Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart Version R Teases US Hatch Fans From Afar

2007 Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart Version R - If only we could get it here...

So, the big news this year is the resurgence of the subcompact car in the US. Here, the Nissan Versa, Honda Fit and Scion xB are the unofficial flag-bearers in the burgeoning segment. Abroad, however, there's another player: the Mitsubishi Colt. Yesterday, the powers-that-be at Mitsu dropped two spicy new Ralliart variants into the Japanese market.

The most notable addition comes in the form of the Colt Ralliart Version R, a hotted-up version of the Colt that is powered by a 154 hp 1.5 liter MIVEC four-cylinder, which is joined to either a Getrag 5-speed manual or the INVECS-III 6-CVT. The exterior gets aggressive styling cues in the form of a deep and purposeful front spoiler, Ralliart badging, hood intake, blacked-out fender flares and rocker panels, a high-mount spoiler and a sporty rear bumper treatment. It rides on 16" seven-spoke wheels, which hide 15" brake discs in front and 14-inchers in back. Inside, Recaro seating, aluminum trimmed pedals, and a leather-wrapped shifter (for the 5-speed) round out the hihghlights.

The Version R is joined in the marketplace by the Colt Plus Ralliart (pictured at right), which applies the same powertrain and similar interior enhancements to the more practical Colt Plus wagon. Its exterior styling is slightly more subdued than the hot-rodded Version R.

In my opinion, one thing is certain: Mitsubishi needs to put the steering wheel on the left side and export this bad boy to the States. How long would it take for Honda to answer with a Fit Si?

Imagine how fun that would be...

You can check out more angles (and download wallpaper) at the Colt Ralliart Version R minisite.

Source: Mitsubishi Media Svcs (JP)