100k sales projection for 2012 all riding on the Lancer AWD

Many of you know that the 2012 lancer is coming with an AWD option.  While it was my hope that Mitsubishi would make this standard.. its still a step in the right direction.  Main point is, the direct competition Subaru already has this equipped.  The decision was made last year to port the Lancer CVT version over to a non-performance AWD.  The logic for Mitsubishi was to meet the objective of enhanced driver safety and capability in adverse conditions.   When speaking to my contacts within Mitsu HQ in Japan, the official position was not to enhance performance for the lancer.  The Lancer is in its 4th year of production and a facelift or redesign may be explored.

So where do that leave those in the aftermarket / enthusiast community?  Unfortunately those looking to get into this car for performance and thrill seeking are out of luck.  There are no engine power enhancements.  Mitsubishi went this route because the CVT is an extremely reliable transmission.  More so than their traditional automatics and even their 5 speed transmissions.  Warranty claims and failures have continued to be low and below industry standards.  Running with a CVT does come with some negatives which Mitsubishi acknowledges.

1.  You can not  tow with a CVT.  Due to the nature of the CVT’s design, towing is not recommend and remains one of the only ways that you can harm it.  So this kills the idea of using this car to take your gear up to the cottage on those summer weekends.

2. CVT have a 5% power penalty.  CVT’s by design generate a natural vibration that is cancelled out by a software program that limits input tq.  Basically counteracting this vibration.  As a result.  Your not exactly getting the HP / TQ numbers to the wheels that you expect.  However, this is countered by the fact that there is no shifting required like in a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission.  This is what keeps the CVT and Manual versions of the Lancer neck and neck in 0-60 times.  I was

I was initially concerned with this proposed idea when I hear about last year but the fact that Mitsubishi is mating this transmission to a 2.4 vs. the 2.0, makes me sleep easy at night.

3. The third point that I raised with Mitsubishi was that the use of the SE AWD is going to lead to a hell of a lot of confusion in the aftermarket community in terms of production of parts.  See he is the slight problem. Previously only the GTS had

Question is, will it sell.  Mitsubishi Japan and North America think they will continue to increase sales by offering more refined products.  In the next few years, Mitsubishi will be phasing in new products that will add to the reduced line up changes.  USA production plants have stopped making the Eclipse and Endevour to make way for new cross over and possible mini vehicles.

I view this AWD update as step in the right direction.  But it was my hope that they would go all the way and allow for a 5 speed manual version.  This is the same plight Mitsubishi Ralliart 09+ owners are in.  The community is crying out for an Ralliart with a 5 speed manual version.  Now its no secret, when your going to do some serious playing in the  sand box of life, you certainly want to do it with a good sold 5 speed transmission.  The 2013 planning has already been solidified and will be released sometime in the early spring of next year.  Fingers crossed :)

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  1. Daryl says:

    I love Mitsubishi, and they keep coming out with better and better products. The one thing they need to improve on is the choices of drive-train. I agree there should be a manual transmission option. Whether or not i have to order from the factory, I will.

    When I first saw the Lancer SE available with AWC I was very excited. But then I saw it only had the CVT transmission option. This is one thing I have to give credit to Subaru for (although I hate the rivalry) they give you many options for vehicles with manual transmissions.

    Ask anyone that really enjoys driving. If someone know something about cars, they will prefer the manual transmission option. Whether its 5 or 6 speed, this needs to be available for consumers.

    • Evosoul says:

      Daryl, it is unfortunate that Management decided to go with a more CVT centric product line up. It is my hope that they expand to a 5 speed and 6 speed option accordingly for the EVO X and Ralliart as well.

      Unfortunately, production has already been set for the AWC, so time will tell if this strategy of simplified driving packages pays off. I own a CVT and I love it. But there are certain disadvantages as well. The main thing is, you can’t tow with a CVT transmission. :( Something that people tend to do a lot here in Canada where I am from.

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