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Photos: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR

Although a little expensive for a boy racer, the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR combines impressive performance tech and surprising cabin, making a car that is extremely fun to drive.

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CNET Reviews staff
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The Evo made its reputation as a World Rally Car winner and a budget racer. This newest version, the 10th, is pricier than previous Evos, but brings in impressive cabin and performance tech.
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Mitsubishi first showed this 10th Evo at auto shows in 2007 as the Prototype-X concept. The production car varies little from the concept.
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The big grille serves as a much needed air scoop, cooling the high-revving engine and feeding the turbocharger.
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This little 2-liter four cylinder engine is surprisingly powerful, putting out 291 horsepower at 6,500rpm and 300 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000rpm. It gets this power from its turbocharger and variable-valve timing.
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The Evo is based on the same platform as Mitsubishi's econo-car, the Lancer. Even the body is basically the same, although the Evo gets many more performance touches.
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The Evo gets Brembo brakes standard, with necessary cooling vents in the fenders.
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The wing on the trunk is unique to the MR-trimmed Evo, as is the dual clutch transmission. The GSR trim has different aero-work and a manual transmission.
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The Evo also gets these fins under the back of the car, and a bright red MR badge for this trim.
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There isn't much trunks space, but the design gives easy access. The trunk also plays host to a 10-inch subwoofer.
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Recaro seats are standard in the Evo, but we weren't crazy about them. There is no height adjustment, and the seats are tipped up a little.
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The 10th Evo is probably the most luxurious ever--less Spartan than previous Evos.
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The leather steering wheel provides good grip when you're cranking the car around tight corners. It also offers buttons for the phone and audio system, when you're just cruising.
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Mitsubishi restricts the real gauges to tach and speedo, relying on the center display for fuel and temperature levels.
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The SST, or sport shift transmission, is impressive. It's a six-speed manual with two computer-controlled clutches. Its automatic Sport mode did very well in our testing.
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The navigation system comes with the technology package. It is hard drive-based, offering good-looking maps and quick calculations. Routes are shown as arrows overlaid on the road.
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To get at the disc slot, the LCD tilts down. You can play DVDs and WMA and MP3 CDs.
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You can set the system to automatically rip any CDs you insert to the hard drive. There is about 10 gigabytes of space for music. The system will tag CDs from its Gracenote database.
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The audio system is pretty raucous, pumping out a lot of volume with its subwoofer and 650-watt amp.
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You can dial phone numbers from a Bluetooth-paired phone on this screen or use voice command. You can also manually enter names in the phone book.
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The Evo has a few other functions in this head unit, including a lap-time counter and this information display, which includes an altimeter.

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