Lancer was one of the most conspicuous sedans one can buy in India, probably a decade ago. It enjoyed the league of some of the old finest premium sedans such as the Octavia, Mondeo, etc. When we were quite happy with the Lancer, the Japanese markets and few others had ‘Evo’ of Evolution versions of it; not one not two but ten generations! And it took ten generations for the Evolution to reach India, we have Evolution X finally.
But Evo X is absolutely not an updated Lancer. It is also not a ‘Lancer’ kind of car or do not even fit into that segment. Well you’ll be astonished to know that the offer price of the Evo X in India approximately Rs. 50 lakhs. So, it is something or lot more than what we would really expect!
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Mitsubishi team’s only aim was to make the Evo X as fast as possible, while also making it as safe to drive as possible. The technologies engineered in it, the aerodynamic styling, new platform with increased body stiffness, the driveline, suspension and tyres, etc., all try to bring out the best speed and performance on track.
The aggressive functional design (handsome too!) presents an intimidating and exciting
aerodynamic exterior manifestation suggestive of its superior road performance.The front end design identity is common to all global Mitsubishi sedans and SUVs – inverted-slant nose with a trapezoidal grille design inspired by jet fighter air intakes (looks like Shark nose too!). The front fascia is crafted for optimum aerodynamic advantage. The design is fascinating and elegant, especially the reg. number plate housing in the left extreme of the car’s bumper. The low and wide body proportion gives the car a sporty look and enhances the drivability. The nicely crafted alloys grabs out eyeballs. The rear profile looks more like a jacked up Cedia rear end with twin tail pipes. The rear spoiler is what the cynosure, which has exclusive aerodynamic track advantage. Aluminum is used for the spoiler, roof panel, engine hood, front fenders, and the rear and the front bumper beams so as to keep a check on overall weight for an exhilarating performance.
Recaro bucket seats are what you see when you open its doors. They are trimmed with leather and techno suede for maximum comfort. The all grey interiors, three-spoke steering wheel, sporty instrument cluster and center console with accessibility is what describes Evo X’s interiors. It is phenomenally comfortable and stylish.The quality of the materials are great to compete against the likes of Mercedes, Audi and BMW leaves something to be desired. There are few cubby holes and bottle holders too. The rear seat is fairy spacious and luxurious. However, you are for the driver seat of an Evo. Boot space is fairly decent at 465 liters but then, the loading lip is higher than the others.
There is no dearth of comfy factors, features combined with state of the art technologies. Sporty Scuff Plate, Power windows with anti-trap, High Intensity Discharge Headlamps with Adaptive front Lighting System (AFS) , Intelligent Washer, Rear Center Roof Antenna, Versatile Arm Rest, a multi-information display, climate control dual air conditioning, hands free mobile plug ins, Bluetooth connectivity, and Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with 9 speakers will never remind you that you are in a performance oriented car. Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC), an advanced 4WD vehicle dynamics control system is standard as does the SRS passenger airbags, Active Center Differential, Active Yaw Control, Sport Anti-lock Brake System, Active Stability Control (ASC) with Bilstein single tube shock absorbers, Eibach coil springs and brembo 2-piece disc brakes. Oops, i’m tired of listing out!
This isn’t a normal road car for sure, so this part of our review is more emphasizing. The long rally heritage of the Mitsubishi is clearly evident with the tech spec of the Evo X. Under the hood is a new turbocharged engine that adds a high-performance turbocharger to
the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve-timing Electronic Control System) unit. It pump out a maximum of 289.9 bhp of power and 366 NM of torque.
The Evo X uses a 6-speed TWIN CLUTCH-SST (TC-SST) transmission automated manual transmission that eliminates the need for a clutch pedal and provides slick, smooth shifting. It puts odd (1st, 3rd, 5th) and even (2nd, 4th and 6th) gears on separate input shafts. Each of these shafts has its own clutch and, through tight cooperative
control with the engine, switches between these electronically
controlled clutches to achieve seamless shifting and accelerating. A steering column-mounted lightweight magnesium paddle shifters that allow
the driver to shift manually without taking his hand off the steering
wheel. It allows superior power transmission efficiency with little loss of motive power and returns excellent fuel economy, thanks to the use of clutches instead of torque converter to transmit power. You can enjoy smooth auto shift by using the ‘D’ position of the shift lever. The shift transmission timing and speed can be further changed with the TC-SST control mode.
This part of our review is even more emphasizing. The birth mission of the Evo X is scintillating track performance. The initial take off is not very strong or rapid. There is a bit of turbo lag, thanks to the 2.0 litre motor pressurized for a whooping 291bhp. Crossing 3000 rpm mark, the power delivery is very linear and the tug from the four-wheel-drive system pins you to your seat! 60-120 kmph takes just 5.4 seconds and 0-100 kmph in less than seven seconds. From 4000 rpm to 6500 rpm, the power band is at its best, and accelerates beyond 200 kmph. The company claims a top speed of 250 kmph.
Evo X’s wider track and longer wheelbase bring improved
stability and ride. The car’s lower center of gravity stemming from the lower powertrain, and
better front/rear weight distribution resulting from the lower engine
weight enhances stability. A revamped suspension layout with wider tracks and 18-inch tires brings improved straight line stability, cornering and ride. The Evo X is well planted and sticks to the road, thanks to those aerodynamic calculations including the taller rear spoiler. There is very little body roll and feels composed and relaxed. The well-weighted steering is more accurate and gives a good feel. The high-performance brake with suspension package brings phenomenal improvements in grip, steering response, stability and cornering.
The 2.0 litre petrol engine is tuned for maximum power output and driving performance. Yet the efficiency is ensured. Despite its turbocharged pedigree the car earns a 3-star rating
for emissions that are 50% lower than the requirements of the Japanese
2005 standards. But India’s poor fuel quality with 91 octane spec (97 octane specified by company) will disappoint its frugality for sure. It city driving conditions, the Evo X may touch 11 kmpl while 15 on the highways.
Mitsubishi Motors effort to bring in their world best to India is commendable. The Evo X is an ultimate sport machine with aggressive and devastating on-road performance. Yet, it bring out the finest luxury and comfort for the price. It is fun and smart on wheels. It feels even more capable on everyday streets too. No other car would attract as many open-mouthed stares the Evo X gets. If you want to be a rally driver everyday, then Evo X is the only best option you have in India.