Mitsubishi's compact Lancer line encompasses both utilitarian small cars and rally ready racers. The Lancer's basic 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 120 horsepower and teams with either a five-speed-manual or four-speed-automatic transmission. All Lancers ride on a four-wheel fully independent suspension. A four-door Sportback hatchback version comes with a 160-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, while a Ralliart sedan comes equipped with a 162-horsepower version of the same powerplant and a sport-tuned suspension. Air conditioning, a CD stereo, power locks, mirrors and windows, a rear defroster and tilt steering column come standard across the line. The O-Z Rally sedan gets 15-inch alloy racing wheels, bumper extensions, and side air dams. Meanwhile the top Evolution is aimed at youthful and deep-pocketed "tuner" car enthusiasts and is garishly graced with a large hood scoop and a giant-sized rear spoiler. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generates an astounding 276 horsepower and drives all four wheels via a five-speed-manual transmission, with five-second 0-60 mph times. For this year, all Evolutions get a new electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. The Evolution also includes four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes and an upgraded suspension, along with a sport steering wheel and heavily bolstered sport seats. A new limited-edition MR model adds a six-speed gearbox, revised suspension tuning, BBS wheels, and other upgraded equipment.
2005 Mitsubishi Evolution MR by Bengt
A little more punch, and a little softer around the edges. Still, better make it a decaf.