Note: this article applies only to models sold in Japan. Specifications and
options offered in other countries may differ.
Mitsubishi in Japan today announced that the Lancer Evolution IX MR high-performance 4WD sports sedan (GSR/RS) and the Lancer Evolution Wagon MR high-performance 4WD sports wagon (GT/GT-A) go on sale at affiliated dealerships throughout Japan on August 29, 2006. The MR designation is an abbreviation for Mitsubishi Racing, and is restricted to the most prominent sports model in Mitsubishi's line-up. The new models are the second group of MR models released by MMC; the first being the Lancer Evolution VIII MR launched in February 2004. Tax inclusive prices start from 2,856,000 yen ($23,700) for Lancer Evolution IX MR (GSR/RS), and from 3,412,500 yen ($28,300) for Lancer Evolution Wagon MR (GT/GT-A).
The new models mark the 14th iteration of the series that began with the Lancer Evolution in October 1992. The sedan and station wagon are third-generation compilation models and are designed with a focus on on-road sports driving. They will also be the last models to use the famed 4G63 2L DOHC intercooled turbo engine. The current engine incorporates new improvements to the turbocharger and other areas to enhance response, teamed with Eibach springs and Bilstein shock absorbers used on earlier models to produce a package that includes tuning to lower the ride height. The Super AYC 1 control system is also tuned to give a sportier feeling, achieving superb handling performance that is particularly faithful to driver input in on-road sports driving. This advances the all-wheel-control (AWC) concept, delivering intuitive steering combined with outstanding stability.
The Lancer Evolution IX MR is available in two grades: the GSR, with a 6-speed manual gearbox designed for excellence in everyday driving as well in sports driving; and the RS, which has a 5-speed manual gearbox and is stripped down for motorsport competition. The Lancer Evolution Wagon MR also has two grades. The GT is equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox enabling the driver to enjoy sports driving to the fullest. The GT-A has a 5-speed automatic gearbox with sports mode to provide flexibility in a wide range of scenarios from easy driving to sport driving.
Super AYC (Active Yaw Control)
Mitsubishi's Active Yaw Control system uses electronic control to transfer torque between the rear wheels while maintaining drive equally to both wheels, thereby controlling the yaw moment acting on the car body. Road conditions are sensed from handling, lateral G forces, etc., and drive is actively allocated to left or right rear wheels through a planetary gear and acceleration/reduction gear mechanism.
The control acts as a limited-slip diff to enhance traction and deliver high cornering performance.
Apart from optimizing the MIVEC2 continuously variable valve timing system, engine response has been improved by changing the material used for the turbocharger's turbine wheel from Inconel (a nickel-chrome alloy) to a titanium-aluminum alloy and reducing the compressor wheel inlet diameter. Maximum power and maximum torque figures are unchanged, but the new design gives greater dynamic performance in terms of off-the-line acceleration.
Note: The Lancer Evolution IX had a high-performance turbocharger fitted as standard, combining a titanium-aluminum alloy turbine wheel with a magnesium alloy compressor wheel. This is available as a factory option on the new GSR and RS models.
Unchanged from earlier models, maximum power is 280 bhp at 6,500 rpm, and maximum torque is 295 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm for the 6-speed M/T GSR, and 300 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm for the RS, which is designed as a base model for competitive motorsport and has a 5-speed manual transmission.
Japanese 10-15 mode fuel consumption performance is 10.0 km/L for the GSR and 9.9 km/L for the RS. Both are compliant with 2000 exhaust emissions regulations.
Suspension and Chasis
Flexible Eibach coil springs give higher spring rates than those utilized on earlier models. These are combined with Bilstein shock absorbers to optimize damping characteristics and provide unruffled behavior and excellent road hugging characteristics, ensuring well-behaved handling that faithfully follows the driver's inputs. Ride height is lowered by approximately half an inch (optional on RS), enhancing both vehicle stability and cornering performance.
In conjunction with the suspension improvements, the Super AYC system that provides electronic control for the 4WD system has been tuned to a more sporty orientation. The amount of drive power that can be shifted between the right and left rear wheels has been increased by approximately 10%, achieving further enhancements of on-road turning performance without feeling unnatural. Coupled with the suspension tuning, traction performance has been enhanced to better cope with inside rear wheel lift (through high-speed turns) or differing road conditions for right and left wheels.
Exterior and Interior
The front air dam has been extended slightly on the left and right sides, which reduces the flow of air under the car, while reducing air resistance and further reducing front lift. The concave shapes on the air dam's left and right sides are designed to take airflow away from the sides of the vehicle, eliminating the accumulation of air in the wheel houses.
The GSR is available in four body colors: Cool Silver Metallic, White Pearl, Medium Purplish Gray Mica, and Solid Red. The RS is available in two colors: Solid White and Solid Red.
The GSR is fitted as standard with Enkei 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels, the same size as used on earlier models, but in a lighter shade of silver. As a factory option, both the GSR and RS can be ordered with BBS 17-inch lightweight cast aluminum wheels, which are painted in Diamond Black Clear with a new metallic texture that enhances the premium impression.
Privacy glass is fitted as standard to the rear doors and rear windows. (GSR only.) The MR emblem is emblazoned on the trunk lid in glossy red.
The instrument panel ornaments and center panel are painted in Piano Black that gives a real sense of depth, producing a premium impression. The inner door handles and air vent knobs are painted with a metallic plating finish. (GSR only.)
Aluminum scuff protectors with "LANCER Evolution" markings are fitted to the floor of the door openings. (GSR only.)
Front seats are full bucket seats by Recaro, trimmed in a combination of Alcantara and genuine leather, with red stitching added to provide accents. The rear seats in Alcantara and protein leather have same red stitching added for consistency. (For RS, red stitching is optional on front seats; rear-seat red stitching not available.)
Six speakers (with wiring harness) are fitted as standard. (GSR only.)