New Car Reviews

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo MR – Four Seasons Review

Long-Term 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Update: Fall 2008 Array Miles to date: 0

When the rally-bred Evolution arrived here in 2003, it was hailed as a raw performance machine that delivered supercar thrills for family-car money. We even named it our 2004 Automobile of the Year. For 2008, there’s an all-new Evo. But, as in life, with age comes additional weight, and maturity brings refinement and dampens youthful energy.

Naturally, we were anxious to find out if the Evo has gone soft. We chose a top-spec MR model for our fleet, eager to test its exclusive six-speed dual-clutch transmission, which quickly became the subject of much discussion. The gearbox can be manually shifted with steering-wheel paddles or a traditional gear lever, but many still yearn for the man/machine bond of a true manual.

The MR’s standard equipment includes Bluetooth, automatic climate control, HID headlights, Recaro seats, and eighteen-inch forged wheels. With the $2550 technology package, our Evo sports a Rockford Fosgate stereo, satellite radio, and a nav system, but its sticker still shocked many staffers. The Evo GSR, with its five-speed manual transmission and $33,665 base price, is a better choice for purists and the budget conscious.

All of that growing up has made the Evo slightly less edgy than the smaller, lighter, and crazier last-generation Evo. But the soul of the car remains, with phenomenal grip, excellent balance, and direct steering that will surely keep us entertained for the next year.

712 miles “Nothing compares with hustling the Mitsubishi Evo through some curves,” enthuses senior Web editor Phil Floraday. “The incredible grip and quick turn-in make the car feel lighter than it is. The Evo is so easy to control and so dynamically forgiving that even a complete doofus can look good behind the wheel.”

Evolution MR

Base Price: $38,965
As Tested: $41,515

Body Style: 4-door sedan
Accommodation: 5 passenger
Construction: Steel unibody

Engine: DOHC 16-valve turbocharged I-4
Displacement: 2.0 liters
Power: 291 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 300 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic
Drive: All-wheel
Fuel Economy: 17/22/19 (city/highway/combined)

Steering: Power rack-and-pinion
Turns lock-to-lock: 2.27
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft
Suspension, Front: Strut-type, coil spring
Suspension, Rear: Multi-link, coil-spring
Brakes, F/R: Ventilated disc, two-piece rotor/ventilated disc; ABS
Wheels: 18 x 8.5 in BBS forged alloy
Tires: Yokohama ADVAN
Tire size: 245/40YR-18

Headroom F/R: 40.6/36.9 in
Legroom F/R: 42.3/33.3 in
Shoulder room F/R: 54.7/54.3 in
Wheelbase: 104.3 in
Track F/R: 60.8/60.8 in
L x W x H: 177 x 71.3 x 58.3 in
Cargo Capacity: 6.9 cu ft
Weight: 3594 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 57.4/42.6%
Fuel Capacity: 14.5 gallons
Est. Range: 275 miles
Fuel Grade: 91 octane

Standard Equipment
Front, side, side curtain, and knee airbags
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Front and rear limited slip Differentials
Active center differential
Bluetooth handsfree communication
Automatic A/C
Cruise Control
Recaro front sports seats
HID headlights

Technology Package, $2550
   Navigation with 30 GB hard drive
   650-watt Rockford-Fosgate 9-speaker sound system with subwoofer
   Sirius satellite radio

Test Results:
0-60 MPH: 5.3sec
0-100 MPH: 14.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.1 @ 99 mph
30-70 Passing: 6.3 sec
Speed in Gears: 1) 45; 2) 82; 3) 108; 4) 100; 5) 100 mph
Cornering L/R: 0.97/0.96 g
70-0 Braking: 156 ft
Peak Braking: 1.06