THE EVO­LU­TION ENDS HERE

Mit­subishi sends rally hero off in ex­clu­sive style, PETER BARN­WELL writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

THERE will be a tear in the eye of many per­for­mance car en­thu­si­asts at the demise of Mit­subishi’s Evo­lu­tion Lancer.

It’s been around for al­most 25 years and won le­gion fans over that time.

This sta­tus was partly due to the ex­ploits Tommi Maki­nen, who took an Evo to the pin­na­cle of world cham­pi­onship ral­ly­ing in late 1990s.

The Fi­nal Edi­tion Evo 10 is avail­able now with 150 units only up for grabs at a price of $53,700.

Spec­i­fi­ca­tion in­cludes a swag of pre­mium com­po­nents from highly re­garded sup­pli­ers/man­u­fac­tur­ers — BBS 18-inch forged al­loy wheels, Brembo brakes, Bil­stein dampers, Eibach springs, Rockford Fos­gate au­dio to name a few

It’s es­sen­tially an Evo 10 with the op­tional Per­for­mance Pack thrown in for ex­tra 1000 bucks.

Our version of Fi­nal Edi­tion has more power — the most Evo, rated at 226kW/414Nm ar­rived at through bet­ter gas flow through the en­gine and a re­cal­i­brated en­gine com­puter. It has five-speed man­ual only.

The re­mains mostly un­changed at a 2.0-litre turbo four­cylin­der with MIVEC vari­able valve tim­ing and all wheel drive.

All the usual Evo bits are present, in­clud­ing Mit­subishi’s in­no­va­tive su­per all-wheel con­trol sys­tem offering Tar­mac, Gravel Snow modes.

The car also gets sports ABS brakes, auto head­lights, rain-sens­ing wipers, a re­verse cam­era, sat­nav, Mit­subishi’s hard to use MMCS in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, par­tial leather Re­caro seats, cruise con­trol, cli­mate con­trol, alu­minium front sus­pen­sion and other good­ies.

Ex­te­rior up­grades in­clude a Fi­nal Edi­tion badge, black painted

roof, dark chrome BBS al­loys, gloss grille and bon­net scoop, plus front grille sur­round.

In­side, a num­bered plaque on the cen­tre con­sole denotes each of 150 units cre­ated.

In­te­rior changes are lim­ited to colours.

We have in­ti­mate knowl­edge of Evos and think this one is a good propo­si­tion. It looks smart on the road

feels good to sit in. The hard plas­tic dash has been with the Evo since day still looks cheap.

But over­all look in­side is OK apart from MMCS con­trol sys­tem.

out­side? Quite a hand­some beast. The en­gine is smooth and quiet (too quiet) and it puts out de­cent amount of power the get-go.

But not enough to really roll back your eye­balls which what many cur­rent Evo own­ers would want. It’s all a bit too re­fined, a good start­ing point, but, like most Ja­panese sporty cars, a tad un­der­done.

Boot it in the guts and the Evo gets go­ing OK with ad­di­tional surge higher up rev range.

Lucky five-speed man­ual has a quick shifter so you can flick be­tween the closely spaced in­ter­me­di­ate ra­tios.

Though sus­pen­sion is from re­spected man­u­fac­tur­ers and there are even alu­minium front arms, it’s all a bit soft when push mat­ters. OK for cruis­ing around the street blast on that favourite coun­try road but any­thing more se­ri­ous Evo Fi­nal Edi­tion feels too soft. They need a race mode that stiff­ens or sharp­ens all the car’s dy­nam­ics and remaps throt­tle re­sponse. But it’s old a de­sign for that. All-wheel drive grip is un­sur­passed in road car brakes steer­ing are safety as­set with­out re­sort­ing to com­plex elec­tronic driver as­sis­tance sys­tems.

We found the Re­caro seats to be comfy and over­all drive ex­pe­ri­ence pleas­ing.

What we sus­pect is that Mit­subishi has been left with a bunch of base model Evo 10 man­u­als it can’t move

de­cided to run this Fi­nal Edi­tion ex­tra kit.

Buy­ers are the win­ners be­cause the man­ual is bet­ter drive than au­to­mated SST car.

It’s not bad. Would we buy one? No, we go for some­thing like a Toy­ota 86, spend 10 grand on it and have whole lot more fun lot less money.

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