Fact is, whether you're cool or a full-bore dweeb, those interested in a good deal may want to pay attention to Mitsubishi. With all their challenges, they may be the best deal on the road right about now, as many of their vehicles are good buys, and their warranty -- a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain, 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper plan -- is indeed excellent. Plus they've got an updated Evo -- instant sex appeal when you're talking 0-60, a silent assassin on the road dressed in buttoned-up clothes. Indeed, there are few things like the phenom that is Evo and the grassroots support it enjoys. This latest version, which debuted at the 2005 New York International Auto Show, is a continuation of what makes the Evo a special car, with aerodynamic improvements, powertrain enhancements and interior upgrades.
Indeed, there are few things like the phenom that is Evo and the grassroots support it enjoys. This latest version, which debuted at the 2005 New York International Auto Show, is a continuation of what makes the Evo a special car, with aerodynamic improvements, powertrain enhancements and interior upgrades.
What it is
If you see the Evo pull up alongside at a light, pretend you don't notice and go about your business. The 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX is a blistering pocket rocket that will make you cry and convince your girlfriend that, well, you really aren't the racer she thought you were. Your dog may also leave. For the 2006 model year, that reputation is backed up with the addition of variable valve timing and lift control.
Why it matters
If you like to go fast and have fun, the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX matters. Originally built to compete on the FIA rally circuit, the Evo is one of the most significant rally-inspired cars to sell in North America. As its legend grew, the Evo was launched in North America thanks in part to its racing success and its popularity through video driving games.
When you can buy it
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX will be available as a 2006 model.
How much it costs
There were no price increases or discounts announced, as pricing will be released closer to launch. Expect the 2006 model to closely follow 2005 pricing. The Evo is available in stock trim, as well as RS and MR editions. Owners can also customize their Evos through factory- and dealer-installed options.
How quick it is
The Evo is fast enough for you, and handles good enough for you -- in fact, most people will never touch the capabilities of this vehicle. Just so you can crow, though, the 2006 Evo IX produces 286 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 289 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm. This kind of power comes from a two-liter, intercooled, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is enhanced this year with variable valve technology (VVT) and lift Electronic Control (MIVEC). Mitsubishi officials contend that these improvements produce higher torque and better response across the Evo's full rpm range. The engine enhancements are complemented by new gear ratios on the five-speed manual transmission.
What it looks like
Changes to the exterior are designed to improve the aerodynamics of the car; it looks slightly more aggressive yet maintains its sexy librarian persona. Changes include a new front fascia with an oversize mesh grille and front center bumper air inlets to improve engine-cooling efficiency, undersurface improvements to reduce air resistance, and a new air dam extension and rear-wing wicker bill are also available as dealer options. The 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution IX also features 17-inch lightweight cast alloy wheels.
What we think
Improvements to the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX probably won't win new converts -- but a more aggressive torque band will bring a wide smile to the faces of those who appreciate the Evo for what it is: one heck of a screaming meanie.
Engine: Two-liter, intercooled, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine which produces 286 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 289 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm. This kind of power comes from variable valve technology (VVT) and lift Electronic Control (MIVEC).
Transmission: five-speed manual and six-speed manual; changes for 2006 include new gear ratios.
Wheels: 17-inch lightweight cast alloy wheels.
Photos by Erik Hanson