The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has made a return after one year off the market. This cult hit has been tamed a bit by its expulsion from the Mitsubishi line, but this is no domesticated animal. The turbocharged engine still packs a fierce roar, and the handling is almost as nimble as it has ever been. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is one of the best sedans on the market, its only competitor the Nissan WRX STI.
ody Styles: four-door high-performance compact sedan
Engines: turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, Six-speed automated-clutch manual transmission
Models: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR
The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution a one-year hiatus. The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is redesigned much like the regular Lancer but with a turbocharged engine, new automated-clutch sequential-shift manual transmission and new features.
The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has an aggressively-styled exterior. Most striking is the blackened grille and edgy sheet metal. It is based on the redesign of the regular Mitsubishi Lancer but with some minor exterior tweaks and a high performance engine. This year’s Lancer Evolution has a slightly longer wheelbase than in previous years. The longer wheelbase means that the vehicle weighs a bit more than its predecessor, cutting down on the performance quality of the vehicle.
Standard features on the GSR trim line includes a rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, rear defogger, dusk sensing headlamps, and fog lamps. The main differences in the two trim lines are performance based. The wheels are of a different alloy, there is a larger rear wing, and the shocks are a bit softer.
The interior of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a lot less flashy than the exterior would lead you to believe. The interior does have Recaro sport bucket seats, alloy foot pedals, and sporty gauges that differ and bit from the regular Lancer. The Recaro seats are very comfortable, even when speeding into a curve. However, there aren’t any height adjustments, which may be annoying to larger driver. Most of the interior features are modeled after those offered on the regular Lancer. This is a bit annoying, especially since the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution carries a heftier price tag. Standard features include cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, and a six-speaker audio system with a single-CD player built into the dash. The MR trim line adds Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel audio controls. Again, the main differences between the two trim lines appear in performance and styling of the exterior.
Performance & Handling
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 291 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. The GSR engine is wed with a five-speed manual transmission. The MR has the option of a new six-speed automatic manual transmission with an automated clutch. The vehicle is all-wheel drive. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is really a sport car more than anything else. The all-wheel-drive system gives the driver the impression of amazing control in a variety of different driving situations. Steering isn’t quite as good on the 2008 model as it was in the previous Evolution, but it is still capable. The MR has a bit of a softer ride than the GSR. The paddle shifting gives the driver ultimate control and is a must for those drivers looking for a little more control over their drive and a really sporty feel. Although previous Evolution owners may feel a bit of drop in performance quality, they’ll still be impressed by the way the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution handles itself.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has front seat side-airbags, full-length side curtains, and knee bolster airbags. All trim lines receive four-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability control, and handling technologies. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has not been tested in any government crash tests. The regular Lancer faired pretty well, however, scoring five stars for driver-side impact, and four stars for passenger-side impacts. The IIHS gave the regular Lancer its top score of ""good"" for front and side impacts.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR: 17/22 mpg city/highway
- Great chassis
- Turbocharged engine
- Lots of standard features
- Automatic-clutch gearbox available
You Won't Like
- Tilt-only steering wheel limits maneuverability
- Standard Lancer materials are inherited
A bit more subdued than its predecessor but still beats most of its competition.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Nissan 350Z
- Ford Mustang
- Subaru WRX STI