2008 Lancer Evolution GSR

Sam Smith
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I drove preproduction examples of this car last summer in Japan, I drove some of the first production Evo Xs this winter, and I've been behind the wheel of a couple of other Evos in the months since. Nothing has changed: I'm still flat-out amazed at what Mitsubishi has made this car do, astounded at how much capability and enjoyment they've packed into such a low price tag. Dollar for dollar, this car impresses me more than Nissan's GT-R.

There are niggling faults, to be sure--the interior quality still isn't a patch on the stuff in Subaru's WRX, fifth gear is both entirely too tall and entirely too short (it's boomy at highway speeds and cranking a huge 4000 rpm, but the gap between fourth and fifth gear is still ridiculously huge), and the Evo X isn't quite as involving or communicative as the Evo VIII or IX. But in terms of steering feel, chassis balance, and sheer genius-making capability, it's got everything else at the price beat six ways from Sunday. What a hoot.

Sam Smith, Associate Editor

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