Lancer evolution 10 evo x (6)EVO seacliff bridgeCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea Francolini

CARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea FrancoliniCARS - Mitsubishi Lancer MR - Canberra 22/10/11
ph. Andrea Francolini

EVO X and Volvo C30 R design polestar (1)

ABOVE:- A glorious week with two of our favourite cars. C30 and Evo

Lancer evolution 10 evo x (1)Lancer evolution 10 evo x (2)Lancer evolution 10 evo x (4)Lancer evolution 10 evo x (7)Lancer evolution 10 evo x (3)


BELOW:- the boot has the DoofDoof unit in it.

Lancer evolution 10 evo x (9)Lancer evolution 10 evo x (10)

2012 Lancer Evolution X MR (note:- a full review to follow soon of the upgraded 2013 model)

What an absolute pearler! It’s handsome, it’s hunky and hot. The Lancer Evolution is known for her friskiness but that’s like saying Brad Pitt is “OK” looking. Lancer has been a star on the rally circuit with its AWD and fabulous gearbox and the test car not only lived up to expectation but exceeded it. It had a veritable smorgasbord of delectable goodies including: a 217KW/366nm 2.0L turbo petrol engine, TC-SST (twin clutch sports shift transmission) with paddle shift, Brembo brakes, Bilstein shockies, EIBACH springs and sexy 18” forged aluminium wheels. The wheels look fabulous, but perhaps something like Nissan’s Star-Trek-Borg inspired alloys would look even better. The aggressive nature of the Evo needs wheels that look like they were hand forged by demons in the fires of hell, the edgier the better.

The Evo is a normal Lancer that’s been given a huge injection of butchness. The massive boot spoiler, huge bonnet / side vents and bulging mudguards all look great but it’s the name on the boot that brings with it the reputation of other-worldly, cataclysmic performance. What the figures can’t tell you is what the thrill of warp-speed feels like. Your heart pounds as you keylessly start the engine and a chill shoots up and down your spine as you slip the shifter in to D. But I’ve gotten so badly ahead of myself that, like Evo, I need to be reined in and made to sit quietly to calm down before I blow FooFoo valve.

The Outside:-

A very sexy 4 door sedan has been given a sprinkling of pixie dust which has made the front angrier with the grille enhanced by a deeper front spoiler, massively extended mudguards and a rear spoiler the size of a coffee table. The huge 18” wheels make the showy red Brembo brakes shine incandescently like beacons from the heavens. The massive 7.5” wide tyres grip the road ferociously regardless of who the driver thinks he is. Everything about Evo is overdone and as my old grand-ma used to say, if something is worth doing, it’s worth over-doing. She looks fats even before the key has been turned and that is not something that is easy to achieve without looking chav-ish. A quick glance at the For Sale columns will show the term “head turner” being used far too often but in this case it’s true.

I understand the fenders and bonnet have been lovingly fashioned from aluminium to improve the weight but Evo is still almost 300 kg’s heavier than the standard Lancer. The basic proportions are just right making the Lancer sedan a great looking car though the bigger the wheels the better.

I could go on describing the menacing look but I will never do it the justice it deserves, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The Inside:-

Inside, the Evo is a normal Lancer with a bit of leather and some extra fancy bits like keyless entry and start. You lock and unlock via the little rubber button on the outside door handle which is the first quirk you notice. Most cars with keyless start have a pad to lock but unlocking is by lifting the handle. Once inside, you start the car by turning the ignition as you normally would if a key was inserted, which is the second quirk. Most other cars have a button on the dash which is pressed to get the motor going. Somehow it only makes you fall more in love with it.

The centre mounted infotainment system is a weird mix of good and bad. The bluetooth is a little clunky but the USB is lost to the Ipod dedicated input cable. This normally wouldn’t be too much of a worry but the ipod input doesn’t charge your phone. On a long trip this means charging via the 12V supply with a car/usb adaptor which does seem odd. The Satnav is also slightly psychotic too. It’s hard to enter details, hard to get going then hard to follow. She then issues directions as if she is in the process of having a stroke. They make less and less sense until she finally gives up telling you to refer to the map as if that is any kind of help. One thing I can’t abide is driver’s lockout. When the car is moving you can’t input data, but there is another front seat. Surely that passenger is capable of entering info without causing a crash. This unit is being replaced in the 2013 model so we wait with our collective breathes baited. We drive the 2013 model in a few months so keep tuned.

