Mitsubishi updates 8-year old Lancer

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The current model Lancer has been with us for a while now, some 8 years in fact. Despite dropping the hardcore Evolution model, Mitsubishi isn’t quite finished with the car yet and have announced a host of changes for the 2016 model year.

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You could hardly call the changes drastic, as overall the 2016 Lancer still looks like the same car they introduced all those years ago, but it has been updated with a bolder front bumper that features vertical LED accents.

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If you think the updates at the front are nothing special, prepare to be underwhelmed around back – where it looks like precisely nothing has changed. Along the sides the Lancer now has mirrors with integrated turn signals and a flashy (optional) set of 18-inch wheels.

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Keeping in-line with the Lancer’s subtle exterior ‘nip and tuck’ update, the interior has received a similarly modest array of upgrades, including standard USB connectivity in a redesigned centre console, standard display audio, and a redesigned, optional infotainment system. In addition to the new standard features Mitsubishi will offer a colour LCD display in the instrument cluster, the LED running lights, and climate controlled air-conditioning on the base ES model.

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Thankfully, there’s a few additional changes to the drivetrains on offer, with Mitsubishi expanding the range of trim levels which will come standard with their All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive system – including SE and new SEL trims, and is available on the ES as an option. All AWD-equipped cars will come standard with the same CVT8 gearbox which we’ve seen before in the Outlander Sport and Outlander, while the base ES and more aggressive (style wise anyway) GT models will come with a five-speed manual as standard. Despite the new CVT, the engine lineup is otherwise unchanged for 2016.

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As if Mitsubishi dropping the Lancer Evolution models wasn’t bad enough, they’ve just announced that the slightly less hot Ralliart versions are also going to be given the flick. This is a bit of a shame, as the Ralliart offered all-wheel-drive, turbocharged power and the Evo’s dual-clutch transmission for healthy levels of performance, but it simply didn’t set the sales chart on fire.

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It is unknown how long Mitsubishi will continue to building the Lancer in the remaining trim levels, but what we do know is it will not be replaced in the future by an all new model. Mitsubishi has reportedly decided not to develop any more sedans because of severe competition within the segment, instead choosing to focus on more profitable SUVs, PHEVs and Electric vehicles.

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