product development draws near. One area that will seriously be addressed is the brakes; the Ralliart suffers from not having the same Brembo calipers the GSR and MR models have and we've been told by Mitsubishi that they're not compatible, so we're exploring performance upgrades from larger caliper kits to new rotors, pads and lines. And since this is a Sportback, we'll be looking towards European wagon styling to see how we can set this Lancer apart. Ralliart Japan, anyone? Slammed? Phat ass wheels? You know this! The options really are open and endless at this stage, and you can bet that we'll be working with key manufacturers and tuners to do this car right.
We are seriously inviting you to keep up with our Sportback Ralliart build-up as we're hoping to make this the most unique and best project we've ever done. It'll showcase our expertise and prove to some that you don't need the top of the line car to be a winner.
That New Car Smell
2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart
The Sticker $27,590
Engine 2.0L 4-cylinder 4B11 MIVEC turbocharged and intercooled engine
Power 237hp at 6,000rpm, 253lb-ft at 3,000rpm
Scale tipping 3,572lbs
Layout Front engine, all-wheel drive
Gearbox All-Wheel Control (AWC) with Active Center Differential (ACD); Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST)
Suspension front MacPherson struts/rear multi-link suspension
Wheels & tires 18-inch alloys with 215/45R18 Yokohama ADVAN tires
Brakes 294mm front/302mm rear disc brakes
At the pump OEM 17/25 (city/highway) mpg
The pack Subaru Impreza GT, Audi A3, Mazdaspeed3
Deep thoughts We're set to make this the dopest project car we've ever laid Hands on. Evo X? Pssssh.