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2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - Driven

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - Driven

Updated 10/17/2013: This review has been updated with video reviews of the GSR version, and a memory-card full of high-resolution photos of this Cosmic Blue stunner.

Since spending a week with Mitsubishi’s gorgeous 2014 Lancer Evo GSR, I came to appreciate many things that make this such an incredible lap attack car, but also a great daily driver with incredible torque.

The legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution returns for 2014 with a new touchscreen infotainment unit to enhance the interior of one of the finest road-going rally race cars ever produced. The Evo’s flypaper grip on tarmac, snow and gravel continues with two trim levels and sprint times that are as low as 4.5 seconds to 60 mph.

The Mitsu’s competitive landscape has changed significantly since this Evo X generation arrived more than four years ago. It largely demolishes the current-gen the Subaru WRX STi on all but the roughest gravel roads, but this comes with a higher-than-expected cost.

With prices creeping past the $40,000 mark on well-optioned 2014 Evolution MR models, the modest Lancer variant now faces competition from the more-powerful BMW 135i and upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG. These Germans are each packing well over 325 horsepower and are able to match the Evo’s turbocharged punch with much-more-refined image and interior comfort levels.

While it is true that prices can climb to the luxury level in MR trim with options, the most accessible Evo remains the $35,000 GSR model with a five-speed manual and fewer pricey party tricks in the suspension and transmission. All Evo’s, of course, leverage the brilliant computer-managed AWD system with its crushingly effective yaw control and active torque vectoring.

The Evolution’s cult audience is thrilled to have this 10th gen car available for another year. More time on the market also means a huge pool of aftermarket support and even factory accessories like front and rear strut braces, a front air dam and full racing body kits – right from the local Mitsubishi dealer.

Are the Evo’s world-beating capabilities still intact and on top in one of its final years on the market? Will this generation be known as one of the best when the long-rumored hybrid powertrain brings changes to the Evo’s driving style in 2015 or 2016?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, with detailed comparisons between the Evo GSR manual and the Evo MR twin-clutch models.

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2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

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.

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2013 Mitsubishi 311RS Evo X

2013 Mitsubishi 311RS Evo X

By and large, Mitsubishi isn’t the first automaker you think of when you’re thinking of a high-powered sports car. But they do have one model that’s almost always in the discussion: the Lancer Evolution.

Now on its 10th iteration - or "X," as the Japanese automaker prefers to call it - the Evo has always been one of the most popular models in Mitsubishi’s lineup, so much so that circuit racer, Ryan Gates, decided to build an ultra-limited edition model of the Evo X.

He calls it the 311RS and it has a load of aftermarket goodies in it, something Evo X fans will come to appreciate.

Gates only has 11 models of the 311RS at his disposal with one already headed to the White Bear Mitsubishi dealership in White Bear Lake, MN. Should you be interested in taking a good look at the car, you can also go to the 2013 Minneapolis Auto Show where the car will be prominently displayed.

Find out more about the Mitsubishi 311RS Evo X after the jump

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2013 Mitsubishi Mirage Evolution

2013 Mitsubishi Mirage Evolution

It looks as if the Evolution lineup in Mitsubishi may be getting bigger, but not too much bigger. Rumor has it that the struggling Japanese automaker is currently working on developing an Evolution trim level for its incoming hatchback, the Mitsubishi Mirage.

Details are still pretty thin on this potential model, buy Japanese magazine, Best Car, is all but certain that the model is underway and it will join the Mirage lineup shortly after its 2013 release. Seeing a subcompact hatchback like this bearing the “EVO” badge may seem a little strange, given the fact that the original Lancer Evolution has always been a four-door sedan with monstrous performance numbers.

This version of the EVO will not quite have the power numbers of the Lancer EVO, but it will be extremely powerful, given its puny specifications. Under the hood, we all expect to see a 1.5-liter three-banger engine that pumps out a respectful 150 horsepower, thanks to the help of a turbocharger. Where this new Evolution will make up ground is in the diet that Mitsubishi has this hatchback on. When it is all said and done, it is expected that Mitsubishi will have the Mirage weighing less than 2,000 lbs, giving it around a 12.5 pounds-per-horsepower rating, which is very respectable for its class.

Other than those few bits of information, everyone’s lips are pretty well sealed on the possible Mirage Evolution. We will continue to monitor the rumor mills for you and keep you up to date on all of the latest rumors and leaks, as we keep our fingers crossed for this performance subcompact hatchback.

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2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X by Vilner and OverDrive

2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X by Vilner and OverDrive

Back in the 90’s, Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution high-performance program was one of the most popular things to come out of Japan. Those days sure were fun for Mitsubishi.

Unfortunately, the Evolution program doesn’t hold the same cache as it used to, but nevertheless, it still carries a lot of weight as far as performance cars are concerned.

Bulgarian tuning firm, Vilner, is determined to bring the Lancer EVO X back to prominence with interior upgrades and even brought in one of its contemporaries, Overdrive, to take care of the exterior and performance improvements.

Inside the Lancer EVO X, Vilner decked it out with a black leather upholstery to go along with white colored accents and stitching. The roof lining has been outfitted with black Alcantara while the steering wheel and gear lever were treated with carbon trim. Rounding out Vilner’s work is a pair of OMP front bucket seats with a piano black decorative trim. Outside, Vilner also put in new LED lights on the car’s headlamps and taillights, replacing the standard lights the car comes in.

Meanwhile, the Lancer EVO X’s exterior was treated with carbon elements to go along with a Greddy exhaust system, an adjustable K-sport suspension, and a set of 18” Weds Sports alloy wheels. Under the hood, Overdrive also gave the car a power kit that spikes the output of the car’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine all the way up to 400 horsepower.

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