2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

The 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution's biggest claim to technology is its appearance in the video game Need for Speed. Prized in real and virtual forms among gamers, the Evo, as it's known, doesn't employ much cockpit technology. Like the Subaru WRX STi, the Mitsubishi Evo, Generation IX, focuses on speed and handling, making it a potent rally car. The highly tuned engine delivers its power via a six-speed manual transmission and employs an interesting structural technology to reduce weight and increase aerodynamic efficiency.

Upside: The 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is all about performance, as the engine gets a bump in horsepower from 265 to 280. The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine employs variable valve timing via Mitsubishi's MIVEC system to increase its efficiency and gives it 3 percent better fuel economy than the previous model. Plus, the engine includes an intercooler and a turbocharger. A six-speed manual transmission provides the driver with a good range of gear choices, and it can go from 0 to 62mph in 5.7 seconds. To reduce weight, the hard top and hood are made from aluminum, which has the added benefit of lowering the car's center of gravity. Similarly, the big rear spoiler is made from carbon fiber, again reducing weight to the parts of the car that are higher off the ground. A row of short fins sits on the trailing edge of the roof to help diffuse the airflow riding over the Evo.

Downside: For cockpit electronics, the most that the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution can boast is an available six-disc CD changer with six speakers and a subwoofer. It lacks such techie options as navigation or Bluetooth. Similarly, you won't find high-tech safety equipment, such as an active headlight system. Although we appreciate the efficiencies in the power train, handling isn't helped by electronics other than ABS and an electronic-stability program, something that's become pretty run-of-the-mill these days.

Outlook: There isn't really a compelling argument for the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Although Generation IX is a significant improvement upon the previous year's model, it falls behind the Subaru WRX STi--which should be priced in the same ballpark--in performance. And that's going to be its biggest problem, since beyond its video game looks, performance is all the Evo has to offer.

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