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The Top Drive of 2006


Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX


by Stephen Walker


31st December, 2006

 

The Top Drive of 2006 
Location: Minmi NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view

The year 2006 was a very busy period for the Next Car team. We drove over seventy different cars during this time. There were many excellent models and some were not so satisfying. For example, the Holden Barina didn't excite us, but the Peugeot 407 coupe did! We were impressed by the much improved Ford Falcon BF Mark II, particularly in GT guise. The over achieving Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI offered a particularly satisfying drive. We formed the view that the Suzuki Grand Vitara offers excellent value. But our quest to name just one car as the top drive for 2006 is not about the most improved, or the best value, or the most anticipated, or the most luxurious as our goal is about finding what clicks in zero six from a driver's perspective. We wanted just one car to come out on top as we searched for the "Top Drive For 2006".

The answer to our quest became clear just prior to Christmas as we concluded the year's road test programme. From a driver's point of view, no car satisfied us more, during 2006, than the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.

And the reasons for this considered view are simple. On every occasion that we drove the Lancer Evo IX we were impressed by this car's outstanding grip on the road, together with the brilliant acceleration that is available. Additionally, the firm ride is impressive, the braking is good, the seating is particularly good for this type of car (even the back seat was comfortable!).

On the road, the driver immediately senses that this car is no ordinary car. The superb grip is a result of the rally winning heritage of the all-wheel drive system utilised by Mitsubishi. The suspension works well and the ride is, shall we say, quite firm. And in this sort of car, that is just the way it should be. So the handling aspects of the Evo IX are superb, beyond superb actually! The driving dynamics just cannot be matched, in my view.

Yet, the starting price for the Lancer Evolution IX is just $56,789 (RRP).

Sure the Lancer has been with us for a good few years now and that says it all really! Even newer cars costing more than double the Lancer Evo cannot offer the pure driving enjoyment on offer with the Evo IX. Just check out the facial expressions of the next Evo driver that you see, if you will. Check to see if the driver is happy or sad!

The good news with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX is that the model is now available 'off the shelf' in Australia. The model now meets ADR requirements and, as such, is no longer imported in restrictive numbers as a specialist car. The Evo now sits on the showroom floor alongside other Lancer models. Thus many more Aussies have the opportunity to acquire this delightful 'rocket'.

The Top Drive of 2006 
Location: Gosford NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view

The acceleration qualities of this turbocharged 2.0 litre performance car are superb. We don't test performance, as we test driving qualities rather than performance, but Mitsubishi indicate the Lancer Evo IX will do a 0-100 km/h run in a mere 5.7 seconds! And doesn't that just say it all!

Another drive of the
"Top Drive of 2006" is: here.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
road test is: here.






Other Mitsubishi news is: here.




Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Minmi NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Minmi NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Minmi NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view
Click on any image for a larger view (Minmi NSW images)


The "Top Drive of 2005" is: here.




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