2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Review – the X-gen grows better, faster

Tuesday January 6th, 2009 at 3:11 PM
Posted by: kevinbfast

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
By Kevin Bowe

Pros

  • Quickness
  • Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC)
  • Nice components (Recaro seats, Rockford-Fosgate stereo, BBS wheels, Brembo brakes)

Cons

  • Rear wing creates blind spots making it hard to look out for cops
  • Cheap looking plastic gauges
  • Poor MPG

With November 4th behind us, it is clear that our great country isn’t happy with the road we’ve taken and decided to vote for a “change.” It’s far too early to know if this new road will take us to the promised destination, or whether back around over the same potholes we have already encountered. People voiced their concerns and the message is clear that traditional ways/beliefs aren’t good enough, and no longer shall people be limited to our traditional car enthusiasts’ backgrounds, whether be Ford, Chevy, or new rivals like Subaru and Mitsubishi. I too have decided to drive across the aisle and embrace my fellow Evo Americans to become one driver, one nation, without car manufacturer discrimination.

Decision 2008: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Yes I Can!!

Candidate – Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

Mitsubishi Motors is introducing the 2008 Lancer Evolution, the newest and most sophisticated version of the legendary high-performance model series that began 16 years ago. While remaining true to the core values that have made the Lancer Evolution synonymous with thrilling performance, the tenth-generation model offers all-around capability and user technology that distinguish the world’s best performance models.

The latest generation, Lancer Evolution X, showcases new performance and handling technology, including an all-new aluminum block 291-bhp 2.0-liter turbocharged/intercooled engine and the Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) dynamic handling system. S-AWC offers an extraordinary level of control at each wheel, performing well beyond the capabilities of other all-wheel drive systems.

Two Lancer Evolution models are offered in the U.S. market for 2008: the GSR with a new 5-speed manual transmission and the Lancer Evolution MR with a new 6-speed Twin-Clutch Sportronic® Shift Transmission (TC-SST), a new-generation automated manual transmission. The MR model is also equipped exclusively with Bilstein shock absorbers and Eibach springs, two-piece brake rotors for better heat dissipation, BBS forged-alloy wheels, HID headlamps and additional interior features.

Build

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR

Rice rockets are usually easily spotted, but if it weren’t for the Evo’s huge rear spoiler, it might catch some people sleeping at the light for any un-informed drag racers. The Evo’s new attitude is recognized beginning with its five brilliant color names. The one I drove was the Phantom Black Pearl, which is pretty clever, but also accurate. Being a registered Subaru WRX driver, I have always thought Subaru was on the right path when it came to the looks department, but the 2008 Evolution can definitely count on my swing vote in 2008. The Evo’s overall appearance has been toned down from previous models, but still provides very aggressive lines that are truly unique in what we see on the road. A shark-nosed front end inspired by jet fighter air intakes, a distinct wedge-like profile and crisp, taut lines highlight the basic new-generation Lancer design. Building on those themes, the 2008 Lancer Evolution looks the part of the street-wise sports machine with its unique front end, aggressively sloping hood with integral air scoop and engine heat outlets, and boxed fenders. My favorite feature is the gill-like strips surrounding the dual exhaust; it reminds me of the Enzo and other high-end super cars. Of course, we can’t forget the 18 inch BBS wheels, sporting Brembo brakes on its platform, which are always caucus favorites!

Interior Appointments

As you know, some candidates will say pretty much anything to get elected, so that’s why I’m more interested what they truly believe than whatever jargon they spew for everyone to see and hear. At first glance, the Evo seems to be put together very well from the plush, suede-feeling Recaro seats for both driver and passenger, to the 650-Watt, nine speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system that features a touch screen console, 30GB HDD Navigation w/ Music Server, and large subwoofer in the trunk. So, if people don’t see you flying down the road, they will definitely hear you!

When you get in, it feels more like a jet cockpit then a car, all the controls you need for take-off are right on the steering wheel within reach of your fingertips, such as stereo, phone, and paddle shifters. What else do you really need?!

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - Lancer Evo MR interior2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - Recaro seats2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - Rockford-Fosgate subwoofer

With all that said, there were a few traits that I didn’t expect to find in a car that otherwise seemed to spare no expense at the comfort and styling of the interior. I was really surprised at how the door panels and instrument gauges were so plastic looking and feeling. And anyone who thinks suede-like material ever goes well with plastic is really out of touch. Admittedly the Recaro seats are a little hard to get out of, but, then again, why would you ever want to get out of the driver seat?

Every time I tried to change the temperature or air flow, I thought I was going to accidentally break it off, something you should not have to worry about when you’re in mid-flight. Overall, even with those negatives, not to mention the abundant number of cup holders (my count was four), the interior is simple and very comfortable. I still feel they should’ve added a place to hold the vomit bags. Oh well.

Performance/Handling

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - 291 hp 2.0L turbocharged engine

Unlike this past election, which seemed to go on forever, this race was over as soon as I hit the gas! With a 2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 291 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, this car goes from looking pretty to pretty fast in no time. Mitsubishi claims the Evo does zero to 60 mph in four point six seconds. Now, I didn’t have a stopwatch with me, but from my experience, that sounds just about right. With quick smooth shifts, the Evo was almost too much power for me to handle. Good thing those big Brembo brakes can easily rein in the Evo X. Surprisingly, I found the Evo easy to handle while cornering. I loved how quickly the Evo responded to my demands and really gave me the impression that it was here for my enjoyment, of course I took full advantage of that!

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