The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution arrived on our shores as a 2003 model and was promoted as a race car for the road. Two generations were offered in the U.S., with Lancer Evolution production ending after the 2015 model year.
2008 to 2015: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
As the name suggests, the Lancer Evolution is based on the Mitsubishi Lancer compact sedan. But park the two models next to each other and it is plain to see the Lancer Evolution is quite different from its donor car with a new hood, body molding, new wheels and a rear wing to improve aerodynamics.
A turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 291 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque is standard. That power goes through Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel Control system, which can shift power to the wheels with grip and maintain traction in the worst conditions that mother nature has to offer. Transmissions include a five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 17/23 mpg city/highway, or 19 mpg combined for models with the five-speed manual. Lancer Evolution models with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic get 17/22 mpg city/highway, or 19 mpg combined.
Standard equipment on the base Lancer Evolution GSR includes 18-inch wheels, a large rear wing, Recaro bucket seats, a six-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touch-screen radio, Mitsubishi's FUSE connectivity and voice recognition system, a USB input, a full suite of air bags, traction control and stability control. MR models get a set lightweight BBS wheels, a small lip spoiler, HID headlights, automatic windshield wipers, keyless entry with push-button start and nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system.
Earlier Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Models
Mitsubishi started selling the Lancer Evolution in the U.S. starting in 2003 . It came with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 271 horsepower, which is paired with a five-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. A special RS model was available, which offers the removal of certain features such as air conditioning for better acceleration and handling.
For 2006, the Lancer Evolution offered a new front-end design and a number of mechanical changes to bump engine output to 286 horsepower. An MR trim was also introduced, which added a six-speed manual transmission and new shocks to increase the performance quotient.