The Mitsubishi Lancer is known by many names in different countries: Colt Lancer, Eagle Summit, Hindustan Lancer, Souesat Lioncel, Chrysler Valiant Lancer, and the Dodge Colt. Over six million Mitsubishi Lancers have been sold for the past 37 years, and it still continues to attract more enthusiasts because of its fun-to-drive characteristics.
1973 to 1979: First Generation
The A70 was the first Mitsubishi Lancer launched in 1973. It was marketed as a sporty sedan, which filled the gap between the Mitsubishi Minica and Galant. The Lancer was designed with a monocoque body and an aero-nose-line styling, which was an out-of-the-box concept in vehicle aerodynamics. Different engine variations were offered for the Lancer, ranging from 1.2-liters to 1.6 liter-fours. Mitsubishi offered 12 model variations for the Lancer to address a variety of consumer needs. The Lancer GSR 1600 made history by winning the Southern Cross Rally four times and the Safari Rally twice.
1979 to 1987: Second Generation
Mitsubishi opted to incorporate the “boxy-look” design for the Lancer EX, which allowed for a more spacious and brighter interior. A better, high-performance ventilation system was also adapted to improve interior comfort. By adopting a 4-link rear suspension system coupled with a stronger and lighter body, the Lancer EX was a quieter and smoother ride. The 1400cc MCA-JET Orion and 1600cc Saturn 80 engines were the two award-winning engines that powered the Lancer EX.
1988 to 2000: Third Generation
The Lancer Hatchback or the Mirage four-door sedan followed an aero-wedge shape, which made it aerodynamically stable. Mitsubishi wanted to tap the family market and it gave the consumers spacious rear seating, double-action seating, an accessible rear ledge shelf, and a larger trunk capacity. A 1600cc, V6 DOHC, and a 24-valve engine were some of the engine sizes offered during this generation. The new Lancer was a perfect car for families with very active lifestyles.
2000 to 2007: Fourth Generation
The “Century Diamond” or the Lancer Cedia, was revamped with a new look. A new truncated tail design and diamond-cut nose improved the Lancer’s aerodynamics and rearward visibility. The high-rigidity body gave the Lancer an energy-absorbing front section, as well as a strong occupant cell to provide the best crash protection. Mitsubishi’s advanced GDI engine, allowed for a more fuel-efficient and sporty performance. Mitsubishi also adopted an extended wheelbase into the Lancer’s design. This allows for a larger tire to have a tighter turning radius. A trailing arm-type, multi-link rear suspension system, gave the Mitsubishi Lancer a better running, handling, and stability while driving.
2007 to Present: Fifth Generation
Combining the Concept-X and Concept-Sportback designs revealed at the 2005 Frankfurt and Tokyo Motor Show, the new Lancer or Mitsubishi Galant Fortis was officially unveiled in 2007, at the Detroit Motor Show. Sporting Mitsubishi’s next-generation RISE safety body, the new Lancer has five engine variants, a 1.5-liter, 1.8-liter, 2.0-liter, and 2.4-liter DOHC, to choose from. It also has a 5-speed manual, INVEC-II 4-speed automatic, and INVECS-III CVT automatic transmissions. For the Lancer Ralliart trim, it has a 6-speed twin-clutch transmission, 7 airbags, 8-speaker stereo system, Adaptive Front-lighting system (AFS), HID headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a Ralliart body kit. Mitsubishi is also planning to develop future eco-friendly vehicles based on the Lancer family car.