2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

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The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR is a sports car masquerading as a four-door sedan that was born out of the world of rally racing . The Evo still hangs onto its rally-racing roots while also being comfortable enough to use as a daily driver. The all-wheel drive GSR only gets better when the roads get slick as it is able to keep traction long after others would have spun out of control.

The 2013 model year will mark the end of an era for the Evolution, with it being the last in the line to use a traditional gas-powered turbocharged engine. That fairly thirsty little motor will be replaced by a hybrid or possibly all electric system.

The Evo is one of those dream cars that young men craved for years, thanks to its appearance in numerous car-racing games, but for a long time you couldn’t get one in the U.S. Fortunately, Mitsubishi eventually brought it into the U.S. and the dream car became a reality.

The GSR does lack some of the refinement of its more expensive rivals, but is still a great raw performance car.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR.

Exterior

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

The styling of the GSR is very aggressive and will not leave anybody thinking that this car is just a run-of-the-mill Lancer. The front end is loaded with air intakes and air outlets to help keep the engine and brakes cool. The front grille is downright mean looking with a huge opening for air to get straight to the intercooler and radiator without any blockage.

The aggressiveness does not stop in the back, as a large wing sits atop the trunk. This wing alerts anybody that wants to race that they had better have a decent car to keep up, but more importantly provides much needed down-force at high speeds. The sporty styling continues with the dual exhaust pipes, which also help to move the exhaust gas out freely. To finish off the rear end you have the rear diffuser around the exhaust pipes that will help clean up the airflow as it flows past the underside of the car.

From the side, the heat extractors are integrated into the body lines and give it a purposeful look. The car also rides fairly low, especially by sedan standards, which adds to the high-performance look. From the side, you can also see the red Brembo brake calipers that show through the alloy wheels.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (in./mm)104.3/2650
Length (in./mm)177.0/4495
Width (in./mm)71.3/1810
Height (in./mm)58.3/1480
Track, Front (in./mm)60.8/1545
Track, Rear (in./mm)60.8/1545
Min. Ground Clearance (in./mm)5.5/140

Interior

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

When you get inside the car, you are welcomed by RECARO racing seats that wrap you up snugly, keeping you from being thrashed around as you whip the Evo through the twist. While the seats are perfect for driving quickly, they won’t make you want to sit in them for long road trips and they become uncomfortable quickly.

Once you sit down, a perfectly sized, leather-wrapped sports steering wheel greets you and begs you to throw the GSR hard into a corner. Looking through the steering wheel you’ll notice the big tachometer waiting for you to rev that engine and next to it is an equally large speedo.

Put your feet on the pedals and they meet aluminum that will help keep your feet from slipping off while working the gas, brake and clutch with grace. When you reach over to rip through the gears, your right hand is greeted by a leather-wrapped shifter knob that makes shifting through all five gears a pleasure.

The rest of the Evolution GSR interior is stark at best. The radio is very simple and not what we have come to expect in a modern car. In fact, the stereo system resembles something from last decade. Most of the controls are very simple and the interior has very generic lines and looks a bit like a sea of platic. However, you don’t buy a car like the GSR for a fancy interior; you buy it for its performance and the interior trimmings that are performance geared.

Standard Features

  • Automatic A/C climate control with chrome dials
  • Micron air filtration
  • Rear heater floor ducts
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel w/ silver accent
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Leather-wrapped parking brake w/ chrome accent
  • High contrast IP meters (speedometer / tachometer)
  • Multi-information full color LCD display (trip meter and odometer, outside temperature, average fuel consumption, and driving distance to empty, service reminder drive mode indicator, S-AWC mode indicator, S-AWC real-time display, water temperature warning lamp and low fuel warning)
  • Gloss Black I/P and front door accents
  • Chrome-plated inner door handle
  • Soft Touch inside front door trims
  • Center console armrest cloth inserts
  • Aluminum scuff plate
  • RECARO™ front sport bucket seats with sporty fabric
  • 4-way adjustable driver’s seat
  • Height adjustable rear seat headrests (X3)
  • Rear center armrest with cup holders
  • Door trim pocket with integrated bottle (500ml) holders (x2)
  • Retractable assist grips (x4)
  • Coat hanger (x1) at rear assist grip
  • Front cup holders with lid (x2)
  • Center console arm rest storage unit
  • Aluminum sport pedals
  • Key cylinder illumination
  • Tilt height-adjustable steering column
  • Front Map Lamps
  • Cabin and trunk lamps
  • 12-volt accessory outlet
  • Trunk entrapment release handle
  • Floor mats (POE)

