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2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ. (Cars Worth Noting).

Remember the aptly named Mitsubishi Mirage? Yea, thought so. For 2002 Mitsu replaces the Mirage with the Lancer -- a car that has built quite a World Rally racing heritage, hence the OZ Rally version of this 4-door sedan. But don't be in a hurry to pull on your helmet and driving gloves. This is not the winged, turboed Lancer Evolution that the rally cars are based on. What we have here is one well-built solid little car that's dressed up as a rally car.

The OZ package consists of 15-inch OZ alloy wheels, front and rear bumper extensions and side air dams, brushed interior accents, embroidered OZ Rally floor mats, Lancer EVO VII-style white-faced gauges and OZ Rally Edition badging.

OZ costume aside, the Lancer is a good car. Mitsu engineers built a body that's 50-percent more rigid than the previous model and provides outstanding frontal, side-impact and rear-end collision protection. These refinements are evident from behind the wheel. Thrn in is sharp with virtually no body flex. Lancer is also very quiet on the road for a car in this class. The 120 hp 2.0L inline four pulls 130 pounds-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. Mated to the 5-speed manual, the Lancer accelerates impressively.

The interior is plenty roomy for five. But the one who daydreams of Lancer EVOs wasn't very impressed by this Lancer. The design is plain-jane three-box. The padded shifter feels big and bulky. If Mitsubishi is trying to catch a share of the new "hot hatch" generation, they'll need to add more EVO to the OZ.

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Comment:2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ. (Cars Worth Noting).
Author:Peter, John
Publication:Automotive Industries
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2001
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