I left work after midnight on my evening with the Evo MR Touring, but I still couldn't resist the fun of bombing down a couple of greasy, potholed gravel roads at 70 mph or so. The Evo isn't the most enjoyable car to drive in town or on the highway, but it really comes into its own where the traffic thins out and the roads open up, particularly if those roads could be considered for a rally-racing stage. Few cars offer as much fun and all-weather thrust. The powertrain is still laggy and the dual-clutch gearbox's clutches still behave strangely, but the latter issue is better sorted than it was in our now-departed Four Seasons Evo MR.
Where the new MR Touring trim level really improves the breed, though, is in its interior refinements. The leather-covered Recaro racing seats are very impressive, the new multicolor info screen between the tach and the speedo helps increase the car's feeling of value, and even the leather-wrapped handbrake handle makes the cabin feel more worthy of the Mitsubishi's $40,000-plus cost. The Touring may look a bit naked without the basket-handle rear wing, but I like the unobstructed view in the rearview mirror. My biggest complaint about the Evo--its awkward driving position--remains, but I'm confident that a telescoping steering column would solve this problem.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor