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By Roy Nakano
It’s a vestige of an era gone by. With SUVs, trucks and alt-energy vehicles commanding most of the attention these days, Mitsubishi went and offered its Final Edition of the Lancer Evolution X. It’s the modern day Last Samurai—a casting no less improbable than having Tom Cruise portray the historic last samurai on the silver screen.
We’d be hard pressed to say that Mitsubishi spared no expense to bring out the Final Edition. It is, after all, a 2015 Lancer Evolution X GSR, with its old school 5-speed manual transmission and the standard GSR Super All-Wheel control system. Mitsubishi does dial up the power a bit, with 303 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 305 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The Final Edition is also fitted with Brembo® brake rotors up front, and Bilstein shock absorbers and Eibach springs at all four corners. And, of course, this car has the requisite Final Edition badging all around, along with a blacked out aluminum roof, dark chrome-painted Enkei® alloy wheels, and a few other trim enhancements.
Aside from that, this car represents the state of Mitsubishi Evolution art as of 2015. The Final Edition comes in four colors: Pearl White, Rally Red, Mercury Gray and Octane Blue, but Pearl White appears to be the popular color of choice. The admission price for this amusement ride: $37,995.
Despite having been around since 2007, the tenth generation Lancer Evolution design holds up well. The Evolution popularized the rear bumper diffuser and what Mitsubishi called the rooftop Vortex Generator—both essentially multiple air rudders to help stabilize the car at high speeds. The Final Edition sports for former, but does without the latter. It also has the signature EVO rear wing. It’s a feature that’s often blasted as boy racer cosmetics, but Mitsubishi insists that the car really does run quicker through the tracks with it.
We can attest to the fact that the Final Edition is a very quick car. Even fully loaded with four people, the car hugs the corners and generates G forces under acceleration like no mere mortal vehicle. Its 5-speed manual transmission may seem a little crude in this day and age of 7-speed dual-clutch automatics. But it’s still hard to beat a manual tranny for maximum enjoyment on sporty drives. And the EVO motor has a fat enough torque to make the 5-speeds work well in day-to-day traffic.
It’s hard to escape the fact that this is essentially a model year 2015 compact sedan that’s pushing $40,000. Despite the sporty touches in the interior, it does look like many of its compact car brethren that go for about half the price of the Evolution with its cloth inserts and hard plastic panels.
On the other hand, we can’t think of too many cars in the price range that carry the street cred of the Evolution Final Edition and generate this much driving adrenaline. With only 1,600 Final Editions made, it’s virtually assured of collector car status. In fact, the Final Edition No. 1600 already sold for a cool $76,400 (no worries, the average Final Edition is running around $36,000 on the used car market). If this kind of car appeals to you, all we can say is: “Get it while it’s last.”
THE MAIN INGREDIENTS
Name of vehicle:
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition
EPA fuel economy rating (mpg):
17 city/23 highay/19 combined
2.0 liter turbocharged, intercooled MIVEC DOHC 16-valve in-line four
303 horsepower at 6500 rpm
300 pound-feet at 4400 rpm
5-speed overdrive manual
Rack and pinion hydraulic-assisted
Front engine, all-wheel drive, with Mitsubishi’s Super-All Wheel Control, limited slip Active Center Differential, and Active Yaw Control.
Four-wheel independent, with front MacPherson inverted struts and rear multi-link with stabilizer bars and forged control arms, Eibach springs, Bilstein shock absorbers
EPA size classification*:
* Passenger car classes are designated by the EPA based on interior volume index or seating capacity, except the ones classified as special vehicle. A two-seater is classified as a car with no more than two designated seating positions.