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2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MX Bookmark

The Good :)   Hot exterior looks.  Dual clutch transmission. Turbocharged 300 hp engine.  Hood, fender and roof made of aluminum along with BBS wheels.  Thick steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifters.  Touchscreen Nav with 650 watt sound system.

The Bad :(  Speed limits are way too low.  

Engine 4Cyl 2.0 Liter Turbocharged/Intercooled

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Output 291 hp / 300 lb-ft
Top Speed 180 mph
0-60 mph 6.5 sec (est.)
Weight 3042 lbs
Price As Tested $41,515

 

The all new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was first introduced in the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and labeled as Prototype X.  Fans around the world loved the new styling cues that were both aggressive and functional in a more upscale factory built appearance.  The new design is fantastically elegant for a high performance rally car.  Mitsubishi was also able to refine the handling, tweak the suspension and add an amazing new gearbox called the Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission to create a package that blows away the previous generation model.  The all new Evo is better both inside and out and brings to the table a performance package that can take on a Porsche 911 at half the cost. 

The exterior design of the Lancer Evolution MR is what makes it truly so unique and a real stand out among a crowded lot of performance packed sedans.  A shark like front end gives it a aggressive stance while the large rear spoiler and aggressive side bodywork clearly sends a message that this was made for a bigger purpose then just driving to work.  For 2008, the Evo comes in two versions known as the GSR or the MR.  There are some slight, but important,  differences between the two Lancer Evolution models that buyers should be aware of.  Both the GSR and MR feature the 2.0 liter turbocharged engine producing 300 horsepower.  However, the MR comes with the incredible dual clutch automatic transmission that shifts like a formula one machine and features magnesium paddle shifters that look and feel like those found in a Ferrari.  The MR model also comes with Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs and BBS 18 inch aluminum alloy wheels.  You also get HID headlamps and the large rear spoiler.

On the all new Lancer Evolution, Mitsubishi decided to use aluminum throughout the vehicle to save on weight which increases performance.  The roof panel, front fenders and vents, and the front hood are all aluminum.  You can really tell the difference in weight by just lifting the hood itself.  Better weight distribution was also achieved by putting the washer fluid and battery on top of the rear axle in the trunk.  Aggressive BBS forged aluminum alloy wheels look amazing and also weigh less then other counterparts.  They are wrapped in P245/40R 18-inch Yokohama ADVAN performance tires that stick like glue during aggressive driving.

The overall length of the Lancer Evolution stands at 177 inches with a width of 71.3 inches.  Wheelbase is 104.3 inches and ground clearance is fairly low at 5.3 inches.  The proportions appear perfectly designed and built in performance features such as the radiator in the front bumper and large intake ports around the bumper and front hood as well as front fender all are functional. 

The interior is clean and functional with greater use of high quality parts then in the previous generation.  The overall design theme inside is sporty yet simplified, just like a race car.  Door panels feature leather grained plastic trim, a painted grey large trim panel, and leather covered arm rests.  Smooth plastic is used around the window switches and there is ample storage room for a bottle and some papers.  The dash is simple and clean with a large navigation display and automatic climate control knobs.  The instrument cluster is sporty with dual gauges and a information screen in the center.  Everything is within reach and comfortable for the average person.  Interior room is fairly compact if you fit the maximum number of five passengers.  Front legroom is listed at 42.5 inches with front headroom being 37 inches.  Rear legroom is a short 33.3 inches. 

Front seats are inspired from actual racing cars and made by Recaro, a brand long known in the racing world.  These sport seats provide more than enough bolstering and are quite comfortable even on long trips.  Large thigh and shoulder bolsters not only look amazing but also hold you tightly in place when you decide to whip around corners.  We liked the leather and suede dual pattern upholstery.  Rear seats also feature this same dual use of materials and are angled nicely for a comfortable ride.  We would have liked grab handles on all doors so there is something to hold onto while the driver is going through curves.  Roof and A pillar materials are very low quality and should be changed. 

The long list of standard interior equipment gives you a vehicle that is easy to live with on a daily basis.  Bluetooth handsfree phone pairing is easy to setup on the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System located on the dash.  A great Rockford Fosgate stereo system features 650 watts of power and has a 30 GB hard drive built-in.  It also features a touch screen navigation system and a music server to store all your songs on to.  Sirius satellite radio, along with DVD capability gives you more than enough listening choices.  An auxiliary input jack is located in the unit as well but the unit must be tilted outward to reveal it.  A 10-inch subwoofer along with nine speakers gives the Evolution MX so much power that you can shake the whole block and have a street party.
A convenient keyless system lets you keep the key fob in your pocket to turn on the car.  You can also lock and unlock the car by touching a button on the door handle.  The climate control system features a micron filter for clean air and worked well heating the car quickly during our 35 degree days.  Powerful HID lights with a leveling feature that you can manually adjust were very bright and illuminated the back country roads nicely.  The EVO also comes with fog lamps which did a great job in brightening up the sides of the road.

