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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

June 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Auto


Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionMention the name Mitsubishi and most folks won’t take any notice as the maker’s car lineup is nondescript and essentially aims at Mr. and Mrs. Middle-of-the -Road. Mention the magical name ‘Mitsubishi EVO’ or ‘Evolution’ and suddenly ears perk up – especially from the car enthusiast crowd. This is a special car that has been designed to excel in one thing only, which is to go extremely fast from corner to corner! Here’s a car that earned its street cred competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and has four world titles on its belt, thanks to rally driver Tommi Mäkinen.

Now in its fourth generation, the EVO is packed with the latest go-fast hardware that allows it to compete in a rarified crowd that includes Porsche 911, BMW M3, Mercedes AMG, and other supercars. Its main rival with similar performance and pricing is the Subaru STI, which is also built off a humble compact econobox. Having driven both, the Mitsu EVO is the more extreme and satisfying car for hard-core performance. Using the compact Mitsubishi Lancer sedan as its platform, the EVO adds a high-strung 2-Litre turbo-charged engine with intercooler, which brings horsepower up to 291 and torque to a very strong 300 lb. ft. – a killer combo when taking into account that the car weighs under 3,600 pounds.

The Lancer Evolution GSR, which is the base grade, gets the standard 5-speed manual transmission, while the higher grade MR is equipped with the 6-speed automated Dual Clutch (TC-SST) transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters for lightning-quick shifts. For a car that has fast reflexes and a lively chassis that revels in sideways cornering styles, the dual clutch transmission is actually preferable, as the driver can operate the transmission via the steering wheel paddles and not have the hands off the helm during banzai manoeuvres! Talking about the chassis, the EVO’s suspension with forged aluminium arms is fully modified and tuned with very aggressive settings for total driver enjoyment and exploitation. The MR grade adds performance name brands like Eibach for the springs and Bilstein for the shock absorbers, which take the handling performance to an even higher level that can terrorize Ferrari and Lamborghini drivers in twisty road sections. High-performance brakes with strong stopping power and fade-free performance are also part of the package. The one other crucial power train component that really makes the Mitsubishi EVO is the Super All-Wheel Control full-time all-wheel-drive system that incorporates tricks like Active Yaw Control and front limited slip differential that allows the power to get to the road in a very effective manner. It is one of the most confidence-aspiring systems in the marketplace, allowing the driver to feel comfortable with the car at high speeds and able to fully exploit the chassis and engine performance almost with very little learning. Supporting the driver firmly are Recaro seats – mandatory when you consider the very high cornering and braking limits the EVO is capable of.

Rumours have been spreading around the Internet about the future of Mitsubishi’s Evolution and its eventual demise due to ever-tightening fuel mileage regulations and relevance in the marketplace. Let’s hope that the powers that be continue to let the EVO evolve to another generation as the franchise has earned a rightful place in the automotive world.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

Engine: 2.0-L 4-Cylinder Turbo / Intercooled
Horsepower: 291 @ 6,500 r.p.m.
Torque: 300 lb. ft. @ 4,000 r.p.m.
Fuel economy L/100km: City – 12.9 / Hwy – 9.0
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission / 6-Speed Dual Clutch
Drivetrain: Full-Time All-Wheel-Drive with Torque Vectoring
Base MSRP: $41,998


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