The Recaro seats offer fabulous lateral support. Even in the most enthusiastic cornering your bum will not move an inch so you stick to your pla e like a fat kid on candy. Mind you the beefier among us will notice the snugness of the fit might not accommodate an entire love handles. Any gayboy worth his salt will take that as a sign from above to spend a little more time at the gym. It worlks for the dishy Nico Rosberg so its good enough for us right? The seats proved comfy even after nearly a full day in the saddle. You wouldn’t expect that given how hard they are but one suspects minds greater than ours have taken that into account. The support seems to be in the right places. Equally, the performance might just blot any negatives which arise but I’d prefer to believe the former.

The interior has copped a bit of stick for being a bit on the plasticy side. The comments are fair enough but a couple of brushed metal and carbon fibre highlights would improve things no end for very little cost. It’s mainly black inside anyway except for the metal pedals and metal gear lever collar. Either way the light grey metalised plastic just has to go. I don’t like it in any car let alone one costing in the mid 60’s (previously the mid 70’s). It looks nasty and after a few years wear looks even worse. I used to drive a Boxster which had the same issues and it made the whole interior look shambolic and unloved and the only way to fix it is to replace the damaged parts at great expense.

The sound from the audio system is rather good. The unit itself looks good despite the difficulty in using it. The massive DoofDoof unit in the boot gives great bass but my advice is to leave things neutral for the best results. Don’t try turning the bass all the way up, you’ll just sound like an idiot. It does rather limit an otherwise useful boot though but who needs a boot anyway!

I sat in the rear seats only for a second but found them pretty comfy if a bit softer than the accommodation up front. I planned to spend no time in the back. In fact other testers had to prise my fingers off the wheel such was my amour. There is leather on the seat facings which I assume means another material has been used elsewhere on the seat but the effect is that it looks expensive. It would be nice to have cow throughout though wouldn’t it? Once seated in the driver’s seat the Evo has the impression of having put on a good quality running shoe. You don’t so much sit in it as put it on, which segues nicely to the topic of the drive and that’s the bit you’re really waiting for aren’t you?

The Drive:-

You turn the ignition with the key still in your pocket and she snarls in to life with a magnificent Wagnerian sound then settles to a mix of growl and whine rather like an old sports car of the past. The best thing about the Lancer is that you can comfortably use it as an everyday driver. The suspension is very firm but not so hard that it rearranges your organs leaving your driveway. Cornering is spectacularly flat and assured with zero understeer. Remember, the Evo has AWD and has won rallies all over the place and has tackled much harder country than what most of us will ever encounter. Evo’s arch nemeses, the Subaru WRX, has similar credentials and is a similar drive. The Evo is a much better looking car, and in my view much more comfortable.

The steering is precise with the smallest of movements being enough to elicit a quick change of direction. We took corners on our favourite road, the Grand Pacific Drive, at the speed limit but the Evo begged for more. It has to be said that we stayed within the law but never had it been so hard to do so. I would have gladly given my kingdom for a matching set of cop cars to block wither end of the Drive. Only in the wet did the electronic nannies kick in because although it didn’t rain, there were sections of the road where the canopy prevented the road from drying fully. In the dry, the AWD and front LSD rarely make themselves known but since she handles like she is on rails they are obviously doing their job. Even a moderately competent driver feels fully in control after a fairly short while. Of course there are all the usual stability controls. The console mounted ACD switch has 3 modes, Tarmac, Gravel and Snow. I have no idea how it does it and nor do I care. All we need to know is that is does it brilliantly.

The tenacious grip and pin-sharp steering are propelled to warp speed by the fantastic 217KW 2.0L turbo petrol engine. Sadly there is no “launch control” but there is the magic sports button. It sharpens the throttle, as if it needed sharpening, and changes the shift patterns in the SST. In normal mode the gears will shift up as quickly as possible unless you plant your foot in the carpet. This is done for fuel efficiency so you can get well under 10 l/100k if you try really hard. At any stage you can move the little lever forward and select Sports mode. It feels like you gain 50 extra KW and the gears don’t go much above 3rd unless you manage to get well above 60kph. As if sports mode wasn’t insane enough you can select Super Sport by stopping then holding the switch forward for five seconds. This is the mode we selected for our fun run through the national park with its marvellous curves, bends, dips and straights. We also used the aluminium paddles on the steering column to give the manual mode the once over. The shifts are so fast in either direction that by the time you’ve released the paddle the gear change has occurred. Personally I think the modes should be relabelled Insane, Epic and Cataclysmic and if all the madness overwhelms you can return to normality by pulling back a couple of times on the little lever. It still amazes me that such an innocuous little switch can move such large mountains.

