Finn Harri Rovanpera will lead Mitsubishi's challenge on their return to world rallying next year.
Panizzi has been kept on for his speed on asphalt
Rovanpera, who has driven for Peugeot since 2001, will compete in all rounds, while France's Gilles Panizzi and Italy's Gigi Galli share the other car.
Mitsubishi quit in the middle of 2004 to spend time developing their car.
"For 2006 our aim is to claim the world title again. I feel those objectives are on track," said Mitsubishi motorsport boss Isao Torii.
"The championship is more and more dominated by gravel rallies and we need a driver who knows all these events very well.
"Harri Rovanpera is a good loose-surface driver, especially on the high-speed events."
Torii said he had appreciated Panizzi's patience throughout a difficult 2004.
"Gilles has been incredibly supportive of the team and has contributed enormous amounts to our development programme," Torii said.
"We did not give him the car to challenge (in 2004) but next year we have big expectations and see him as a potential winner on tarmac."