It?s now official ? the all-new Lancer Evolution has arrived in Australia and will go on sale from July 21.
Robert McEniry, president and chief executive officer of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL), is rightfully a little proud of the Evo X, he is also impressed with the storm of interest that the all-new model has helped foster in the Mitsubishi brand.
?As head of the Lancer sedan family, and halo vehicle for the Mitsubishi brand, the 2008 Lancer Evolution has captured the imagination of the general public since the first concept vehicle, Concept-X, was shown at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show.
The production model of the Lancer Evolution stays true to the styling direction of the acclaimed concept vehicle. A shark nosed front end inspired by jet fighter air intakes, a distinct wedge-like profile and crisp, taut lines highlight the new-generation Lancer design, which in all guises is proving popular with buyers.
We already know the stats?and the pricing?having been one of the first to publish these details last month, but it doesn?t hurt to have a refresher. The 2008 Lancer Evolution X boasts a new turbo-charged and inter-cooled 2.0-litre DOHC inline four cylinder with reinforced cast-aluminium cylinder bock. Outputs are 217kW and 366Nm ? our sources tell us that both figures are a little, shall we say ?shy? of the actual outputs.
The new Evo X also sees the introduction of Mitsubishi?s all-new Twin Clutch Sport Shift Transmission (TC-SST), an automated manual transmission capable of executing lightning-quick gear changes with no discernable drop-off in engine power. TC-SST equipped cars feature a console-mounted shifter along with steering wheel paddle shifters.
TC-SST offers three drive modes - Normal, Sport and S-Sport ? with the choice between automatic and manual shifting available in each mode. Normal mode suits everyday driving, while the Sport mode uses higher shift points when in automatic and quicker shifting to deliver instant throttle response. The S-Sport mode is designed for performance situations, such as track events.
As befits an Evo, the TC-SST is just the start of the high-tech wizardry that is packed into the Evo X. There is also the latest generation of Mitsubishi?s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) incorporating an Active Centre Differential, Super Active Yaw Control (SAYC), Active Stability Control and Sports Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and a Limited Slip Differential. The S-AWC offers the driver three traction modes ? Tarmac, Gravel and Snow. Mitsubishi are claiming that the new system has provided ?a significant advance in dynamic capability?.
All good things must come to a rapid halt ? and Mitsubishi have ensured that with the fitment of some serious brakes. Depending on the spec of the vehicle there are two Brembo brake systems on offer, both comprise 18 inch ventilated four pot front brakes (two-piece type on up-spec models) and 17 inch ventilated two pot rear brakes.
Safety is well catered for with a comprehensive list of standard safety features including driver and front passenger SRS airbags, driver side knee airbag, and side and curtain airbags. There is also Active Stability Control and a Sports Anti-lock Braking System working in tandem with the rest of the Evo?s electronic armada.
Two variants will be available - the entry level Lancer Evolution or the up-scale Lancer Evolution MR, with an optional Performance Package available on the base model.
The entry-level Lancer Evolution comes with a five-speed manual transmission as standard, with the option of Mitsubishi?s new six-speed Twin Clutch Sport Shift Transmission (TC-SST). TC-SST is standard on the Lancer Evolution MR.
Inside the Evo there is plenty of kit. The Evo X is no longer a stripped out racer in this regard. Recaro bucket seats and a sports-style steering wheel drive home the fact that this is a serious performance car. Mitsubishi have however made concessions towards occupant comfort and the Evo X also comes with automatic climate control, Smart key keyless entry, hands free Bluetooth connectivity, dusk sensing headlamps and rain sensing wipers, cruise control and an AM/FM six stacker CD audio with steering wheel audio controls.
The top level Lancer Evolution MR adds standard TC-SST with steering wheel paddle shifters, upgraded two piece front disc Brembo brakes, Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers, Eibach front and rear springs, high intensity definition (HID) headlamps with adaptive front-lighting system (AFS) with headlamp washers and auto headlamp levelling, 18 inch BBS forged aluminium wheels, colour coded hood and fender air outlets and chrome belt line moulding and grille surround.
Premium interior appointments on the MR include leather combination seat trim, heated front seats and a Rockford Fosgate AM/FM CD sound system with nine speaker including subwoofer. Mitsubishi?s Multi Communication System, including satellite navigation, is also standard on the MR variant.
For those wanting their Evo lighter on the fizz but with all of the MR?s good bits, there is an optional performance pack available for the entry level Evo X. It includes the Brembo two piece brakes, Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers, Eibach front and rear springs and 18 inch BBS forged aluminium wheels ? as found standard on the MR.
The 2008 Lancer Evolution is available in a range of colours including Solid White, Cool Silver, Red Metallic, Lightning Blue and Phantom Black.
Pricing for the 2008 Lancer Evolution starts at $59,490 for the entry level vehicle, the Lancer Evolution with TC-SST is priced from $64,490 and the top level MR can be yours from $71,690. The optional Performance Pack adds $5,500 to the entry level Evolution.
All Lancer Evolution vehicles are covered by Mitsubishi?s industry leading Diamond Advantage Warranty, with its comprehensive five year/130,000 whole vehicle warranty, backed up by its 10 year/160,000 km powertrain warranty and a five year/unlimited km roadside assistance package.
The Lancer Evolution and Evolution MR will be on sale from July 21st 2008.