The end is nigh. We’ve come to an historic moment - yet another one - in the history of the Mitsubishi Lancer line.
The 2015 Lancer Evolution is the last of its kind and now is the time to buy a car from this vanishing tenth and final generation.
Who doesn’t want to park a piece of automotive history in the garage?
Of course, you won’t just want to park it. You’ll be compelled to drive it, to experience what zero to sixty feels like in about 5 seconds, to show off the stylish design and powerful performance of a race car-inspired sports sedan.
Behind the wheel of a 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, you’ll be able to get wherever you need to go, only you’ll get there before everyone else, even those Subaru WRX drivers.
As we prepare to bid farewell to the tenth and final generation of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, dubbed the “Evo,” it’s interesting to take a glimpse at how this car was developed, where it came from, and why it’s going.
It’s an evolution worthy of examination and appreciation.
An evolutionary tale of exceptional innovation and precision, the Lancer Evo gave other performance cars a run for their money, despite not making much as a production vehicle.
The Lancer Evo line first emerged in 1992 on Japanese soil as rally cars.
In fact, the first four generations of Evos were officially approved to represent Mitsubishi in the World Rally Championship’s Group A Class and SCCA Pro Rally Championship.
Initially intended only for release in the Japanese market, demand led to its eventual, albeit limited, release in the United Kingdom and European markets, beginning in 1998.
Built on the same platform as the Lancer sports sedan, the Lancer Evo was far more powerful. Between 1993 to the current generation, nine street versions of the Lancer Evo have appeared, and the car has since featured in a number of Fast and Furious films, as well as other similarly themed movies and computer games, like Playstation’s Gran Turismo.
The Evo was finally unleashed on American freeways as the eighth generation in 2003.
Mitsubishi was inspired to do so after witnessing the success of Subaru’s Impreza WRX and STi.
After the Lancer’s 2003 release, Automobile Magazine named the 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer its “Automobile of the Year.”
The increasing popularity of Mitsubishi in the United States has been attributed to Jackie Chan, who exclusively drives Mitsubishi vehicles in his films. His movies, Thunderbolt, and Who Am I? featured the Lancer Evolution, leading to the model’s increased sales and amped up presence on American roadways.
As planned, this eighth generation of Evo marketed in the United States was sent to compete.
And compete it did and continues to do today.
So, how does the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution match up against the 2015 Subaru WRX Sti?
Let’s see in our rallycar rundown...
Showcasing similar specifications, the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and 2015 Subaru WRX STi are serious contenders.
The Subaru WRX STi revs up courtesy of a 2.5-L turbocharged four-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine, producing 305 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 290 lb.-ft. of torque. Its power-to-weight ratio is 11.1 lbs/HP. The STi is equipped with an all-wheel drive six-speed manual transmission.
And in the other corner, (lane), we’ve got the 2015 Evo, sporting two trims, either GSR or MR, and depending on your preference, each comes equipped with a 2.0-L MIVEC DOHC 16-valve Inline four-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled engine, capable of 291 horsepower at 6,500 rpm with 300 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The GSR comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, while the MR features a six-speed TC-SST.
Although on paper, the Subaru WRX STi offers more horsepower than the Lancer Evo, the Evo is actually the speedier and more powerful of the two, unmistakably felt and reported by anyone lucky enough to be behind that wheel.
Drivers, whether on the road or racetrack, consistently report that the Lancer Evo is easy to drive and quick to follow driver commands.
If speed, power, and precision aren’t enough to convince you, consider the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo’s power performance, tested and proven on the racetrack since its inception and consistently throughout each generation of its existence.
With the MSRP between $34,495-38,995, the Lancer offers fuel economy of 17/22 mpg.
Of course, it’s always easier, at least more fun, to appreciate art by witnessing it, rather than reading about it.
Check out this stunning slideshow, examining the finer points between the exteriors and interiors of the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution against the 2015 Subaru WRX STi.
Yes, it’s true. After 23 years on the road, the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution will be a thing of the past.
Maybe we should have seen it coming after Mitsubishi released a series of black and gray Lancer Evolution photos, you know-the colors typically reserved for funerals and faded, out-of-date print.
Mitsubishi, already struggling with sales in the United States, has decided to shift gears - quite literally - and beef up its overall model lineup by manufacturing more fuel-efficient and crossover cars.
Moreover, with wheezing sales reports and despite being the 16th largest automotive manufacturer in the world, Mitsubishi cannot justify allocating its limited resources, as compared to larger automotive competitors, to manufacture such a low-volume performance car.
Mitsubishi’s misfortune is your golden opportunity to purchase a legendary rally car with a competitive and storied evolution.
Some rumors are buzzing that Mitsubishi might release another Evolution-type performance vehicle in the future, but no such plans are immediately underway, which means the Subaru WRX will be left as the only class in its class. Looks like the cheese stands alone.
Mitsubishi is known for its impressive warranties, offering generous and extensive Powertrain Limited, New Vehicle Limited, Auto-Corrosion Perforation Limited coverage, as well as additional peace of mind with its Restraint System coverage and complimentary 24-hour emergency Roadside Assistance plan.
Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out on the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution but also on your limited opportunity to purchase one at the current price before it reaches “classic car” status.