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2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Sedan - Overview

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$32,990 – $38,290 MSRP

$31,093 – $36,089 Invoice

16 / 22 MPG City/Hwy

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2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Sedan

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Overview

What Changed for 2008:

  • All-new redesign

  • Standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing

  • New continuously variable automatic transmission

  • Sporty GTS model features sport-tuned suspension

  • Optional hard-drive-based music server

  • Upcoming Evolution model will feature twin-clutch transmission
Overview
Though the Lancer nameplate is fairly new to the U.S., Mitsubishi has been using the name on its compact cars for more than 30 years. Here in the States, Lancer models went by the name of Mirage. (Before that, the Lancer name was applied to Dodge cars in the late 1950s-early 1960s and again in the late 1980s.) By the time Mitsubishi adopted the Lancer name in the U.S., the model lineup was best known for the high-performance all-wheel-drive Lancer Evolution model. For 2008, Mitsubishi has given the regular Lancer a thorough makeover with aggressive styling, more standard and optional equipment, and a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) that the manufacturer claims will provide the fuel economy and acceleration of a manual with the convenience of an automatic.

Model Lineup
The Lancer is offered in three trim levels: DE, ES and GTS. The DE offers power windows, CD/MP3 player, seat-mounted side air bags, two-row side curtain air bags, and a driver's knee air bag. Anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, power locks and keyless entry come bundled together as an option package; they are standard on the ES, which also gets 16-inch alloy wheels, a fold-down rear seat, map lights, and floor mats. The GTS is the sportiest version, offering 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, and a body kit, along with automatic climate control and Bluetooth phone compatibility. A sunroof and an upgraded Rockford-Fosgate stereo and navigation system are optional on the ES and GTS, while the GTS also offers a hard-drive-based music server.

The high-performance Evolution model will return to the lineup with a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. The new version will feature electronic stability control, active yaw control, active center differential, and an anti-lock braking system.

Powertrain
DE, ES and GTS versions of the Lancer are powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing that puts out 152 hp at 6000 rpm and 146 lb.-ft. of torque at 4250 rpm. California and states that comply with California emissions get a PZEV (Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle) version that puts out 143 hp and 143 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission choices are a 5-speed manual or a CVT in place of a traditional automatic. GTS models with the CVT have a manual mode that emulates a 6-speed transmission, with the driver selecting gears via steering-wheel-mounted paddles. EPA fuel economy estimates are 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway for the manual transmission, 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway for the CVT.

Safety
All Lancers come with front air bags, seat-mounted side air bags, two-row side curtain air bags, and a driver's knee air bag. Anti-lock brakes are optional on DE and standard on ES and GTS models. In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frontal crash test, the Lancer scored a perfect 5 stars for the driver and 4 stars for the passenger; side crash-test scores were 5 stars for front-seat occupants, 4 stars for rear-seat occupants. (NHTSA tagged the Lancer with a "safety concern" warning because the rear door opened during a crash test. Mitsubishi modified the latch design, NHTSA re-tested the car and the problem did not recur. Owners of 2008 Lancers built before May 11, 2007 can have the car modified free of charge.) The Lancer scored 4 stars in the rollover test.

Technology
The 2008 Lancer uses a CVT in place of a conventional automatic transmission. The CVT replaces traditional gears with pulleys and a belt. CVTs never actually shift gears; instead they continuously vary the ratio of engine speed to road speed, allowing the engine to produce as much power as needed. The manufacturer claims the result is better acceleration and fuel economy compared to a traditional automatic transmission. The maker adds that in many cases-including that of the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer-the CVT produces better fuel economy than a manual transmission.

Available Trims for the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Sedan

  Transmission MSRP Engine City/Hwy MPG
GSR (M5) 5 speed manual $32,990 291-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl 16/22
MR (M6) 6 speed automatic with auto-shift $38,290 291-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl 17/22

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