Mitsubishi has modestly warmed over its already hot Lancer Evolution for 2011. For the new model year, buyers can look forward to a host of styling and tech treats. As in the past, the rally heathen will be available in both GSR and MR trims, but the Japanese automaker is throwing in the company's new FUSE system for handling calls via Bluetooth and integrating music players. Even better, those gadgets should be controllable by voice command. In addition, the Lancer Evolution will now ship with a real-time traffic system when equipped with navigation. But let's be honest, no one is buying the Evolution for the infotainment.
Fortunately, Mitsubishi has also thrown in a few other changes for 2011, including a re-tuned exhaust system. The company isn't saying whether or not the new pipes add any horsepower to the equation, but the press release does indicate that the car now has a more throaty bark. In addition, Mitsu has effected some subtle aero tweaks. In shoutier GSR trim, that continues to mean one very large, very high-profile wing (now with slightly tweaked uprights), while MR continues to make use of a more subtle lip spoiler. Hit the jump for the press release and check out the gallery below.
October 8, 2010 -- CYPRESS, Calif. -- With its rally racing-inspired design, electronic driver aids and potent turbocharged power, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is one of the most capable high-performance sports sedans in the marketplace today. But the lusty appeal of this instantly recognizable 4-door is not limited just to the North American market; the "Evo" has a rabid fan following throughout the world.
Two versions of the Lancer Evolution will be offered in the U.S. market for the 2011 model year: the GSR model that features a short-throw 5-speed manual transmission along with a long list of standard features as well as numerous advanced electronic driver aids including the advanced Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) full-time all-wheel drive system and an even better equipped MR edition that includes Mitsubishi's remarkable 6-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic-Shift Transmission (TC-SST).
New for the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution:
Mitsubishi's FUSE Hands-free Link System™
This innovative technology gives users the ability to access their Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, iPod or USB drive with the sound of their voice. By using simple voice commands, users can make hands-free phone calls and play their favorite songs by artist, genre, album or playlist. What's more, the Gracenote® software that recognizes the names of musical artists and their songs can be updated for free so that as consumers add more and more new music, the FUSE system will recognize these new voice commands.
Real-Time Traffic (RTT)
A very convenient and informative real-time traffic (RTT) function has been added to the available 40GB HDD navigation system.
The Lancer Evolution's exhaust system has been tuned for an even more sporty-sounding exhaust note.
Sporty-looking Rear Spoilers
All Lancer Evolution GSR models now include a large rear spoiler at no additional cost to the consumer, with the MR version receiving a stylish low-key rear lip spoiler.
USB auxiliary input
Every Lancer Evolution features a convenient USB port that is easily accessed inside the storage bin between the two front seats.
Aggressive Racing Car-Inspired Styling
Automotive enthusiasts - especially fans of motorsports - have long appreciated the distinctive and aggressive body lines that have been a trademark characteristic throughout the years for the Lancer Evolution sports sedan. The current 10th-generation car continues to carry this trend but does so with a design aesthetic that is arguably the most refined interpretation of this legendary high-performance sports sedan's long and storied sporting history.
Inspired by the air intakes on jet fighters, the tall and wide openings of the car's front fascia not only lend the Lancer Evolution an imposing face but also flow vast volumes of air into the engine compartment to provide beneficial cooling to the radiator and intercooler, helping to maximize power production. Vents located atop the lightweight aluminum hood and on the sheetmetal aft of the front wheels are as functional as they are stylish as they help to evacuate hot air from within the engine compartment.
Protruding fenders at all four corners, a relatively tall beltline that slopes slightly downward towards the front of the vehicle and the car's short rear deck lid all combine to give the Lancer Evolution a stance that is both muscular and attractive-looking.
A tall trunk lid-mounted rear spoiler (GSR model) or a low-profile rear lip spoiler (MR model) round out the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution's exciting race car-inspired exterior styling.
Exhilarating Turbocharged/Intercooled 2.0-Liter Engine
The well-engineered 4B11 T/C engine is at the heart of every Lancer Evolution's fast-paced athleticism - it can get the pulse racing of even the most jaded automotive enthusiast with its ultra-quick acceleration and loads of instantaneous power on tap at seemingly any point of the tachometer's rev range.
Though only 2.0-liters (1,997 cc) in displacement, this hearty DOHC 16-valve inline-4 powerplant consists of an all-aluminum engine block and cylinder head (for high-strength and light weight) and a bore and stroke that both measure exactly 86.0 mm (3.4 in.), making it a "square" design as its bore-stroke ratio is 1.0. Power ratings for this engine are 291 horsepower at 6,500 rpm with a full 300 lb.-ft. of torque produced at a much lower 4,000 rpm. Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) works on both the intake and exhaust camshafts for optimized power production and cleaner exhaust emissions. This turbocharged/intercooled engine's compression ratio is 9.0:1.
Short-Throw 5-speed Manual or Rapid-Fire 6-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic-Shift Transmission
As standard equipment on the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR, the 5-speed manual gearbox is a driver's delight.
Its shift lever navigates through the gates with rifle bolt-like precision with each short, satisfying throw. The driver will also find that the lightweight clutch pedal operates in a similar manner. The functionality of both the shifter and the clutch pedal reward the operator with a high degree of mechanical feel - precisely what one wants from a high-performance sports car.
