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Expect a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable (CVT) automatic with six ratios on command through a manual mode; front- and all-wheel-drive versions are likely. The Outlander Sport is expected to get electric power steering, like its international counterparts, and should have fuel economy figures solidly in the 30s.
The name might be a little confusing at first, but it's part of Mitsubishi's plan to find its way again in the U.S. market. Just as Mitsubishi has a full family of Lancer vehicles in the U.S.—including the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer, Lancer GTS, Lancer Ralliart, Lancer Ralliart Sportback, and the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, the automaker also plans to have multiple versions (and body styles) with the Outlander name. Just as Subaru has long sold its Outback (Legacy-based) and Outback Sport (an Impreza trim), Mitsubishi will capitalize on the name recognition of its two most critically acclaimed models.
The automaker foreshadowed this strategy this year with the introduction of the 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT—a specially equipped version of the Outlander and the only one to get the Evolution's sophisticated Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC), with special Tarmac and Snow settings and the capability to vary torque delivery from left to right as well as front to back.