Drivetrain

The 291-horsepower engine doesn’t really seem all that powerful by today’s high standards, but it is enough to propel the car from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 4.9 seconds. That is fast enough to keep all but the fastest sports cars at bay.

The GSR is a driver’s car and to keep the driving experience as pure as possible, the engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The transmission is a close-ratio unit and when we say close, we mean microscopically close. In fact, it is so close that you will need to get into 3rd gear just past 60 mph and you’ll need all five gears to get through the quarter mile.

While in rally racing this is all a good thing, if you want an Evolution GSR as a daily driver it means you’ll be humming along at about 3,500 rpms while driving at just 70 mph. This adds up to some pretty poor gas mileage: 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, which is the same as a 2013 Ford Explorer XLT gets and that car is about the size of a small tank. While the five-speed is a pleasure to shift, we do wonder if a six-speed transmission would have been better to make the car more usable daily and to improve gas mileage.

Of course, most people that buy an Evolution won’t be buying it for the gas mileage. The fact that you have to keep the rpms fairly high means the turbocharged engine will always have plenty of boost when you decide to pass on the freeway and you’ll blow past just about all the traffic without downshifting.

Engine2.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbocharged
TransmissionFive-speed manual transmission
Horsepower291 @ 6,500 rpm
Torques (pound-feet)300 @ 4,400 rpm

Suspension and Brakes

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

The suspension on the Evolution GSR was born in the world of rally racing and that makes the car capable of some incredible things when you hit the twist. Unfortunately, the Evo GSR falls on its face when it comes to comfort, as the ride is about as comfortable as falling on a boulder. Unlike higher-end cars, like the BMW BMW M3, which are capable on the track, but then can be softened up a bit when they hit the city streets, the ride in the GSR is always in track mode. Yeah, you know when you hit any bump on the road.

For a while, the Evolution got the reputation of becoming soft and Mitsubishi has definitely fixed this. The car is so focused on performance now that if you want to talk the wife into letting you buy one, don’t let her ride in it on the test drive.

With all the performance available when romping on the long and skinny pedal, you need some good brakes to slow you down. Fortunately, the car comes with race-ready Brembo brakes that help to stop you before driving into a ditch.

When hitting the corners, a set of 245/40R18 Yokohama ADVAN asymmetrical performance tires help keep the car glued to the road and put the power to the ground. The tires are good and sticky, but if you push hard enough, they allow the Evo’s backside to slide just enough.

What really makes the Evolution rally-ready is its all-wheel-drive system and it is one of the best available. Dare we say the system is even better than that found in the Subaru Impreza WRX STI. It keeps traction so well that you’ll want to find an ice-racing course directly after leaving the showroom and toss it into some ice-covered corners. It will make you think you have Tanner Foust levels of talent, even though chances are you aren’t even close.

Driving Impressions

The Mitsubishi Evolution GSR is a pure performance car masquerading as a somewhat sensible sedan. The car’s full focus is on performance; it definitely isn’t one that makes a great family grocery getter that can also be driven quickly. Nope, the Evo GSR is just a roll cage and stripped interior away from tackling rally courses.

This is what makes the car so much fun to drive. The Evo GSR is brutal, uncomfortable and light on amenities, but when you get it on a twisty stretch of road, all of those cares melt away. It forces you not to care that it has a stiff ride and that you’ll make your kids get car sick if they ride in the back seat; you just wear a huge grin on your face as you are begged to push the GSR harder through each corner.

Price

The 2013 Mitsubishi Evolution GSR starts at $34,695. That price makes it a bargain for the amount of performance you get, although it may seem a little steep if you just look at the trim level of the interior.

