Mitsubishi Motors has finally released photos of the all but production-ready Lancer hatchback, the model that will take it back into the hard-fought European C-segment hatchback market segment dominated by models such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

The Prototype-S sport hatchback 'concept' will make its world debut at the Geneva motor show next week.

This is the car of which, Mitsubishi Motors Europe (MME) president and CEO Tim Tozer said in an interview at Geneva last year: "Without a C-segment, four or five door, petrol or diesel car in your line-up, you miss out on a huge chunk of the market.

"Our product line-up, until we have C-segment, doesn't fully cover the marketplace. Our product coverage today is 33%. When we have a C-segment sedan and five-door hatchback our product coverage will grow to 50% overnight. So then you're covering the market to a far greater degree and then you can grow the business."

The hatchback is derived from the Lancer sedan (Galant Fortis in Japan) since launched worldwide. It effectively replaces the five-door Lancer last sold globally in the mid-90s.

The Geneva show car has 215/45R19 tyres on 19-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels and showcases the new 240ps two-litre MIVEC1 I4 DOHC intercooled/turbocharged engine that will also power the Lancer Ralliart sedan due to go on sale in North America next summer.

The engine is coupled to Mitsubishi's Twin Clutch SST 2 automated manual transmission and the full-time 4WD driveline has the automaker's active centre differential (ACD) that uses an electronically controlled multi-plate hydraulic clutch to optimally tailor front/rear drive torque vectoring to different driving conditions and deliver the best balance between steering response and traction.