2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR

Flexing muscles you’d never guess it had.

by Marty Padgett

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

Big, hulking American musclecars like the Mustang and Camaro make middle American straight boys drool. But on the coasts, where the trade winds blow a little more briskly, it’s scalding-hot imports like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution that draw the approving glances from the multiethnic hotties.
From that ginormous spoiler on the rear end, to the 291-horsepower turbo four and six-speed automatic, the Evo doesn’t just say “raring to go,” it shrieks it with every redline shift. Gaywheels.com’s editors agree: there’s not much better in life than running the Evo’s paddle-shifted through the 2.0-liter four’s powerband. The videogame feel is so strong, you’ll want to put quarters in the slot instead of gasoline.

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In case you’re counting, the Evo scoots to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. That’s slower than a Subaru WRX STI, but we like the Evo’s demeanor and subtler style enough to overlook the slightly slower times.
Built into its running gear is an advanced all-wheel-drive system that offers up three driving modes: tarmac for street driving; gravel; and snow. Each can be dialed up with a flick of the thumb on the steering wheel, in case you find yourself in a rally race on the way to the office. There also are seven airbags, stability control and anti-lock brakes in case you bargain for more than you can handle.
Inside, the Evolution is every bit the boy racer–and just as cute. The Recaro seats are slick and supportive, and there’s even a navigation system available in case you have a blond moment and totally forget where you’re going. Sure, there’s mostly black plastic on the dash, but you can’t forget that the broad-chested Evo starts life as the rather twinkish $15,000 Lancer.
While the front seats are the place to entertain your company, the back seat are more of a cookie-tosser. Corner briskly and the fifth wheels back there will get ill quicker than you can pull over for air. But don’t worry if you get a little adventurous: the Evo comes packed with stability control and anti-lock brakes.

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The Evo comes in two models: the GSR comes with a five-speed manual transmission, along with automatic climate control, cruise control, fog lights and a 140-watt CD sound system. This one arrives in February at dealers for a base price of around $34,000. The MR edition with the six-speed paddle-shifted automatic arrives later in the spring with BBS forged alloy wheels; Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs; Bluetooth connectivity; HID headlamps; that big rear wing; and steering wheel audio controls. It also wears a pricetag closer to $40,000.
Is it a tag too rich for the label-conscious among us? We say no. You can do lots of hustling in the Evolution for the price–almost all of it legal–and enjoy every twist and turn.

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