Competition

Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206

Just like the Evolution, the WRX STI was born in the world of rally racing. This means it has very good performance with 305 horsepower on tap and it can go from 0 to 60 mph in a relatively quick 5.3 seconds.

While the STI is significantly slower than the Evo GSR, it is a much more usable everyday car than the GSR. A large part of this is thanks to its much softer ride that will make it no problem taking long trips. The car is still plenty quick for most situations and it will only feel subpar when you put it on the track against other rally machines.

Conclusion

The 2013 Mitsubishi Evolution GSR is a terrible family sedan. The car may have four doors, but the ride is harsh, it gets bad gas mileage and it’s loud on the freeway. If you are looking for a good performing car that can also be used every day, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI is a much better option.

However, for someone that wants a pure sports sedan that does not compromise for the comfort of its passengers, the GSR is perfect for you. The four doors and three seats in back are only there to talk your significant other into the car as a "sensible" choice. The car is a brute to drive, but will make you feel like you are a rally racing legend and that is what makes it so great.

LOVE IT
  • Awesome performance
  • Four doors makes it somewhat useful for the family
  • Feels like a real rally car
LEAVE IT
  • The ride will rattle the teeth out of your head
  • Low on amenities
  • Cheap-looking interior

Press Release

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

With a design and engineering pedigree developed from multiple title victories in the grueling World Rally Championship (WRC), the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is the original four-door sports car, thanks to its remarkably fleet of foot Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) full-time all-wheel drive system that provides an astounding degree of road-hugging traction paired with an extremely potent 291 hp, all-aluminum 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

For the 2013 model year, the Japanese auto manufacturer’s legendary Lancer Evolution sports sedan is available in two editions: the GSR and the top-flight MR.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

Combining inspiring performance with an attractive price point, the Lancer Evolution GSR comes equipped with a rifle bolt-precise quick-shifting 5-speed manual transmission along with a comprehensive list of welcome standard features and amenities including a large rear deck lid spoiler, highly supportive RECARO® semi-bucket racing seats, Brembo® braking system, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, and stylish and lightweight Enkei® alloy wheels clad with high-performance Yokohama ADVAN® tires.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer MR

For the ultimate high-performance sports sedan driving experience, the Mitsubishi Lancer MR is chock full of advanced high-tech automotive technologies and driver aids. These include Mitsubishi’s lightning fast 6-speed twin-clutch Sportronic shift transmission (TC-SST), special lightweight two-piece front brake rotors and BBS forged-alloy wheels, an upgraded suspension package that includes Eibach springs and Bilstein shock absorbers, and High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps.

Exhilarating Handling, Thanks to Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC)

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

Throughout its impressive history, every iteration of the legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been capable of absolutely stunning degree of road-hugging handling – thanks in large part to Mitsubishi Motors’ advanced driving dynamic technologies that make up Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC).

For the 2013 Lancer Evolution model, a quartet of remarkable systems makes up Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC): all-wheel drive with an Active Center Differential (ACD) and a rear differential with Active Yaw Control (AYC), a Sport ABS braking system and Active Stability Control (ASC). The S-AWC system features three distinct driver-selectable traction modes – Tarmac, Gravel and Snow – for maximum performance.

The Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), using the Active Center Differential (ACD) to modulate power, makes split-second decisions based on information collected from sensors measuring wheel speeds, throttle opening and steering wheel angle to manage the electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch. The system allows up to a 50:50 torque split between the front and rear wheels.

The Active Yaw Control (AYC) controls torque distribution to the vehicle’s rear wheels through yaw rate sensors, brake force control from the Active Stability Control (ASC) and the planetary gear rear differential.
The Sport Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) utilizes data from the S-AWC and the yaw rate sensors, along with advanced brake pressure, to rapidly decelerate the vehicle with exceptional poise and control.
The Active Stability Control (ASC) oversees the traction and stability control systems and helps prevent wheel slip and regulates brake force and power distribution at each individual wheel for improved stability and traction when cornering.

Supercar as a Daily Driver

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

While the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is essentially a street-legal race car, this race-ready vehicle’s interior is far more accommodating for life as a daily driver than the typical machines found at the race track.

