Lancer Evolution all about performance
THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR sports sedan. DOWN THE ROAD: This rally-inspired and bred car is all about performance. The 2.0-liter engine may seem small but it packs a punch that is plentiful to propel the nearly 3,500-pound car to its destination. Navigating sharp turns and corners with confidence, this Lancer exhibits a keenness to change directions instantly at every turn of the wheel. TECH & PERFORMANCE: A turbocharged inline-4 cylinder cranks out 291 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 300 pounds-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. It is mated to a distinct 6-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission with a choice of Normal, Sport and S-Sport modes. The car essentially can be driven like a manual but without the need for a clutch. The hydraulic power-assist rack-and-pinion steering is spot on. Front and rear suspension each gets Eibach springs and Bilstein shock absorbers as well as stabilizers. Braking is handled by 13.8-inch front ventilated discs with four-piston calipers and 13-inch rear discs with two-piston calipers. And did we say the sedan is equipped with a solid all-wheel-drive system? LOOK & FEEL: Up front, the flared fenders, bright grille bezel, aluminum hood with functional air intake and extractor vents for engine heat draw stares from onlookers. An MR badge with a large rear spoiler lends credence to the car's performance-driven capabilities. Slide behind the three-spoke leather steering wheel and you will be ensconced in spacious Recaro seats with leather bolsters and suede-type surfaces. The trip computer display sandwiched between the round tachometer and speedometer gauges, will come in useful during a long jaunt. Other standard amenities include a keyless access and start, dual front cup holders, center console with armrest storage, height-adjustable driver's seat, automatic air-conditioning and a wireless cell phone link.SAFETY FIRST: Standard features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, driver's-side knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability and traction control, adjustable rear headrests, rear limited slip differential, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights. OUT THE DOOR: $38,290, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 245/40R18; wheelbase, 104.3 inches; length, 177 inches; weight, 3,517 pounds; fuel capacity, 14.5 gallons; city, 17 mpg; highway, 22 mpg. WHY DIG IT: The performance-oriented sports sedan is fun, agile and a hoot to drive. We believe a warning is pertinent here. Just tread lightly on the gas pedal so you stay out of trouble on the roadways.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.