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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Jun 20, 2005

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

I WOULD LIKE YOU TO MEET MR EVOLUTION By GREG NAKANO Photos by Greg Nakano & DC Chavez With the release of the 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR, you get the aggressive sport and power of the first Evolution, backed by some significant improvements. The biggest changes for the MR are the six-speed manual transmission, active center differential, Bilstein shocks and a new color - graphite gray pearl.

The first on the list of changes was the new six-speed transmission. The great new positive engagement in gear changes and fluid feel of the transition between has been helped out by adding Teflon-lined shift cables and shift-stroke stoppers. The subtle change in gear ratios helps the MR stay more within the power band. Lowering the RPM drops between gears of the four-cylinder turbocharged engine - laying out an impressive 280 bhp @ 6500 rpm and 295 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm.

The full-time AWD has now been complemented with Mitsubishi's ACD (Active Center Differential) to manage the power distribution between the front and rear wheels. Using a center differential and a new hydraulic multi-plate clutch, the ACD system is able to adjust the front and rear power output for maximum traction based on a numerous different inputs such as wheel speeds, slip angle, steering angle, throttle input, etc. A conveniently located switch on the dashboard allows you to choose between three different settings - tarmac, gravel and snow, which will vary the amount of power sent through the drivetrain. The last addition to the drivetrain is the helical front limited-slip differential (not available on the base Evolution). With this combination, the MR drives like a completely different car than the Evolution. Speeds through turns were easier to find and match while staying right in the power band for exiting the turn. These new changes drop the 0-60 time to 4.3 seconds and push it through the quarter mile in 12.9 sec @ 107.6 mph. Who can argue with that.

To improve the handling and ride quality of the MR, a set of specially-tuned Bilstein shocks have been added to all four corners as well as a slight change in spring rates over the Evolution. The wheels have been lightened with a set of 17" X 8" one-piece forged aluminum BBS wheels wrapped with 235/45 R17 93W Yokohama ADVAN® high-grip tires. The steel roof has also been swapped out for a lightweight aluminum one, which in turn lowers the car's center of gravity. A vortex generator has been added to the rear of the vehicle to improve airflow to the rear wing creating more downforce. In everyday driving, the car feels great - and when you need that extra handling, it's there. Throw it into a turn and there is no understeer in the car. It just plants itself to the ground like my shifter kart in a full-size grown-up way.

The last of the changes for the MR are subtle ones: The various MR edition badges; the aluminum and carbon fiber shift knob, pedals and parking brake handle. Also added to the mix is a new gauge cluster to display turbo boost, voltage and oil pressure.

If you're looking for a new, sport-tuned rally-inspired vehicle, look no further. With all the improvements over the Evolution, the MR lives up to its reputation. This is the most finely tuned sport compact vehicle in handling and power market to hit the U.S. shores. And with a MSRP of $35,499, it just simply can't be beat. Driving the car around town, the new color draws everyone's attention - knowing that it is an MR not only by color, but by the distinctive Vortex generator on the back. Other Evolution owners give you the thumbs-up, all the fixed-up lowered cars race up to get a glimpse of the beast. After the test drive with the car I didn't want to give it up. I'm sold. For more information on Mitsubishi cars, go to


Name of vehicle: 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Edition

Price, as tested: $35,499

Engine type: 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged in-line four Horsepower: 276 at 6500 rpm

Torque: 286 ft-lbs. at 3500 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed manual transmission

Drive configuration: All-wheel drive Suspension Front: MacPherson strut with inverted Bilstein shock absorber, forged aluminum lower control arms, stabilizer bar, and front trut tower brace Rear: Multi-link wishbone with Bilstein shock absorbers, forged aluminum trailing and lateral links, cast aluminum crossmember, stabilizer bar

Exterior Length: 178.5 in. Width: 69.7 in. Height: 57.1 in. Wheel Base: 103.3 in. Turning Circle: 32.2 ft. Curb Weight: 3285 lbs. Interior Front/Rear Head Room: 39.9/36.7 in. Front/Rear Hip Room: 51.2/50.2 in. Front/Rear Shoulder Room: 54.1/53.3 in. Front/Rear Leg Room: 43/36.6 in. Fuel Data Fuel Fuel Tank Capacity: 14 gal. EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway) Manual: 19 mpg / 26 mpg 0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds Quarter-mile: 12.9 seconds at 107.6 mph

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR


5 Speed Manual

6 Speed Manual

Speed in Gear

RPM Drop

Speed in Gear

RPM Drop

Gear Ratios










































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