As promised earlier, here is my first drive impression of the all-new Lancer Evolution (Ver. X) with its highly acclaimed twin-clutch SST gearbox. Since the registered car has barely 300km on its odometer, I was pretty gentle on the throttle but fret not my fellow readers...a full test will be done soon, hopefully along with a Civic Type-R, if things go as planned.
The all-aluminium 4B11 engine along with the SST in 'Tarmac' mode is very civilised, so much so I couldn't believe I was piloting the all-new Lancer Evo. There is no manic urgency as compared to my wife's Colt Turbo Ralliart. In fact, revving the AWD machine up to 3000 rpm was rather refined (read: lethargic) much like the many Mercedes-Benzes and German marques tuned for luxury (non-lurchy) refinement.
The real punch comes in mid-range wallop...and all the way to near-redline (alright, I have been a bit of a bad boy)! While power delivery comes in surge of smooth waves - there is no wicked turbo kick - the car feels well tied-down with lots of traction. Around bends, the new Evo just hugs the tarmac like an obsessive girl- or boy- friend (or wife/hubby for that matter) and sticks like a leech around corners. It was drizzling when I had that brief run but wet roads were practically of no issue to its ever-planted composure.
Yes! You read right...speedo maxes out at 300km/h. Not the usual JDM-type limiter dictated 180 km/h.
Massive Real McCoy Brembos peeking out of lightweight BBS 18" alloys.
Dash top and door trim plastic still low rent: dull and hard like the Lancer GT/GLS. And this isn't due to weight saving measure for a sports saloon (some casual observer at the launch told me a Lancer Evo cannot have such luxury to save weight, believe it!).
Toggle the TC-SST into 'Sport' mode, you could sense more engine braking and hence, improved traction in tandem. The twin mufflers sings a more menacing, bassy note of higher decidel that's rather entertaining in the Penchala Link tunnel and more so, to the approving witnessing crowd at other places. Engine revs blips profusely with each downshift, resulting a rather jerky drive in slower traffic. In short, the new Evolution isn't much happy in low range of revs i.e. being driven slow. Neither will the driver!!!
The rear boot and bumper are actually shorter than Lancer GT's but looked deceptively standard issue.
Front registration number plate of the TRUE Lancer Evolution isn't at the LEFT side, unlike most Lancer GT turned EVO wannabes :)
The rear spoiler is a smooth one-piece item vs the Lancer GT's - with the under surface in matt black. Evolution badge 'whispers' very softly for this edition, with no indication of the Roman numero X.
Twin exhausts sound great on the run, perhaps a little tiring on the rear passengers' auditory nerves! Rear diffuser the functioning-type, not just for show. Pregnant rear wheel arches covers new Evolution's wider rear track.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution launched in Malaysia
2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback
2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X GSR: Final Specs