- Rally-inspired performance car
- New touchscreen stereo system
- Standard all-wheel drive system with selectable driving modes
The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a turbocharged, all-wheel drive (AWD) brute disguised as a street car. Staying true to its rallying heritage, the AWD system offers the driver settings for tarmac, gravel and snow.
The Evo takes the forward-leaning grille of the standard Lancer and adds a black mesh backing that amps up the aggressiveness. In fact, this could be said about the whole car; it takes the Lancer and turns the volume to 11. The hood, fenders, and roof are aluminum to save weight, and 18-inch alloy wheels are standard. The GSR features a prominent 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-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 300 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic. The automatic comes with paddle shifters and three different 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 17/23 mpg city/highway while he six-speed automatic returns 17/22 mpg.
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. For 2014, the Evo adds a new 6.1-inch touchscreen stereo that also features HD and satellite radio standard. The optional navigation system also gets a new 7-inch touchscreen. Additional options include a Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and LED front floor illumination.
Standard safety features include stability and traction control, antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and emergency braking assist, and seven airbags.