Run to the Sun — Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart

NWAPA

Imagine driving a very cool new car for a distance between 9 to 25 miles, getting out and then into another very cool car for another 9 to 25 mile leg and then repeating the same routine through 23 cars in a two day period.

NWAPA

Welcome to the 2010 NWAPA (Northwest Automotive Press Association) Run to the Sun held recently in western Washington.? After 23 cars and more than 450 miles of smiles, here are our quick impressions of the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart.

The Mitsubishi Sportback Ralliart is like the Blackberry of small cars.? Other cars, like many of the popular cell phones, are long on fun apps and games, but the Ralliart, like the Blackberry, is purposeful and businesslike.? The Ralliart?s business is driving precision and performance.? As the son of the famous Mitsubishi Evolution (EVO) X, the Ralliart derives much of its powertrain and all-wheel drive technology from the more hardcore EVO. ?The result is a 5.5-second 0 to 60 mph acceleration time from the 237-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with the twin-clutch Sportronic Shift transmission.? We like the way the large paddle shifters are mounted on the steering column, rather than on the wheel, so you always know where the shifters are.? The Ralliart is sprung a little softer than the EVO, but it handles better than most anything on the road. The sophisticated All-Wheel Control system allows the driver to select the terrain and a helical limited-slip front differential and a mechanical limited-slip rear differential to help optimize side-to-side torque distribution.? The Sportback Ralliart pricing starts at $28,310.

See the other 22 ?Run to the Sun? Cars here.