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Another Drive in the "Top Drive of 2006"


by Stephen Walker


29th January, 2007

 

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Gloucester NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view

Having named, on New Year's Eve, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX as the "Top Drive of 2006", it was time to, once again, sample the driving delights of this eye catching road rocket.

No car we drove during 2006 enthralled so many onlookers as the Lancer Evo IX. "Is it an 8 or 9?" was a popular question for those who were just as happy spotting the car as we were driving it!

Having enjoyed so much success with their rallying endeavours and having built up so much anticipation with each new Evo model, Mitsubishi has secured an extremely loyal band of enthusiasts who delight in just seeing this incredible machine on the road .... and, of course, in the car park, too.

To enjoy another driving experience, we set out on a day trip from Lake Macquarie (NSW) to Stroud and Gloucester (NSW).

Once again, the admired driving dynamics of the Evo IX (as it is more commonly known) proved fully satisfying as the car continually delighted with its many outstanding qualities. The ride is pleasantly firm, providing a grip on the road surface equal to that of the centre line. The handling was superb, as the car corners with incredible control and demonstrates no hostilities whatsoever. The tenacious traction of the permanent all-wheel drive demonstrates why this car is so entertaining. Let's call it 'the grip'. In the Lancer Evo you know exactly what it is like to get a grip! The braking is just what it should be .... effective .... and Brembo, of course. Whilst the steering is, also, just what it should be .... precise. The standard Recaro front bucket seats provided a welcomed level of comfort and made hundreds of kilometres of highway, freeway and rural roads disappear quickly (at up to 100 km/h at times) whilst we enjoyed the standard 6 CD audio system. Perhaps the greatest thrill of all with the Lancer Evo is the acceleration. If your personality traits include putting your foot down, then you'll be thrilled time after time because this 2 litre turbocharged go-getter does 1-100 km/h in a mere 5.7 seconds (manufacturer's figure). Only the 'notchy' gearchange of the standard 6-speed gearbox slows the rapid acceleration (but not for long). The stand-out performance provided by this car is so dramatic that there can be no wonder why the car itself is considered such a stand-out.

The expressive styling features flared guards, a dominant rear spoiler, unique grille, big 17" wheels and tyres, an air outlet on the bonnet, together with the traditional front air dam and side air dams.

The bonnet and the roof panel are made of aluminium.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Stroud NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view

In cars of this calibre, security is a major concern. To their credit, Mitsubishi includes the 'Data Dot' identification system as a standard feature on the Evo IX.

Other standard features include driver and front passenger airbags, alloy pedals, engine immobiliser, keyless remote central locking, Momo leather wrapped steering wheel, climate control air conditioning and power windows.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX features a 55 litre fuel tank. Expect to use around 10 litres of fuel for each 100 kms. The Evo uses 98RON premium unleaded fuel.

There is no cruise control on the Lancer Evo. In a car which suits active driving, rather than passive driving (if there is such a thing), it may well be deemed unnecessary to have such a device. However, on a long day drive, which included highway and freeway conditions, a cruise control system was missed by this driver. Further, the thought crossed my mind that Mitsubishi has manufactured such a great car, there must be a way to further improve the car and increase the already high level of desirability. Clearly, there can be no way to improve the car that already does exactly what it is meant to do. However, I suspect that many drivers would welcome some additional comforts. My suggestion is an optional "Luxury Pack" for those who want the essential greatness of the Evo, together with the comforts of home (so to speak). Such a 'pack' could include leather trimmed Recaros, cruise control, lane-change indicators, self-locking doors when the car gets underway and additional airbags, but no woodgrain trim. Of course, it is too late to add such a 'pack' to the Evo IXs option list. However, the Evo X is due in early 2008 and perhaps the raw greatness of a standard car could be enhanced by the appeal of more luxury for those who desire the mighty fine driving qualities of an Evo but with a little luxury. There is bound to be many who would enjoy the Evo as a great sports car, rather than a part-time racer, just as I did! Evo X .... I'll be looking to it to further the very successful career of the Evolution by taking the series to its established market, together with a new upmarket target group.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Gloucester NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view

By the way, the current price of the Lancer Evo IX is $56,789 (RRP).

Stroud and Gloucester were great destinations, enjoyed even more so by the chosen method of transportation. A picnic and a walk in the parks to the west of Gloucester shopping centre are highly recommended.

To summarise, it needs to be indicated that for sheer driving enjoyment, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX provided immense pleasure. Every drive was delightful. The car has so much appeal that it even appeals to those who are not onboard. But the greatest appeal is for the driver, as every aspect of the driving experience is rated 'tops'. In our quest to determine the nation's top drive car we experienced over seventy cars during 2006. In announcing the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX as the "Top Drive of 2006" we have, indeed, found the nation's top drive car. The Evo IX, as already explained, provided all the driving enjoyment anyone could ever be expected to experience.

Congratulations to Mitsubishi .... the Evo IX must be the reason why people ponder Evolution!




Our "Top Drive of 2006" announcement is: here.

Our Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX road test is: here.

Other Mitsubishi news is: here.




Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Stroud NSW 

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

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Stroud NSW 

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

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Stroud NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view
Click on any image for a larger view (Stroud NSW images)
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Stroud NSW 

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

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Stroud NSW 

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

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Stroud NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view



Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Gloucester NSW 

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

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Gloucester NSW 

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

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Gloucester NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view
Click on any image for a larger view (Gloucester NSW images)
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Gloucester NSW 

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

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Gloucester NSW 

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

The Top Drive of 2006 

Location: Gloucester NSW 

Click the image for a larger and clearer view




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