For fans of rally racing, there are really two primary brands of cars to choose from, Mitsubishi and Subaru – the latter has lead the competition until Mitsubishi really stepped up its game. Enter in the 2011 Ralliart and you’ll see that Mitsubishi is serious about this very fun market segment.
- 2.0-liter, 237-horsepower MIVEC turbocharged intercooled engine
- All Wheel Control (AWC) full-time all-wheel drive system
- 6-speed Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST)
- RALLIART tuned suspension with front strut tower bar
- Auto-off halogen headlamps
- Black upper and lower grille with large chrome surround
- 18-inch alloy wheels with Yokohama® Advan P215/45R18 summer tires
- Color keyed outside door handles and side mirrors
- Color-keyed rear spoiler and aero package
- Clear and black tail lights
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake handle
- Color LCD multi-information displaay
- Covered front cup holders and center console storage
- Fuse Handsfree Link System with USB port
- 6-way adjustable driver’s seat
- Power windows, side view mirrors and door locks
- FAST-Key electronic keyless entry and starting system
- Variable intermittent windshield wipers
- 140-watt CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers and DSP control
- Active Stability Control (ASC)
- 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
- Seven-airbag safety system including a driver’s knee airbag
- Height-adjustable headrests and 3-point seatbelts in all three rear seat positions
It’s turbo 4-cylinder motor churns out 237hp and 253 lb-ft of torque and is mated to one of the coolest transmissions I’ve ever driven – the twin-clutch SST, an automatic tranny that acts like a clutchless manual – go between normal and sport modes and you’ll soon see why it’s such a desirable feature amongst performance enthusiasts. Driving this car is liken to being a kid and driving one of those early go-carts – you know the kind with the lawnmower motor? Not at all that this car is to be compared with a lawnmower, but it can provide that same sort of adrenaline rush with a very nice combination of power and handling.
The interior won’t win any awards for luxury but it feels very appropriate for this kind of vehicle – the seats offer good support and adjustability. Our Ralliart had the leather interior with the front heated seats which is a very nice touch – especially nice up here in the colder Northwest. The dash, while basic, has all the functionality one needs – it feels very utilitarian – once again, appropriate to the cars intent.
Everything is in easy reach from the driver’s seat and gives a nice feeling of control and function to the driver. It is a bit skimpy, however on certain creature comforts such as larger cup holders and that sort of junk – but then again, who buys a Rallisport and worries about cup-holders? 😛
The Rockford Fosgate sound system is a bit of a let down, considering the pedigree of Fosgate (I used to sell/install car audio many moons ago and have always appreciated their equipment) – when you consider there are cars from other auto makers using other brands that offer far superior quality. Having said that, however, I’m sure it still sounds “good enough’ for most people out there.
The all-wheel-drive system is very slick – as I mention in the video, there are three different modes you can select from which really just alter the front-to-rear drive bias; during my time with the car, I kept it on tarmac. If you’ve never driven an all-wheel-drive car hard through corners than you dont’ know what you’re missing – it’s a feeling of control and performance that’s a bit hard to put into words – just go test one out and you’ll see what I’m talking about. There is almost no slippage or feeling that you’re going to lose control – the AWD simply takes ownership of hard corners, not to mention can make short work out of driving through the snow as well.
If this car was a bottle of wine, it’d be a Rhone varietal – one with good complexity and enough acids to handle the hard turns certain food-types can throw at it.
I’d highly encourage you to get out and test drive one of these today.