Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

The 5-seat Lancer comes in two distinct body styles, with a few engines options and a couple of trim levels for each. Lancer ES models are powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder, producing 152 hp and mated to a standard 5-speed manual or an available continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The base Lancer ES comes with plenty of features, such as power windows, doors and mirrors, a 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with speed-compensated volume and equalization control, remote keyless entry and anti-theft immobilizer, a 12-volt power outlet, anti-lock brakes, passenger and driver airbags, a knee airbag and side-impact airbags.

The SE Lancer comes with all-wheel drive and the CVT transmission only. It gets alloy wheels, an upgraded stereo with a 6-inch touchscreen interface and Bluetooth and heated front seats.

The GT and SE come with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, which delivers 168 hp. The GT also gets 18-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded stereo with a touchscreen interface and SiriusXM satellite radio, proximity entry and automatic climate control.

The Lancer Ralliart gets a mild turbocharged version of the 2.0L engine. It aims to deliver the practicality of the basic Lancer with some of the fun-to-drive performance of its bigger brother, the Evolution. The Ralliart gets 237 hp and 253 lb-feet of torque. That power is put to all four wheels through Mitsubishi's advanced, rally-inspired Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST). The Ralliart includes fog lights, rear spoiler, sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels and a limited-slip differential at both the front and the rear. The Ralliart is also available with a couple of nice options, including a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate system, a navigation system and Recaro sport seats.

The Lancer Sportback is the wagon variant. Available trimmed similar to the sedan ES and GT trims, designers kept functionality in mind as much as sportiness and gave it a cargo floor that can be lowered three inches for more space and a rear door that extends all the way to the bumper for loading heavy or cumbersome gear.

The top-of-the-performance-heap Lancer Evolution is an impressive performance sedan by any measure. It features a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 291 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque, front and rear limited-slip differentials and a high-tech electronically controlled center differential. Mitsubishi used its knowledge and experience on the rally circuit to perfect the computer-controlled all-wheel drive system found in the Evolution and the result is impressive levels of control and safety even at high speed. The Lancer Evolution is available with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a twin clutch 6-speed. The Evo comes in two trims, a base GSR and an uplevel TC-SST MR.

The Evolution is well-enough equipped, but as a nod to its stripped-down razor-sharp racecar aesthetic, the car comes relatively spartan, given its price point. The GSR Evo does, however, come with 18-inch Enkei alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama ADVAN performance tires, lightweight aluminum body panels, a large rear spoiler, fog lamps, active stability control, anti-lock brakes, Recaro seats and automatic climate control.

The MR comes with a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, Eibach springs and Bilstein shocks, HID headlamps and BBS forged alloy wheels.

The Sight and Sound package adds a proximity entry system and a Rockford-Fosgate stereo. A Touring package adds leather seat trim, a chrome grille, rain sensing wipers, heated mirrors and a power sunroof. Navigation and interior LED illumination are also available as installed accessory options.

Editors' Review

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I knew this day was coming. My last hurrah in a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution before it disappears from showrooms. The Japanese carmaker said this generation of the Evolution, its tenth, would be the last. For sport-compact car enthusiasts who thought that the announcement may have just been a cruel joke, the release of this special Final Edition model is proof positive that the end of Mitsubishi's rally-bred high-performance sedan has become reality.

Losing the Evo bums me out even though I've never been a huge fan of the current model. I love the Evolution IX for its emotion-rich drive character, gonzo performance and fitting boy-racer looks, yet in all my experiences with the Evo X -- mostly in MR trims with a not-so-great dual-clutch transmission -- it never quite spoke to me like its predecessor.

Am I missing something about the Evo X? I'm using this last go with a five-speed-manual-equipped Final Edition to find out by taking it on a short road trip and to the race track. Maybe I'll finally come to terms with this last Evo? Or maybe I'll still be disappointed and continue my casual search for good-condition Evo IX for my own garage.

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The Good Mitsubishi gives a proper sendoff to the Lancer Evolution by making the Final Edition the most powerful and track-worthy production model ever.

The Bad Away from the circuit, the Evolution remains difficult to live with on a daily basis, terrible on-road comfort and a dated cabin devoid of modern infotainment and safety tech.

The Bottom Line Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution is a throwback performance sedan best appreciated by hardcore enthusiasts.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 5
  • Design 7
  • Media 4

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