Want a dual clutch transmission in your Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, but lack the scratch to spring for the high-end Evolution MR or MR Touring? Your problems may be solved with the new 2011 Lancer Evolution Special Edition, which, at $36,445, is the cheapest way to buy an Evo with the six-speed SST transmission.
From what Motor Trend tells us, the Evolution SE is essentially a mix of all three Evo trim levels, including the base GSR, the MR, and the new MR Touring. The car keeps a number of features from the GSR (including the cloth Recaro seats) to keep costs down, but adds a number of premium items typically found on the MR models. Perhaps the most notable additions are the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the Bilstein dampers typically found on the MR Touring. Power from the turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 stays at 291 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, and the SE is still equipped with Mitsubishi's S-AWC all-wheel-drive system.
Cosmetically, the car is assuredly a Franken-Evo. The Lancer Evolution SE uses the front fascia from the base Evolution GSR, along with its wheels and black side vents, but it does receive the rear lip spoiler from the MR Touring. Cloth Recaro seats are standard, and Mitsubishi's navigation system -- shown in these photos -- remains an option.
At $36,445, the Lancer Evolution SE is about $2000 more than a GSR, but if you're hankering for that slick transmission, this is the way to do it on a budget. MR models -- previously the only Evo to use the transmission -- typically run $5000 more than the entry-level Evo.
Look for the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution SE to arrive at dealerships nationwide this September.
Source: Motor Trend