The navigation system was quick and easy to use with some excellent features like points of interest that searched based on your immediate location or zip code.  A return trip button also makes it easy to come back without having to input the address again.  The screen was not very bright in direct sunlight however.  The small information screen in the instrument cluster shows trip computer information which is also visible on the main navigation screen.  There is also a lap timer for those wanting to test their driving skills on a race track.  Other cool features are the altimeter, barometer, and history charts of these statistics over a three hour period and these graphs can also be found for your fuel economy which really goes down when you are driving at redline.  It’s really a small computer embedded in the heart of the Evolution and it’s great to have all this information for your personal use.  We are finally starting to see auto manufacturers providing drivers with more vehicle and performance data which was once only available to race teams. 

The interior experience is heightened by the large sporty steering wheel and shift knob all wrapped in soft leather.  Controls on the wheel for stereo volume and cruise control as well as phone functions are easy to use as are the large magnesium paddle shifters located just behind the steering wheel on both sides.
What could be improved inside you may ask?  Well, dimming rear view mirrors make night driving much easier and should be standard for a car in this price range.  Better quality window buttons with a function for automatic up and down would be great.  A textured cloth material on the roof would greatly change the interior feel.  Finally, more insulation to reduce highway noise would be great. 
   
The 2008 Lancer EVO MR features a 2.0 liter four cylinder turbocharged and intercooled engine which produces 291 horsepower at 6500 RPM.  Torque is rated at 300 lb. ft. at 4000 rpm.  Mitsubishi’s 4B11 engine has one of the highest power-to-displacement ratios of any production four cylinder engine in the world.  Both the engine block and cylinder heads are aluminum which leads to considerable weight savings.  Redline is at an impressive 7000 RPM and the power is always available thanks to the turbocharger.  The amount of power produced relative to the small size of the engine is a great achievement. 

The use of german suspension parts makes for a comfortable yet very sporty ride.  The front suspension comprises of a MacPherson type strut with forged aluminum control arms including Bilstein shocks with Eibach springs.  Rears suspension is a multi-link setup also with forged aluminum control arms.  Brembo disc brakes, a world renowned brake maker found on many high end European vehicles, with ABS and brake force distribution give amazing stopping power.  Brakes are a ventilated two piece disc with 4-piston calipers that are painted in red to stand out.  Front Brakes are 13.8 inches in diameter and the rears are 13 inches. 

Further body rigidity comes from a front strut tower bar that provides very minimal body lean.  Front and rear stabilizer bars also help in providing a very solid and controlled road feel.  The Super All-Wheel Control system (S-AWC) brings together the front helical limited slip differential, the active center differential, and active yaw control, along with the rear limited slip differential to give power where its needed as you are driving.  A display of the S-AWC in the instrument cluster shows you how the system is working as you accelerate and go through fast corners.  There is certainly lots of grip and lots of power.  This all-wheel drive system is particularly effective during high speed off-road driving and Mitsubishi has certainly won their share of World Rally titles thanks to this all-wheel drive system.

The twin clutch Sportronic transmission is a engineering marvel and makes driving very enjoyable.  Shifts are super fast and happen in milliseconds which no human could replicate with a standard gearbox.  The system can be set to normal mode, sport mode, or super sport mode.  As you change modes from normal to sport, RPM’s are kept at a higher range, while in super sport mode, the vehicle stays in gear until redline is reached in each and every gear.  The transmission also blips as it downshifts just like a race car driver would do to match RPMs.  The sound of the exhaust as this happens is just amazing and puts a smile on your face every time it happens.   The system is similar to Audi’s DSG and Porsche’s PDK transmissions and is a must have on the Evolution MX. 

Safety was a major concern for Mitsubishi when creating the all new Lancer Evolution.  There are a total of seven airbags to help survive in case you decide to drive off the side of a cliff like your favorite rally driver.  Dual front air bags, side air bags on both seats, and side curtain airbags as well as drivers side knee airbag keep you very safe.  A tire pressure monitor is also standard along with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). 

The basic bumper to bumper warranty is for 3-year or 36,000 mile.  The powertrain is covered for 5-years or 60,000 miles.  An anti-corrosion warranty of 7 years or 100,000 miles rounds it all out.  Roadside assistance is provided for 5-years.  The engine is from Japan while the transmission is from Germany.  The final assembly point is Mizushima, Japan.  About 85% of all the parts are from Japan.

The lancer starts off at a MSRP of $38,290.  The only option added was a technology package for $2,550 which adds the 30GB hard drive navigation system with music server and CD/MP3/DVD player, a 650 Watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with 9-speakers and the 10 inch subwoofer, as well as the Sirius satellite radio.  A destination charge of $675 brings our total to $41,515 for the Lancer Evolution MX model.  Our window sticker shows fuel economy at 17 miles per gallon city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway although with sporty driving we achieved about 17 miles per gallon overall.

