Reviewed by Susan Frissell
A modified version of the compact Lancer, the Evolution is offered in two trim levels: GSR and MR.Both powered by a 291 horsepower, 2.0-liter, turbo-charged four-cylinder engine, our test vehicle was the GSR model
Be prepared to not only take off like a rocket, but to sit low in the body-hugging sport seats. While fairly comfortable, as they hold the driver in place (a blessing at top speed), the Evoâ€™s seats are hard. This driver wanted to add a cushion for height while driving.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR trim level is equipped with a five-speed transmission. While the MR is teamed with a six-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST), with manual mode and paddle shifters. The GSR is easily identified by its large rear wing spoiler. Equipped with Brembo disc brakes and sport-tuned suspension, the Evo GSR rides on 18-inch performance tires. The MR is outfitted a little more so, and includes Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks and exclusive forged aluminum wheels, projector-type HD headlamps and a smaller rear lip spoiler.
Standard equipment on both Evo versions includes auto climate control, cruise, CD player/MP3 Satellite/HD radio, FUSE hands-free communication system with voice-activated audio-streaming, and USB port.
As with most performance vehicles, the targeted group is the young, hot-rod, modifier set. The Lancer Evo comes with the latest electronic offerings; a necessity in this focus group. Safety features on the Lancer Evo include overhead curtain and driver knee airbags, tire-pressure monitor, front and front-side impact airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock brake system, and stability and traction control systems.
There exist minimal changes in the 2014 Lancer Evolution. Both GSR and MR receive an improved 6.1-inch touch panel display audio unit, including three months Satellite and HD radio. Navigation system is optional. The twin-clutched equipped MR sells for $38, 195; the GSR starts at $34,995. Both are $300 than the 2013 models.
Not chump change. Which means weâ€™re talking about serious performance-minded buyers. This isnâ€™t your everyday street vehicle, nor would many want to drive it every day.
While not a bad looking sports-sedan, the Lancer Evolution claims to be in competition with Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro-unlikely competitors, we think. Donâ€™t expect to carry skiâ€™s or many other large loads as Lancerâ€™s rear seats are not fold-down. The trunk is small. Again, this isnâ€™t a daily-driver; well, maybe if youâ€™re 21 years old.
The only option on our test Evo GSR was the Sight and Sound Package which included HD headlamps 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate Premium sound system with nine speakers, 10-inch subwoofer withpunch control and DTS; neutral surround premium-wide surround and Dolby volume; fast key entry system.
When closed, the doors sound tinny, but maybe this is to cut weight for the same reason. The Evoâ€™s low-profile Yokohama tires are paired with light-weight alloy wheels. Look for the obvious bright red two-piston Brembo brakes.
The Evoâ€™s GSRâ€™s interior is pleasant although not as sporty as expected. Recarro styled seats are sporty. Controls are easily reached and understood. Rear seating is somewhat roomy.
The real standout, of course-in a car like the Lancer Evo is its handling power/speed. We suspect if in the wrong hands (experienced or impaired driver), it could be a little dangerous. As with the Subaru WRX, the Lancer Evo, is a very special niche vehicle.
The ususal amenties are standard on the Evo GSR and include such expected goodies as fog lights, keyless entry, power windows/doors/mirrors, dual cupholders, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
MSRP: $34,995, total vehicle price $37,790, destination $795; options $2,000
Engine: 2.0-liter, I4 MIVEC, turbo-charged , 291 horsepower
Transmission: 5-speed manual, with overdrive, AWD
Wheelbase: 104.3 in.
Height: 58.3 in.
Length: 177.0 in.
Width: 71.3 in.
Wheels: 18-inch alloy
Class: five-passenger, sports sedan