2011 Mitsubishi Lancer EVOlution Review and Road Test
Relevant Connection: Mitsubishi Buyers Guide
2011 MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION SE
An Everyman’s Rally Racer
By Steve Purdy
We’ve spent much of our time these last few months evaluating mainstream, practical cars so we’re thrilled to find in the driveway this week something truly exciting – the new 10th-generation Mitsubishi Lancer EVOlution.
Both Lancers have a gaping, gulping, exaggerated grille wth the profile of a common 4-door economy car. But the EVO has subtle body trim, painted brake calipers and a few other details to hint at its special character. Hood, front fenders and top are aluminum for weight savings. Undistinguished dual exhaust with chrome tips and a small flare at the trunk edge contribute to the stealthy demeanor of the EVO.
The twin-scroll turbo on this all-aluminum 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder
does not eliminate lag but certainly mitigates it. Acceleration, as you
might guess, with 291 horsepower and 300 pound-feet or torque, is lusty.
The EPA estimates the EVO will get 17 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. Though we had little opportunity for serious performance driving we put it through its paces pretty well on our country roads and I expect our mileage was near the bottom of the EPA range. Premium fuel is required as is full synthetic oil. With only 14.5-gallon fuel tank our range will be less than 300 miles.
Suspension is a conventional MacPherson strut design in front and multi-link in the rear. The all-wheel drive system is integrated with yaw control to direct torque where needed and it also has three settings that allow the system to maximize itself for various road surfaces – pavement, dirt, snow. Steering is hydraulic rack-and-pinion with reasonably good feedback.
A bumper-to-bumper warranty covers the EVO for 3 years or 36,000 miles and the high-performance drive train for 5 years or 60,000 miles. While I did not scan the fine print of the warranty document I’m guessing there must be a disclaimer for racing.
The Mitsubishi Lancer EVO is designed to be driven enthusiastically, and that’s where it shines. It’s as energetic and jittery as a hyperactive teenager. From a dead stop it leaps raucously away shifting quickly but not smoothly. It really feels more like the immediate, positive engagement of a manual transmission as it runs through the gears. On full throttle the revs run quickly up to redline and beyond without making us feel like we’re abusing it. This is a really sweet engine in a fun, high-performance machine.
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