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Journeys : April May 2009
The Evolution revolution Darren Moody O nce considered too hardcore to be an everyday chariot by all but die-hard enthusiasts, Mitsubishi’s performance hero the Evolution X has crossed that boundary to create a car capable of being something that most could live with as our daily drive. With creature comforts like climate control, sat-nav, rain-sensing wipers and Bluetooth phone connectivity to mention a few of the standard items, liveability has significantly improved, but there have been no compromises on the essential things the Evo legacy is famous for – outright performance, grip, handling and stopping power – which combine to provide an exhilarating drive. The new all-alloy 2.0l turbo intercooled engine pumping out 217kW at 6500rpm and 366Nm of torque at 3500rpm provides the heartbeat. While there’s plenty of driveability at lower revs, approach the sweet spot and the power comes on hot and strong. For this type of performance it does require 98 Ron fuel, which it consumes, according to official figures, at a rate of 14.1l/100km! Mitsubishi’s Getrag sourced TC-SST (Twin Clutch-Sport Shift Transmission) provides a multi-mode gearbox that can be switched from ‘normal’ for everyday driving, to full-on, manic ‘super-sport’ mode, where gears are selected at lightning speed with the electronics even blipping the throttle on down shifts. Somewhere in the middle is ‘sport’ mode, which offers quicker accelerator responses and quicker shift times. In normal setting it behaves impeccably for those stop-start traffic congestion days. You do have the ability to swap cogs via the paddles or gear lever, but I think the transmission does the business well-enough without human intervention and while you’re pushing on, it’s just one thing less to worry about. Bringing the end result to the tarmac (or dirt if that’s your bent) is Mitsubishi’s rally-bred AWD system. This also has clever new electronics to ensure the pointy end is heading where you need it. Mitsubishi’s ‘super all-wheel control’ system combines an active centre differential, super-active yaw control, active stability control and ABS. All these inputs are number-crunched by one electronic control unit to ensure optimal road-holding and traction under any conditions. In layman’s terms, it ensures the attitude of the Evo remains in-tune with the intentions of the driver. The top of the range MR variant gets lightweight 18” BBS alloy wheels and 360mm front and 330mm rear discs clamped by Brembo four-piston front and two-piston rear callipers. The result is great pedal feel with awesome stopping power, even after extreme punishment. Through a few rain-soaked but treasured laps at Winton Raceway, I explored the boundaries of the Evo. The first few laps were tentative as I let the electronics do their thing. Although the stability control allowed some attitude, staying in control was fairly comfortable, even at speed. A couple of brave-pills and a few laps later I thought I’d test the water without some of the electronics. The result was an exhilarating experience, with total predictability in both under and oversteer, along with absolutely awesome brakes, even in the soaking conditions. While exploring the laws of physics you are firmly held by the leather-trimmed Recaro seats, entertained by a premium nine-speaker sound system with a huge sub-woofer in the boot. With the battery also located in the boot, space is at a premium. To offset this, the Evo doesn’t come with a spare tyre, but rather a compressor, some goo and a 19-step process to re-inflate. A proper spare tyre is available as an option, but you can say goodbye to a fair bit of the remaining boot space if you tick that box. Seven airbags, ESP and a 5-star ANCAP rating adds to the civility, but the extra- firm ride from the low-profile tyres and sport suspension reminds you of the racing heritage of previous Evolutions. The top of the line MR variant will require the cheque book to stretch to almost $72,000, but you get one hell of a ride for your money. But for just under $60k, you can get yourself a manual version, missing a few bells and whistles. We have two copies of Mitsubishi’s official large-format Evolution book to give away – one in English and believe it or not, one in Spanish. Write your name on the back of an envelope and post to Evo English or Evo Spanish, RACT Marketing, GPO Box 2271 Hobart 7001. Competition closes on 4 May. April / May 09 31 Win!
June July 2009
June July 2008