Just as Concept-X (2005 Tokyo) and then Prototype-X (2007 Detroit) announced the new Lancer and Lancer Evolution X (ten), Prototype-S will follow in the footsteps of the much-acclaimed Concept-Sportback show car (2005 Frankfurt) to preview the shape of the forthcoming Lancer Sportback.
When launched later in the year, this 5-door hatchback variant of the new Lancer family will be the most important of all in Europe, representing 70% of the forecasted Lancer volume in the overall region and 80% in the UK. Sporting a powerful metallic orange – similar to the one selected for Lancer Ralliart at the Detroit Auto Show a few weeks ago – Prototype-S will add the convenience of a lift-gate and flexible rear seating to the driving dynamics of the new Lancer range. It will hit the same unconventional buttons as Lancer Sports Sedan, albeit in a hatchback format, benchmarking the likes of Alfa Romeo with the 156 / 159 Sportwagons (dynamic benchmark) and of Saab with the legendary Saab 900 Turbo Combi-Coupé (aspirational benchmark).
Mirroring this aspiration: a sporty wedge-like profile, sharply chiselled lines, assertive stance born from a long wheelbase and wide track proportions, a high-shouldered rear end and the very expressive rear roof spoiler will embody Mitsubishi’s vision for a flexible sports sedan in the C/D sector, away from the traditional hatchbacks.
Fittingly, Prototype-S will blend elements from Concept-Sportback (the overall concept), Lancer Evolution X (the execution) and Lancer Ralliart (240ps / 343 Nm 2.0 litre turbo engine, Twin Clutch SST gearbox, full-time 4WD drivetrain featuring Mitsubishi Motors’ Active Center Differential), as well as proposing a further evolution of Mitsubishi Motors’ Jet Fighter grille.