The second-generation Mitsubishi Lancer was offered here from 1980 to 1988. Its distinctive angular styling earned it the nickname ‘box-type.’ It was fairly simple, easy to maintain, and quite sporty, particularly if you opted for the GSR and newer GT variants. This Lancer was a certified ’80s icon. But as succeeding generations grew larger and more sophisticated, the nameplate quietly faded away.
Since we’re fans of the good old days here at Top Gear Philippines, we began playing around with the idea of Mitsubishi bringing back the Lancer as a modern-day box-type.
We decided to make our modern box-type Lancer a subcompact sedan that would sit above the Mirage G4 sedan. This lighter, downsized Lancer would measure 4,440mm by 1,735mm by 1,475mm, and ride on a 2,591mm wheelbase. Compared to the G4, it would be longer, wider, and lower, giving it a sportier profile and a roomy interior.
Up front, it gets a toned-down version of Mitsubishi’s new Dynamic Shield corporate face. Squarish headlight clusters recall those of the ’80s model. The main lower grille is flanked by small side intakes, a layout inspired by the front bumper of the Lancer GT and Turbo variants.
Moving to the profile, the crisp character line, low beltline, large windows, and upright flat C-pillars are distinct heritage styling cues from the classic box-type. At the back, the taillights are modern LED interpretations of the boxy ’80s units, while the flat blacked-out section on the rear is a throwback to the old sporty variants. The rear foglights on the lower bumper panel is a subtle reference to the bumper-mounted reversing lights of the second-gen Lancer.
The front-wheel-drive architecture will borrow heavily from the Mirage and the Xpander. This means it has MacPherson struts with stabilizers up front and a lightweight torsion beam at the rear. This being a higher-level subcompact sedan with a sporty image, all variants will have standard four-wheel disc brakes.
The standard engine is the Xpander’s 1.5-liter 4A91 MIVEC gasoline mill, but tweaked to produce about 110hp. There will be a choice of either a five-speed manual or an INVECS-III CVT. But reviving the box-type wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t bring back the turbo version. The range-topping GSR Turbo variant will pack the Eclipse Cross’s 161hp 1.5-liter turbocharged 4B40 MIVEC powerplant.
If Mitsubishi were to build this modern box-type Lancer, would you consider it? Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think.