Yesterday the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo was picked as one of the top 10 contenders for the World Performance Car of the Year honors. As such, it joins with some pretty impressive company the likes of:
- Audi RS 6 Avant
- BMW 135i Coupe / Cabriolet
- Corvette ZR1
- Lamborghini LP560-4 Gallardo
- Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
- Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG
- Nissan GT-R
- Porsche 911 Carrera
- Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2008 Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionEnlarge Photo
The World Performance Car of the Year jury will evaluate the group of high performance metal until the first judgment day in February at which time three finalists will be selected; those three will be announced on March 9. Finally, the winner will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on April 9.
The Evo has been doing battle with Subaru's Impreza WRX for years, with both Japanese sedans duking it out for recognition as THE top turbocharged, all-wheel drive performance sedan. Auto reviewers have tended to favor the WRX in comparisons, its growly flat-four delivering better low- and mid-range punch and its packaging and design making for better day-to-day livability. But the Evo should now play better, as it has recently been fortified with new techology including a twin-clutch automated manual, the same transmission design that's been garnering rave reviews when fitted to Porsches, VWs, and Audis.
Helping push the Evo into contention for top honors are 291 hp and 300 lf-ft torque from its 2.0-liter turbo four, Brembo high performance brakes, and an active center differential to seamlessly apportion torque to all four corners. In addition, an NHTSA 5-star Safety Rating and IIHS Top Safety Pick credentials give the Evo a strong dose of practicality for roadway peace of mind.
Over in our Car Reviews section, we concluded that "the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X has the acceleration and handling of a Porsche—at half the price." We found that auto journalists across the board had praise for its turbocharged power and all-new twin-clutch gearbox.
Stay tuned for our New York Auto Show coverage in April when the winner of this competition is announced. And may the best wheels prevail.