Two of the biggest issues we had with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR we tested for a year were the huge rear wing and the awkward dual-clutch transmission. The MR Touring addresses the wing by reducing it to a small lip on the trunk lid, greatly improving rearward visibility. Transmission tuning is also revised, although it still hesitates to engage first gear when leaving a stop while the car is cold. After everything is up to operating temperature, the gearbox responds better than our MR's did, however. Still, for many enthusiasts, there's still no substitute for a clutch pedal.
Other changes in the Touring include nicer-looking instrumentation and a more accurate fuel gauge. I drove around for a weekend and never noticed the gas gauge dropping as suddenly as it did on our old MR, which meant you couldn't really tell if you'd need to refill the tank until the very last minute.
Any variant of the Evo on the short list of cars I'd really, really like to own. The MR Touring is especially worthy of consideration as a daily driver because of its smaller wing. A lot of people will dismiss the Evo as being too hard-core, but the Bilstein dampers and the Eibach springs strike a good balance between ride quality and handling. And now the MR Touring is just refined enough at highway speeds to make long trips bearable. It certainly takes a dedicated person to use an Evo as a daily driver, but the MR Touring should help to broaden the Evo's appeal.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor