If driving is your occupation, then the Evo is your office. Though not the complete antithesis of the other Ultimate Driving Machine, Mitsubishi throws you a few bones in the way of creature comfort. Everything you don't necessary need to lay down the smack at the track is limited to power windows, power door locks, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, and 150 watt stereo. The stereo is your bare minimum AM-FM/CD player affair and can be used to drown out the sound of the tranny on long drives. Those with a lazy right foot beware as cruise control isn't available. We also opted not to get the sunroof as that increases the weight another fifty pounds or so.
The reason I was able to justify the lofty purchase price (lofty if your last 5 cars have all been used and cost under $7,000 each) and get it approved from the old lady (Car Guy: 1, Gynocracy: 0) was that the Evo came ready to race out of the box. Lightweight rims and sticky tires? Check. 271hp turbocharged and intercooled engine? Check. Aerodynamics? Check. Full time all wheel drive transmission? Check. Flux capacitor to go back in time and edit your post before your wife sees the word ?Gynocracy?? Oh wait, wrong movie.
On the inside, the race ready theme continues. Two manual reclinable Recaro buckets are provided for you with set of matching rear seats. Trimmed in a suede like material and a durable textured blue fabric, these seats will keep your ass from sliding around during high speed maneuvers. Designed as a compromise between a commuting seat and a track throne, the Recaros lack a bit in the support department - namely weak bolsters for anyone that weighs more than 150lbs. However, they do come with support from race harnesses so unless you?re extremely picky, you can cross seats off the to-do list before track day. We will be picking up a Sparco harness bar and a set of four point harnesses before our first track event.
The rest of the cabin is sparse, to say the least. No it?s not a bare metal rattle cage competition vehicle, but you won?t find much leather, heated seats or other useless bits here. In fact, there is leather in approximately 3 locations - on the shifter, the ebrake handle, and the steering wheel. Looks like the gallon of leather conditioner I got for my birthday will last longer than the car. The steering wheel is a little narrow for my taste, but remarkable nonetheless as Mitsubishi?s managed to package an airbag and a horn into the ridiculously tiny centerpiece. Directly underneath the ebrake handle is a toggle switch for the intercooler sprayer. Once armed, the sprayer will automatically mist the intercooler though the second position for the switch lets you spray manually. A high capacity reservoir for the sprayer sits under the hood. To prevent clogging of the lines, we use distilled water in ours.
The dials have clear, concise bright red lettering but leaves a bit to be desired. You?ve
your speedometer, tach, fuel level, and coolant temperature gauges. I would have personally liked to see a boost gauge (which was standard on the previous generation Eclipse GST/GSX) to monitor the unholy amount of stock boost the Evo puts out. Our first install will probably be an aftermarket boost gauge mounted to the steering column.
What?s outside of the office is just as important as what?s inside. At night, the standard HID xenon headlamps are a welcome boon. The projectors cut a distinct, well illuminated swath out of the night, which is extremely handy on the aforementioned canyon runs. The height (ranging from low-enough-to-see-roadkill to high-enough-to-blind-truckers) of the beam can be adjusted inside with a dial. When driving into the eye of a black hole, you can also simultaneously switch on the halogen high beams and foglights (which will be useless because, c?mon, nothing escapes the pull of a quantum singularity).
There you have it - our initial impressions of our project Evo. Look for features in upcoming months as we begin our buildup for some serious track duty.