Don't tell my Subaru...
I felt like a traitor all week. As my Java Black Pearl '04 Subaru WRX sat sadly in my driveway and I pulled away in the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO GSR tester that was mine for the week, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt.
Like other never-ending debates (Coke vs. Pepsi, Mac vs. PC, Ford vs. Chevy, cats vs. dogs, Kanye vs. 50, red vs. white wine, you get the idea), Mitsubishi and Subaru have been butting heads since what seems to be the beginning of time; well, maybe not the beginning of time, but at least since they started competing against one another in the world of rally racing.
While Mitsubishi has a few decades more experience on Subaru on the muddy, off-road racing trails, that doesn't mean it's winning the great debate (or all the rally championships, either). With only 26 WRC (World Rally Championship) wins vs. Subaru's 46, I believe that's some serious leverage for Subie... but I digress.
Why all this talk about rallying and competitions? Well, if you don't know what the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution model is all about, I'm about to tell you. And if you haven't figured it out already: It's all about all-wheel drive, turbo-powered goodness.
AWD? Yes, please
Let's get straight to the heart of the matter (and we'll deal with the garish exterior styling in a moment): the engine. Mitsubishi's Lancer EVO is decked out with a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that pushes out 291 horses and 300 lb-ft of torque. Sitting atop Mitsubishi's S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control), that means all that power and turboed goodness is flying out all four wheels at once, which is really what makes Mitsubishi (and Subaru) cars superior when it comes to handling and stability. Controlled by a 5-speed manual box and a well-placed clutch/brake/pedal combo for heel-toeing and easy shifting, the Mits EVO was actually a lot of fun to drive.
I can hear my WRX sobbing from here.
Here's why it's so much fun: the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO wants to be thrown around. Piloting it under normal, ho-hum circumstances is a bit obnoxious. It can be bumpy and a bit rough in traffic (both in a suspension way and a low-rev way). However, throw it hard into corners, take it full-out on straights and fling it around on slalom-like roads and the Mits is as happy as a pig in... you get the idea. The EVO wants to be beaten; it wants you to hit the redline; it wants you to make the turbo spit (which, by the way, you can hear only if you happen to be driving next to a wall with all the windows down and you're driving aggressively enough).
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