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by Brett Davis

Mitsubishi will expand its all-wheel drive line-up in the US in a bid to increase annual Mitsubishi sales up to 100,000 units. The all-wheel drive model, to be called the Mitsubishi Lancer SE, will join the Ralliart Lancer and Lancer Evolution in terms of driveline layout.

(Mitsubishi Lancer SX shown for illustration purposes only)

Unlike the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Ralliart editions, the Lancer SE will not showcase a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Instead, the SE will come with a normally aspirated four-cylinder unit, like the Lancer DE and ES variants in the US.

Prices for the SE will start at around $US20,000 ($19,900), making it the cheapest all-wheel drive Lancer on offer compared with the next cheapest all-wheel drive, the Ralliart, which starts at $US27,000 ($26,900).

Mitsubishi Motors North America CEO Yoichi Yokozawa said in a recent Automotive News report that the company is planning to ramp up annual sales back to a 100,000-unit mark, a figure last reached in 2007. He says the new Lancer SE will help Mitsubishi achieve the goal. Yokozawa said,

“We are quickly recovering from the bottom years of 2009 and 2010. We want to be getting back as quickly as possible to 100,000 units in a few years.”

Mitsubishi is currently on track to sell around 73,000 cars by the end of the financial year ending in March. So far this year, from January to July, Mitsubishi has sold 52,087 cars. The figure is already up 62 per cent compared with last year’s efforts.

Yokozawa also said sales are expected to rise thanks to a range of new advertising campaigns coming out later this year.