Headlining the marquee of Mitsubishi’s SEMA display is the Evolander concept. This unique vehicle, created by the Mitsubishi Research and Design of America (MRDA) team in Cypress, California started life as a 2007 Outlander, which is an all-new addition to Mitsubishi’s line-up that goes on sale in November. The creative minds at MRDA sought to infuse the Evolander concept with performance elements and design cues inspired by Mitsubishi’s omnipotent, race-ready, super-sedan, the Lancer Evolution. An exploratory concept, the Evolander represents the design and engineering possibilities of what could be an Outlander Ralliart production model in the future.
For the Evolander, the output of the Outlander’s 3.0-liter V6 engine (normally rated at 220 hp) swells to 300 hp with the help of an ATI/Roadrace Engineering Procharger system that uses a centrifugal compressor to produce 6 psi of boost. The increased power is fed through a 6-speed automatic transmission that is actuated by the same magnesium-alloy paddle shifters that will be equipped on the next generation performance model.
The Evolander puts power to pavement using Mitsubishi’s newest electronically-controlled AWD system offering exceptional, rally-car like roadholding in an SUV. The list of Evolander’s dynamic enhancements also includes a Roadrace Engineering/Muellerized coilover suspension system that enhances handling to help dice corners with precision and exceptional control. The Evolander rides on lightweight 20-inch OZ wheels wrapped in high performance Yokohama Advan ST performance rubber. Brembo’s new 6-piston monobloc-style brakes squeeze massive cross-drilled front rotors, and a set of cross-drilled rear rotors were added to help bring the vehicle to a swift, safe sudden halt.
The Evolander’s exterior design follows along an "urban performance" theme, and shares several characteristics with the Lancer Evolution sedan. The Evolander’s fascia design mimics that of the Evolution vehicles with its cavernous cooling and brake duct intakes and an aggressively vented hood. The Lancer Evolution also lends its iconic, rally-inspired, box flares to the Evolander, increasing the width of the vehicle at the fenders by 28 mm. The Evolander also features a more aggressive aerodynamic treatment, with lowered side sills, fender vents, a rear diffuser and a Ralliart rear spoiler that add a "sporty urban" look to the SUV.
The Evolander’s stylish interior fuses sporting elements of Evolution with the technology features found on Outlander. Recaro Sport form fitting, reclining racing seats cradle and support driver and passenger helping improve a driver’s seating position and vehicle control during aggressive driving. The interior still maintains full use of the 2007 Outlander’s new 30 GB hard-drive navigation system (with 1200 song music storage capability), as well as the rear DVD entertainment system, and the eardrum-rattling Rockford Fosgate 650 watt audio system.