Another Evo, another shocking price tag. At $41,710, I don't know what kind of buyer would spring for this no-options MR Touring model. Sure, it's loaded with features, but some of them, such as the automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers, are just silly. I can only imagine that Mitsubishi is shooting itself in the foot by making the Evolution packaging so strange. Instead of the three-trim setup currently offered, Mitsubishi should mimic the Subaru Impreza WRX STI strategy by offering just one trim level.
The Lancer Evolution should start at less than $35,000 with a six-speed manual transmission. Stand-alone options should include the twin-clutch transmission, navigation, and the two larger spoilers. A touring package would include heated seats, automatic climate control, and a power sunroof. A technology package would tack on xenon headlamps, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and keyless ignition.
Of course, once you get behind the wheel, you forget all about the Evo's price. The nimble handling and instant-on power make this car a blast when darting around the city or scrambling down a rural road. Turn-in is quick, and the all-wheel drive keeps the Evo incredibly stable in high-speed corners. The car always feels planted, giving the driver confidence. However, as the speeds increase, steering feedback slowly disappears. Compared with the transmission in our long-term 2008 Lancer Evolution, the transmission in this 2010 model feels a bit more natural when creeping and when the clutch is engaging at parking-lot speeds. However, I'm still waiting for the dual-clutch gearbox that can jump off the line with serious authority.
Looking at an Evo without the giant rear wing is a bit disconcerting. While that fixture blocks rearward vision a bit, it really adds character to the feisty Mitsubishi. On the other hand, the extremely subtle lip spoiler on the MR Touring gives you a feeling that you're attracting much less attention when you drive around. In a car this fast, that's always a good thing.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor