The 10th-generation Lancer Evolution, in a sense, was a leap of faith for because it would be their single greatest departure from the gene pool created by the company's involvement in the World Rally Championship. Mitsubishi's decision to go "upmarket" with the Evo X (10) would help justify its price against its more luxury-oriented competition, but at the same time had many believing it would dilute the DNA in the process. So last year we ensconced ourselves in its well-bolstered Recaro seats for over 34,000 non-pampered test miles to find out.
The Evo MR's new market position was a hard swallow at first. We nearly choked on the car's $41,515 price tag, and weren't too fond that it had gained weight from an improved level of comfort (to make it more universally appealing) and an "automatic transmission" option. Come judgment day, the Evo shock-n-awed us with its sublime synergy of rear-wheel torque-biasing, turbocharged thrust and all-wheel-drive control logic. Not to mention the MR trim's TC-SST 6-speed transmission (the twin-clutch "automatic" we mentioned) could shift almost as if hard-wired to the driver's brain. We were sold from the first apex and knew we had to have one—ahem, another one—for long-term evaluation. (Read More)