The 2008 Lancer Evolution MX is a fantastic drivers car that offers true race car performance without the six figure price tag.  Because of its extreme driving capabilities, most people will be reluctant to purchase the EVO unless they are die-hard racing fans and don’t have a family to tow along.  This leaves the market to single males who are either young and rich    or middle aged with an second car which they use as their daily driver.  Despite the small size of potential buyers, the EVO certainly has a strong fan following and a long tradition of racing achievements.  The 2008 EVO is both powerful and stylish and has the ability to take on the best supercars in the world.  It also has the ability to stand out in a crowed parking lot.  The all new Lancer Evolution features a host of impressive  racing technologies that many people would normally buy as aftermarket add-ons for their cars.  The EVO is a niche vehicle that is purposefully built to be a street legal race car.  It’s a compelling buy and a truly well-made sports car which will always have a place in the marketplace.   
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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$36,089

$38,290

Technology package:
Includes 650 watt Rockford-Fosgate Punch Premium Sound System with 9 speakers including 10" subwoofer, Sirius Satellite Radio with 6 months free subscription and 30GB hard disk drive navigation system with 7.5" touch screen display, Music Server and Single CD/MP3/DVD player (replaces audio head unit).

$2,232

$2,550

Automatic, 5-Spd w/SportShift

$1,094

$1,200

 

Convert= 8 liters per 100km in mpg

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COMPARISONS 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
MR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
2009 Nissan GT-R
Premium 2dr Coupe AWD (3.8L 6cyl Turbo 6AM)
2008 Subaru Impreza
WRX STI 4dr Wagon AWD w/VDC (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
2008 Volkswagen R32
2dr Hatchback AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6AM)
2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
C63 AMG 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 7A)
MSRP $38,290 $79,090 $34,995 $32,990 $53,800
Invoice $36,089 $74,434 $33,010 $31,283 $50,034
Destination Charge $695 $1,000 $645 $650 $875
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Roadside 5 yr. / Unlimited mi.  
3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. Unlimited yr. / Unlimited mi.
Rust 7 yr. / 100000 mi.  
5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders Inline 4 V6 Flat 4 V6 V8
Base Engine Displacement 2.0 liters 3.8 liters 2.5 liters 3.2 liters 6.2 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Compressor turbocharger twin turbocharger turbocharger Not Available Not Available
Horsepower 291 hp @ 6500 rpm 480 hp @ 6400 rpm 305 hp @ 6000 rpm 250 hp @ 6300 rpm 451 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque 300 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 430 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm 290 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm 236 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm 443 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm
Driven Wheels all wheel drive all wheel drive all wheel drive all wheel drive rear wheel drive
Tires P245/40ZR18 93Y
performance
285/35ZR20 100Y
run flat
245/40ZR18 93W
performance
225/40ZR18 92Y
performance
255/35R18 Z
performance
Wheels alloy
18 x 8.5 in.
painted alloy
20 x 10.5 in.
alloy
18 x 8.5 in.
alloy
18 x 7.5 in.
alloy
18 x 9.0 in.
Passenger Seat Height Adjustable Not Available
Not Available Standard Standard
Passenger Seat Heated Not Available Standard Not Available Standard Standard
Compass Not Available Standard Optional Not Available Not Available
Trip Computer Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Navigation System hard drive based display w/voice directions - Optional hard drive based display w/voice activation and directions Not Available DVD based display w/voice directions - Optional hard drive based display w/voice activation and directions - Optional
SPECS
Turning Circle 38.7 ft.
36.1 ft. 35.7 ft. 38.5 ft.
Length 177 in. 183.3 in. 173.8 in. 167.2 in. 186 in.
Width 71.3 in. 74.6 in. 70.7 in. 69.2 in. 70.7 in.
Height 58.3 in. 53.9 in. 58.1 in. 57.7 in. 56.6 in.
Weight
3858 lbs. 3395 lbs. 3547 lbs. 3649 lbs.
Wheel Base 104.3 in. 109.5 in. 103.3 in. 101.5 in. 108.7 in.
Ground Clearance

6.1 in.
4.1 in.
Interior Lancer Evolution GT-R Impreza R32 C-Class
Front Headroom 40.6 in. 38.1 in. 40.3 in.
37.1 in.
Rear Headroom 36.9 in. 33.5 in. 37.6 in.
36.9 in.
Front Shoulder Room 54.7 in.
54.8 in. 57 in. 54.7 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 54.3 in.
53.2 in. 58.2 in. 55 in.
Front Hip Room 53.3 in. 54.7 in. 53.4 in. Not Published 52.3 in.
Rear Hip Room 54.1 in. 18.6 in. 53.3 in. Not Published 54.9 in.
Front Leg Room 42.5 in. 44.6 in. 43.5 in.
41.7 in.
Rear Leg Room 33.3 in. 26.4 in. 33.5 in.
33.4 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 6.9 cu. ft. 8.8 cu. ft. 19 cu. ft. 9.7 cu. ft. 12.4 cu. ft.

 

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