2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII – – Sport Compact Car Web

11 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII – – Sport Compact Car Web

SCC Car of the Year: 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII

A bigger gas tank.

It’s taken a year, but we’ve finally found a flaw in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII, a chink in its armor as they say. After 12 months of testing, which included a fierce head-to-head shootout with its arch-nemesis, the 300-hp Subaru WRX STi (SCC, July ’03)–which it won–and another vs. the best high-dollar performance cars from Germany, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, the Audi S4 and the BMW M3 (SCC, Sept. ’03)–which it won–we conclude that the EVO is not exactly perfect.

Sure, it’s fast, good looking and an unbelievable value. Sure, it handles like an exotic, responds to modification and offers the practicality of a useable backseat and a good-sized trunk. Sure, it can smoke nearly anything on the road right out of the box, and has proven to be bulletproof, but the EVO, while great, isn’t without imperfection.

It needs a bigger gas tank. Drive it hard, which you can’t help but do, and you’re lucky to travel 180 miles before its gas gauge is screaming for more go-juice.

This, of course, like saying Carmen Electra can’t spell pneumonia, falls under the category of Who The Hell Cares? We don’t. If you’re into driving fast, if you’re into tuning your ride, if you’re into getting the most car for your hard-earned dollars; heck, if you’re reading this magazine, the Lancer Evolution VIII is the car for you.

Just look at the EVO’s window sticker. It reads like the spec sheet of an enthusiast’s dream car. For the base MSRP of $28,987, you get all-wheel drive with limited-slip center and rear differentials, Brembos at all four corners, 271 pissed-off horses from a hyper-responsive twin-scroll turbo, forged aluminum suspension, Recaro seats, a MOMO steering wheel, aluminum hood and front fenders, and gummy Yokohama tires mounted on ultra-light forged Enkei alloy rims.

Plus, you get the usual new car luxury items like power windows, power locks and air conditioning, and for just $480 more, you can get a huge carbon-fiber wing like the one on our silver photo car.

And Mitsu didn’t just throw these parts together. Mitsubishi has its priorities straight, and tuned this car to make the most of its hardware. Although based on the Lancer, which is sold as inexpensive transportation for the masses, the EVO never feels cheap, crude or tinny.

It’s actually a refined package, with quick, communicative steering, and a firm, but surprisingly compliant highway ride.

And its performance is nothing short of world class. On HKS’ all-wheel-drive Dynojet, the EVO’s 4G63 made an impressive 233 hp at 5800 rpm and 252 lb-ft of torque at 3800 rpm. And on the test track we’ve seen performance numbers previously unheard of at the EVO’s sticker price.

This car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, runs the quarter mile in 13.4 at 102.5 mph, stops from 60 mph in only 106 feet, circles our 200-foot skidpad in an incredible .95g and hurdles through our 700-foot slalom at 73.1 mph.

This is the kind of performance CEOs once had to pay more than $100,000 for, and only found by shopping brands like Porsche and Ferrari. Only now, it’s obtainable to all of us in a $30,000 Mitsubishi. A Mitsubishi we can drive to work every day, while carpooling with three co-workers.

And that’s why we’ve chosen the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII as our 2004 Sport Compact Car of the Year.

MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO VIII

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