2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Overview
The Lancer Evolution is Mitsubishi’s flagship vehicle, a production version of the company’s successful World Rally Championship racing car. It is a turbocharged, all-wheel drive (AWD) brute disguised as a near-luxury sedan. Staying true to its rallying heritage, the AWD system offers the driver settings for tarmac, gravel and snow. Two versions are offered (GSR and MR), neither one of which qualifies as a “base” model. Mitsubishi made no significant changes to the Evo for 2013.
The Evo takes the forward-leaning grille of the standard Lancer and amps up the aggressiveness of the look with a black mesh insert. In keeping with the sporting nature, the hood, fenders, and roof are aluminum, and 18-inch alloy wheels are standard. The GSR features a rear wing, while the MR has a smaller lip spoiler; a rear diffuser enhances aerodynamic stability. The MR also includes Bilstein dampers, Eibach springs, enhanced Brembo brakes and BBS wheels.
The Evolution has plenty of thrust on tap with a 291-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine developing 300 pounds-feet of torque and mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed, dual-clutch automated manual gearbox. The twin-clutch gearbox provides rapid shifts because the next gear is pre-selected. Shifts are performed either automatically or with paddle shifters, and there are three settings: Normal, Sport and S-Sport. A center differential feeds power to front and rear limited-slip diffs. Stopping power comes from large Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers in front and two-piston units in back. The MR features lighter, two-piece rotors up front.
Make no mistake: the Evo is tuned for out-and-out performance unlike the economy approach applied to the normally aspirated Lancers. With the five-speed manual, EPA-estimated fuel economy comes in at 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The six-speed, dual-clutch transmission returns 17/22 mpg city/highway.
Inside, the Evo looks much the same as other Lancers, but features heavily bolstered Recaro sport seats and many more standard features, including automatic climate control, USB port, Bluetooth audio streaming, steering wheel audio controls, heater ducts for the rear seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, and cruise control. Options include a Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and LED front floor illumination.
The Evolution features the same complement of safety features as other Lancer models, including stability and traction control, antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and emergency braking assist, and advanced unit-body design. There are seven airbags: front, front side-impact, side-curtain and driver’s side knee airbag.