But while the smooth operation and tactile feel of the manual transmission found in the GSR model offers satisfying performance, the hard-core driving enthusiast will surely opt for the high-tech transmission included in every Lancer Evolution MR model.
Mitsubishi's revolutionary Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) is nothing short of an engineering marvel.
The TC-SST allows the driver to perform shifts in a fraction of the time that they could be performed with a standard manual transmission. The system also allows the driver to make these shifts via the console-mounted shift lever or even more conveniently by magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters. What's more, this close-ratio 6-speed Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission can operate in a fully automated mode, just like the typical automatic transmission. In either manual or automatic mode, each up or down shift takes place instantaneously with no perceptible lag time, with the engine management system "blipping" the throttle with every downshift, matching the engine and transmission speeds perfectly.
Supercar Performance from Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC)
Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution has always been known for its exceptional handling prowess. But the advanced electronic driver aids on the current generation vehicle - especially the company's superb Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system - have taken the Evolution's road hugging maneuverability to an astonishingly high level.
Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) is not one specific device but a network of technologically-advanced dynamic systems that constantly communicate with each other to provide optimized tractability. These include Active Stability Control (ASC), an Active Center Differential (ACD), an Active Yaw Control (AYC) rear differential, and Sport ABS brakes. Working in concert, Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) modulates torque delivery to each wheel in real-time for maximum control.
The Active Stability Control (ASC) includes the vehicle's traction control and stability control systems and helps to regulate brake force and engine power distribution at each individual wheel.
The Active Center Differential (ACD) uses an electronically-controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch to split engine torque (up to 50:50) between the front and rear wheels. This routing of engine power between the front and rear of the vehicle is determined by data collected from a variety of sensors including individual wheel speeds, throttle opening, steering wheel angle, and the vehicle's lateral and longitudinal positioning.
Acting in a similar fashion to a conventional limited-slip differential, the Active Yaw Control (AYC) rear differential utilizes a planetary gear differential, yaw rate sensor and brake force control via the Active Stability Control (ASC) system to control rear wheel torque for improved traction and stability in slippery road conditions and high-speed cornering.
And thanks to advanced brake pressure and yaw rate sensors, the Sport Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) helps the driver to maintain better steering control on slippery surfaces or under very heavy braking.
Advanced Sport-Tuned Chassis and Suspension
A highly rigid structure, strong but lightweight components and a superbly-tuned independent suspension system make up the foundation of every Lancer Evolution.
The Evo's platform features ample use of ultra-strong yet lightweight high-tensile steel along with a hood, greenhouse and front fenders composed entirely of lightweight aluminum. Mitsubishi engineers cleverly placed the car's battery and windshield washer fluid reservoir in the trunk to help improve overall vehicle weight distribution.
The suspension consists of a McPherson type strut (inverted strut) design at the front of the vehicle with a multi-link suspension employed at the rear. To improve unsprung weight, the control arms for both the front and rear suspensions are constructed of forged aluminum. Another Lancer Evolution strong suit is its incredible braking ability, thanks to a Brembo braking system that uses 4-channel Sport ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and large ventilated rotors at all four corners (13.8-in. diameter with 4-piston calipers up front and 13.0-in. diameter with 2-piston calipers in back). The Lancer Evolution MR model's brakes are even more advanced as they employ a two-piece rotor design for reduced weight. Super-sticky 245/40R18 Yokohama ADVAN asymmetrical performance tires wrapped around 18 x 8.5-in. wheels (Enkei® cast-alloy on the GSR and BBS® forged-alloy on the MR) round out the ultra-high-performance componentry and design that make this sensational performance car every bit as capable on the racetrack as it is comfortable for driving in the real world.
World-Class Daily Driver
Having made its mark on the world in motorsports competition including multiple championships in the grueling World Rally Championship (WRC) where combatants battle it out on courses that include sand, gravel and paved roads, the current Lancer Evolution is a delightful vehicle to live with on a daily basis thanks to its excellent ergonomics and thoughtful amenities.
Supportive yet comfortable RECARO® front bucket sports seats work well for either quick trips or long daily commutes, while a sumptuous-sounding 6-speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with digital signal processor, cruise control, automatic climate control, remote keyless entry and power windows, side mirrors and door locks help make extended time behind the wheel very pleasurable.
A Touring package is also available for the MR that consists of a power glass sunroof; leather seating surfaces for the RECARO® seats; improved sound insulation; rain-sensing wipers; automatic on/off headlamps and heated front seats and door mirrors.
Advanced Safety Technologies
The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution features numerous innovative safety technologies to help protect all of the vehicle's occupants.
Every Evolution is endowed with Mitsubishi's next-generation Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) unibody platform that, in the event of side or rear collisions, helps to dissipate energy away from the vehicle's occupants to improve protection from injury; the RISE system also helps to protect the fuel system from rear impacts.
Seven air bags are also included: Advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, side curtain air bags and a driver's side knee air bag. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and anti-lock braking system (advanced Sport ABS included on the Lancer Evolution) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) are also included.