date : 30th April 2006
Evo. For over a decade now that
simple name has been striking fear into the hearts of hardened
street racers. Mitsubishi Evo. Remember it.
This is the ninth generation Evo, the latest generation of
Mitsubishiís rally-bred road-weapon. And yes, itís even
better than the Evo VIII.
Quite logically the Evo IX has new-look alloy wheels. But the
quickest way to identify the Evo IX is by the gaping front
intake for the radiator and new larger turbo intercooler.
There are also ducts to cool the brakes, and the mesh used on
the upper radiator intake is wider, giving the Mitsubishi
badge a "floating" effect.
The boot-mounted rear wing is now hollow to reduce weight, and
a diffuser is fitted beneath the bumper to increase air speed
exiting the underbody.
The new front-end increases the low pressure area beneath the
car for greater ground-effect turn-in, and the diffuser at the
rear aids high-speed stability.
And yes, the motor has received a mega power boost.
The new Evo IX engine delivers 206 kiloWatts, which makes it
the most powerful production two-litre engine on the planet.
The turbocharger is now made of magnesium and the intake
ducting has been lengthened to improve low-to-mid-range
The M.I.V.E.C. valve-timing system has also been tweaked to
improve power from idle to red-line.
The four-wheel-drive system features an active center
differential to vary torque transfer, and the Evo IXís
handling is even crisper than before.
The handling is unlike any other all-wheel-drive car with
virtually no understeer.
Itís attention to detail, like the lightening of those Enkei
wheels, that endears the car to petrol heads.
The electronic interface for the
center differential has been comprehensively re-profiled for
the Evo IX. Gugu raved about the Evoís sharp turn-in on
the eighth generation car and was astounded to realize that itís
now even better.
In addition the car has active yaw control to correct
cornering attitude and also aids traction by transferring
power to where there is most grip.
Under heavy braking, the advanced Brembo all-wheel-disc system
employs an electronic control unit that detects steering
inputs as well as lateral G-forces on the car.
The result is superb stability under braking.
The problem that the Mitsubishi faces here is one of
recognition. It still has something of a boy-racer-with-wings
image, and itís not easily recognizable as an icon in South
This despite sub-six-second 0-100 times, and a 250 km/h top
Not helping the Evoís cause is its rather retro interior. It
has new Recaro seats and lots of metal add-ons, but the
overall effect is still something of a mish-mash.
The exterior too is getting dated, although the next
generation Evo will feature a complete re-design with
super-sporty sheet metal to complement the carís mechanical
Mitsubishi Evo IX
Four-cylinder turbocharged petrol, 1 997 cc
- Power: 206 kW @ 6
- Torque: 400 Nm @ 3
Six-speed manual, all-wheel-drive
- 0-100 km/h: 5,7
- Top speed: 250 km/h
- Fuel consumption:
13,0 litres/100 km (estimated)
- Price: R399 900
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