2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR - Autos.ca | Catalog-cars

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR – Autos.ca

25 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR – Autos.ca
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

January 28, 2008

Review and photos by Paul Williams

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Willow Springs, California #8211; When Mitsubishi arrived in Canada in 2003, fans of the brand were all asking the same question: #8220;Where#8217;s the Lancer Evolution?#8221;

Not here, it turned out. Due to special Canadian bumper requirements, the Lancer #8220;Evo,#8221; as it#8217;s affectionately called #8211; Mitsubishi#8217;s rally-winning, high performance extreme machine #8211; would remain a promise for the distant future.

The good news is that Mitsubishi has kept its promise. The 2008 Lancer Evolution is more sophisticated, more powerful, better handling and better looking than ever before, and now Canadians can get behind the wheel.

For those unfamiliar with the Lancer Evolution story, the first generation was introduced in 1992 (Evolution I-III), the second generation in 1996 (IV-VI), and the third generation in 2003 (VII-IX). The 2008 Lancer Evolution X is the first version of the fourth generation. It#8217;s all-new, with no carry-over panels or components from the outgoing model.

Its natural competition is the Subaru WRX STI.

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR. Click image to enlarge

What makes the Lancer Evolution so special? In just about every other country except Canada, this is the car that defines the Mitsubishi brand. Packed with performance technology, the all-wheel drive, multiple-World Rally Championship winning Evo is the stuff of legend on the international rally circuit.

From Mitsubishi#8217;s point of view, merely having the Evo in its vehicle line-up can influence a purchasing decision.

In Canada, we#8217;ll see three Evolution trim levels, starting with the $41,498 GSR, (for the #8220;purist#8221; driver, according to Mitsubishi Canada), moving to the $47,498 MR and the fully-equipped $51,498 MR Premium (MR models are available in May). The three trim levels share the same engine, but differ significantly in transmission, wheels, suspension, brakes and convenience features.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR. Click image to enlarge

Three GSRs were available for testing at the Evolution launch in California, and the 400-kilometre round trip to Willow Springs Raceway, along with track time, gave invited journalists a good introduction to the vehicle. Under the hood, and mated to a heavy-duty, close ratio five-speed manual transmission, is a 2.0-litre, all-aluminum, turbocharged and intercooled engine making 291 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, and 300 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 r.p.m.

The Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system features anti-yaw control on the rear differential to manage side-to-side torque shifts, and an Active Centre Differential (ACD) to handle the movement of torque front-to-rear. The system also features active stability control that can be disabled if desired, and a helical limited slip front differential. Standard wheels are 18 x 8.5-inch cast alloy from Enkei, with 245/40-18 Yokohama Advan A13C tires that are specifically designed for the 2008 Lancer Evolution.

Since the launch of the latest Mitsubishi Lancer, I#8217;ve been a big fan of its exterior design; #8220;One of the nicest designs of the past few years,#8221; I wrote after the Lancer#8217;s introduction. The Lancer Evolution builds on that design to create one of the best looking hot-compacts you can buy. From the technical grille to the racing-style wheels to the rear spoiler and twin exhausts, this is a deftly chiseled piece with great presence and dramatic curb appeal.

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR; bottom photo courtesy Mitsubishi. Click image to enlarge

Inside, the Recaro cloth seats could be described as racing seats for a passenger sedan #8211; same with the model-specific steering wheel. The seats employ anti-whiplash construction, a side airbag, and aggressive bolstering to keep the driver in place. Seating for rear-seat passengers is more conventional, easily accommodating two adults.

Trunk space is limited (the windshield washer container is situated behind a panel back there, along with drive-train hydraulics).

On the road, the Lancer Evolution GSR is by no means unrefined or harsh, but it does not drive like a typical, family-oriented, compact car. The Evolution GSR has a very firm suspension that directly communicates road surface variations to the driver (maybe a little too much in some situations). Engine noise is evident, even in fifth gear at highway speeds, and steering is very sharp and precise (not darty, but instantly responsive).

Getting in and out of the driver#8217;s seat is a minor chore, as the side bolsters protrude from them (but once in position, the seat fits like a glove). While the steering column tilts, it does not telescope (too bad).

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

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