by Tony West and Daryl Payne
Mitsubishi elevates the standards of the high performance sedan with the new Lancer. The 2014 Lancer Evolution GSR is a turbo 4-door sedan with racing blood. The new Lancer has a manual GSR model and an automatic MR model available. The GSR rides like a crotch rocket motorbike with a 291 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque in a 4-cylinder engine. The 2014 Lancer Evolution GSR‘s turbo features attract sport car lovers and bike riders. The GSR design is minimalist with mostly performance enhancing perks. It rips the road holding its own against the Subaru WRX STI even giving the Porsche 911 a run for its money. We reviewed the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR, the 4-wheel crotch rocket![divider]
Drag-Racing Exterior Design
The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has the right performance-enhancing attributes. The petite sedan isn’t light enough to fish tail or fly up at high speeds, yet weight-saving components optimize performance. The front and rear bumper beams, hood, roof and fenders are made of lightweight aluminum.
[divider] The new Lancer Evolution GSR also has this tricked-out hood vents, a huge rear spoiler, and flared fenders. The Lancer’s sporty low stance is enhanced with HID halogen headlights and a chrome bezeled grille. Standard are Brembo brakes with red 4-piston calipers. Eighteen inch Entei alloy wheels and Yokohama Advan tires are also standard.
Twin pipes have chrome lips. And the Exterior Package adds front air vents and side air dams. Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution disperses energy from the cabin and the fuel tank making the Lancer Evolution super resilient. Adding to performance is the battery and washer fluid relocated to the trunk.[divider]
Outstanding Sports Car Performance
The 2014 Lancer Evolution has a lot of exterior performance technology great for racing. The Lancer has a rich rally championship legacy and the GSR blends street racing performance with dynamic tech features. Mitsubishi’s standard Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) high tech all-wheel drive system includes a 4-wheel drive Active Center Differential, active rear differential, and a helical gear type limited-slip front differential. Active Yaw Control, included with S-AWC, uses yaw rate sensors, brake force control, and a planetary gear rear differential to regulate torque to the rear wheels. S-AWC also features selectable Tarmac, Gravel, and Snow drive modes for optimal performance on low grip surfaces and in bad weather.
The 2014 Lancer Evolution GSR has a robust 4 cylinder engine. Standard is a 2.0 liter DOHC twin-turbocharged engine with a 7,000 rpm redline. The super turbo 4 cylinder boasts 291 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. It takes off like a rocket going from 0-60 mph in less under 6 seconds. The 16-valve 4 cylinder also has MIVEC variable valve timing, and has an aluminum engine block and aluminum cylinder heads.
The GSR model uses a 5 speed manual transmission, so powerful I wished it had a 6th gear. The MR model has a Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) with Normal, Sport and S-Sport drive modes. Sport mode is more responsive with higher quicker shift points, and S-Sport mode shifts are closer to redline. The Evolution MR has the best of both worlds with a powerful 6 speed automatic trans and paddles shifters for manual mode.
The Mitsubishi Lancer GSR boasts an excellent ride. Each of its dynamic features i.e. the S-AWC and Active Stability Control work in harmony with performance design cues like the rear spoiler and aluminum components. Ideal weight balance makes the GSR more agile and responsive. Even though I could feel knocking when I switched gears, acceleration was forceful and steady with enough power in 5th gear to shift to a 6th. The GSR model simply has a Sport mode. While performance is excellent, it would’ve been even better high-speed touring in 6th gear. Yet the Lancer Evo GSR bends corners like a sports car. And I enjoyed the hum of the engine in the cabin.
The Lancer Evolution GSR is great for stuntin on the highway and city driving. Cornering and braking is excellent. But it’s not ideal for traveling out of town with a combined EPA of only 19 mpg (17 mpg city, 23 mph highway.) Fill-ups will be frequent with the small fuel tank. And the rear spoiler is nice, but it obstructs the driver’s view. The spoiler would be more effective if it was retractable.
However, suspension in the Mitsubishi Lancer GSR is on-point. Standard are MacPherson strut front suspension with forged aluminum control arms, and rear multilink type suspension. And the MR version has Eibach springs and Bilstein shock absorbers. [divider]
Dynamic Safety Features
The Lancer Evolution has performance-enhancing safety technology like Active Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake force Distribution and the Sport ABS system. Yet the Lancer Evo GSR relies a lot on dynamic features, rigid chassis, and aluminum components to keep occupants safe.[divider]
Minimalist Interior Performance-Focused
The interior of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is race-inspired and fully manual. Recaro bucket seats hug the driver while they speed. And leather accents steering wheel and shifter. Chrome accents the door handles. Drivers utilize a LCD multi-information display with traditional performance gauges.
The Lancer Evo GSR interior is cute, but there’s not much standard digital technology. The front seats and the steering wheel have manual adjusters. And hip room in the front is limited. The Sunroof and Leather Package adds a sunroof, heated front seats and a leather center console. The Touring Package adds leather to the Recaro seats, heated side mirrors, rain sensing wipers, and auto on/off headlights. Many of the optional packages have noise insulation enhancements.
A 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard for optional navigation and audio. A 7 inch touchscreen is also available. A 6 speaker sound system is standard and a 9 speaker Rockford Fosgate speaker system is optional. MMCS Navigation features real-time traffic and HD radio and Sirius XM Satellite radio are available.
Other features include the Fuse hands free system, a 12-volt outlet and USB ports. Absent was a blind spot monitor, rear camera, power tilting/f folding mirrors, seat memory, and radar-based safety technology like cross traffic alert, or pedestrian detection. And the spare tire being under the car could present major issues for women and teens.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is an overall thrilling whip to drive. With an MSRP of $34,995 it’s attractive for young people and ideal those who want sport car performance and road ready capabilities.