Tested: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR

Today I drove the all-new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 MR premium edition near home. Mitsu Canada had invited a handful of auto journs and photogs to check out this wicked cool driving enthusiast pleaser. The roads near me are nothing like those in California’s “Canyon Country” earlier this year where I drove the new Evo 10 GSR, so today’s excursion was a lot more sedate with roads that are mostly flat and level.

Both cars have a two-litre Mivec turbo four that makes about 290 hp and 300 torque, super all-wheel drive and several different transmission and traction settings ranging from mild to wild to enjoy the car with. The main difference between the two models is the GSR has a five-speed manual tranny while the MR comes only with a six-speed TC-SST manual with auto modes (that’s twin clutch super sequential transmission by the way) and different wheels.

Both cars have gobs of traction but I actually prefer the manual gearbox, which makes the car feel more predictable and thus easier to control, even though it’s really loud on the highway. There’s no such annoying exhaust drone on the MR edition, however, there is a sport sharp mode on the TC-SST that I still must (really) put through its paces in few week on the track at AJAC’s annual car Test Fest. On long cruises or even day-to-day driving though the latter trans is really, really nice. Gear shifts are some of the fastest around too. That’s because each clutch pre-selects the next gear ahead of your next shift – it almost feels telepathic.

At the end of the day, I was tossed the keys to a 2009 Eclipse Spyder and drove home. Hopefully the rain will stay away for the next week so I can get the most out of it. It has a new exhaust system yielding a couple more ponies, some minor changes to the front and rear fascias as well as a six-speed manual, which I can’t stop wanting in the Evo. Hopefully, Mitsubishi gets enough requests for it because I think it would make this car even better than it already is.