To put all this in perspective the base Lancer costs about $25,000, has a 113 KW engine, a 9.5 sec 0-100kph and weighs around 1360 kg. The Evo X weighs 1625 kg, 5.5 0-100kph, 217 KW and costs over $74,000 but it is worth every single penny. Before you drop your gin and tonic, the 2013 range has been revised and the new price of the top model is around $65,000.

I’m told the 2013 press car has Shift-em-yaself gears so that promises to be even madder. We’ll do a full test when the new model is in our hot little hands in a few month’s time.


Without a doubt the most fun I have had in a car under $150,000. There isn’t a single foible that would put me off. Add to that the prices below which have dropped by about 9 grand on the top model, and Mitsubishi’s excellent 10/5 year warranty , 5 year roadside assist and 24 hour customer assist and I struggle to find a reason why I wouldn’t buy one. Moreover, and this is the best bit, the you’ll need to pay about 500k more to gain an extra second or so to 100kph. Ask yourself this question: Can an extra few seconds really be worth that much? After all you can only go 110KPH unless you’re on a track.

I don’t care if I am considered one of “Da Boyz”.


Power Plant and Drive train

2.0L MIVEC intercooled and turbocharged

Bore X Stroke 86.0 X 86.0mm

Capacity 1998cc

Compression Ratio 9.0:1


Power 217kW @ 6,500 rpm

Torque 366Nm @ 3,500 rpm

2.0L MIVEC intercooled and turbocharged

5 speed manual transmission

TC-SST with paddle shifters (optional)

Front helical LSD

S-AWC: advanced all-wheel control

(ACD+S-AYC+ASC+Sports ABS with EBD)

Manual intercooler water spray^

Front Brake: Brembo 350mm 4 piston calliper

Rear Brake: Brembo 330mm 2 piston calliper

Front strut tower bar

High performance suspension

– Front McPherson strut suspension; Inverted

– Rear multi-link suspension; mono-tube shock absorber


Aluminium large rear spoiler

Large side air dam

Colour-coded electric door mirrors

Dual chrome exhaust tail pipe

Halogen headlamps

Front fog lamps

18” ENKEI alloy wheels

Privacy glass

Colour-coded door handles

Black air vents (bonnet and front fenders)


RECARO full bucket front seats with slide and recline


Sports type leather wrapped steering wheel

Leather bound gearshift knob

Aluminium pedals

High contrast meter

Multi information display


Power windows – front and rear with auto up and

down for driver

Central door locking system with crash detection


Security Alarm

DataDot Security

Dusk sensing headlamps

Rain sensing wipers

Cruise control with steering wheel controls

Smart Key – keyless operating systems

with 2 transmitters

Automatic climate control air-conditioning

Console mounted ACD switch

Hands free Bluetooth® 2.0 connectivity with steering

wheel audio controls

Power door mirrors with electric fold control


AM/FM 6 stacker CD audio with steering wheel

remote control

6 speakers including 2 tweeters

USB connectivity*


Reinforced Safety Evolution (RISE) body

Driver and front passenger SRS airbags

Side and curtain SRS airbags

Driver knee SRS airbags

Optional Performance Pack

Brembo 2 piece front brake disc

Front and rear Bilstein shock absorbers

Front and rear EIBACH springs

18” BBS forged aluminium wheels


In addition to the standard features of the Evolution,

the MR includes the following:

Chassis & Others

Brembo 2 piece front brake disc

Front and rear Bilstein shock absorbers

Front and rear EIBACH springs

TC-SST with paddle shifters


HID headlamps with AFS (Adaptive Front Lighting


Headlamp washers

Auto headlamp levelling

18” BBS forged aluminium wheels

Colour-coded air vents (bonnet and front fenders)

Chrome belt line moulding

Chrome grille surround


Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS)

including satellite navigation, Bluetooth® connectivity

and iPod connectivity* with interactive control

Leather seat facings

Heated front seats

Evolution scuff plates


Premium Rockford Fosgate® audio system (single

disc player)

9 speakers including subwoofer and auxiliary input

* When MMCS is fitted, USB input is deleted and is

replaced by iPod connectivity.

^Available on Evolution model only.

NOTE:- pricing of 2013 model only

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution five-speed manual $56,990
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution twin-clutch auto $61,990
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR twin-clutch auto $65,990