All Lancer Evolution models feature an aesthetically appealing design incorporating stylish black sport fabric interior trim and gloss-black instrument panel trim, along with a smart layout of the driver’s controls as well as pleasant ergonomics for all cabin occupants. What’s more, every Lancer Evolution features a long list of welcome amenities befitting an upscale automobile. These include comfortable yet form-fitting RECARO® front bucket sport seats, cruise control, remote keyless entry, automatic climate control and power windows, side mirrors and door locks. Music fans will appreciate the smooth grooves emanating from the standard 6-speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with digital signal processor (DSP) and USB auxiliary input and includes Mitsubishi Motors’ FUSE Handsfree Link System™ that allows users to wirelessly connect to their Bluetooth®-enabled cell phone, iPod® or USB drive by using their voice.

Race-Bred Chassis and Suspension for Optimal Performance & Safety

Derived from the well-engineered global C-platform, the 2013 Lancer Evolution possesses an exceptionally well-fortified platform and an advanced suspension system derived from years of world rally competition.
Engineers have made the most of high-tech lightweight but exceptionally strong materials. Components such as the engine block and suspension control arms are composed of aluminum, as well as a good portion of the body (the roof, hood, front fenders, and front and rear bumper beams) to help reduce overall vehicle weight. Weight distribution has been further enhanced by locating both the battery and the windshield washer fluid tank inside the trunk area.

All 2013 Lancer Evolution models feature a well-tuned suspension design that consists of inverted MacPherson struts up front with a multi-link at the rear, a race-ready Brembo® braking system with 4-piston calipers with 13.8-inch diameter rotors (front) and 2-piston calipers with 13.0-inch diameter rotors (rear), 4-channel Sport ABS and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

The 2013 Lancer Evolution MR further increases the performance quotient thanks to the fitment of lightweight two-piece Brembo® brake rotors up front (saving 2.9 lbs. of unsprung weight at each wheel), accompanied by Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs at all four corners.

Additional road-hugging performance is attained through the fitment of high-grip 245/40R18 Yokohama ADVAN asymmetrical performance tires wrapped around 18 x 8.5-inch wheels (Enkei cast-alloy on GSR and BBS® forged-alloy on MR) on all four axles.

Helping to protect the vehicle’s occupants in the event of an accident are Mitsubishi’s patented next-generation Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) technology to help disperse energy from the cabin section as well as the fuel system, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and a supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors and a total of seven air bags: a driver’s side knee air bag, two front, two seat-mounted side-impact air bags and two side curtain air bags.

Technologically-Advanced Powertrain

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

Boasting an impressive 291 hp at 6,500 rpm and a potent 300 lb.-ft. of torque starting at 4,400 rpm, the DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled inline-4-cylinder engine with MIVEC variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts is constructed of a reinforced cast-aluminum cylinder block and an aluminum cylinder head (engine code: 4B11 T/C). With a bore and stroke both measuring 86.0 mm, the 2.0-liter boasts a "square" design with a 9.0:1 compression ratio.

The stainless steel exhaust manifold and turbocharger are located on the rear of the transversely mounted engine, close to the firewall, and help to improve weight distribution. The exhaust system with dual exhaust outlets is free-flowing and gives the Lancer Evolution a distinctive and throaty exhaust tone.

The GSR model comes equipped with a precise, short-throw 5-speed manual transmission while the upmarket MR model features a lightning-quick Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST).

The TC-SST operates two wet multi-plate clutches to toggle through gears quicker than a standard automatic or manual transmission. Shifts are utterly seamless, with almost no discernible lag time. In manual mode, shifts can be made with the console-mounted gear selector or the magnesium-alloy steering wheel paddle shifters.

Mitsubishi engineers programmed three automatic drive modes for the Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission: Normal, Sport and S-Sport. In Normal mode, the Lancer Evolution drives similar to most automatic transmission-equipped vehicles. In Sport mode, the shift points are moved higher in the rpm range and shifting has been quickened. The S-Sport mode goes further, holding each gear close to redline, and is optimized for the racetrack.

The Lancer Evolution GSR achieves a 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway rating from the EPA with the 5-speed manual transmission with the Lancer Evolution MR producing 17 mpg city/ 22 mpg highway with the TC-SST.


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