Mitsubishi Evolution

The Evolution Will Be Televised.

Smart, traction-optimized, stable and affordable. These words could be used to describe any other car but ring truer for the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in particular.

Classier Subaru? Hippie Benz? Affordable sports car? This exciting car has become all things to all men. Power comes for a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, producing 291 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. It can fire up and screech to a halt even more impressively; with its sport-tuned all-wheel-drive system and large Brembo brakes conspiring to make for a remarkable driving experience to those who are in it to win it.


The days are gone when having an economy sedan meant you had to be relegated to a dull, lifeless driving experience. For years now, Mitsubishi has been on the forefront of defying that tendency by infusing bold styling and driving excitement into its economy segment. Improvements from the previous Mitsubishi Lancer models bolstered the standing of 2012 model.
Important to note is that the new Lancer SE let you choose the midrange engine along with all-wheel drive. Before that, only the sport range-topping Lancer Ralliart offered AWD. To further push its cause, Mitsubishi Lancer offered optional soft-touch door panels, which are a great addition if you’re not a fan of too much hard plastic in your car’s interior.

Trim Level Features and Interior.

The DE trim level features automatic headlights, 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, a tilt-only steering wheel, a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, and a trip computer. The ES comes with all these features plus air-conditioning, chrome exterior accents, keyless entry, cruise control, a 60/40-split rear seat, upgraded cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, front and rear center armrests, an auxiliary audio jack, and steering-wheel audio controls. If you go for the Allow Wheel package, you get 16-inch alloy wheels, rear stabilizer bar, and rear disc brakes in the place of drums.

The SE trim is powered by a more robust engine and includes the Allow Wheel package and all-wheel drive. The GT shares many features with the SE, with the exception of the following features: fog lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sporty front fascia, keyless ignition/entry, a rear spoiler, upgraded sport upholstery, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, shift paddles (with the CVT), a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a color driver information display, the Fuse voice-activated electronics interface, a six-speaker sound system with a USB jack, and Bluetooth.

The Ralliart ups the game with all-wheel-drive, a turbocharged engine, hill-start assist, an automated dual-clutch manual transmission (with shift paddles), additional sport exterior treatments, front and rear limited-slip differentials, a sport steering wheel, a sport-tuned suspension, aluminum pedals, unique upholstery, and satellite radio. Keep in mind that the lower trim cars have some of these features as a part of a package or a stand-alone option. Many aerodynamic and cosmetic enhancement options are also available for the ES and DE trims.

The Ralliart and GT trim also offer a Touring Package that includes a sunroof, xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, leather seats, a smaller rear spoiler, a satellite radio, and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer. Also optional is a larger rearview camera monitor on the touchscreen display (instead of a rearview mirror) and a navigation system that features a 40GB hard drive capable of storing digital music files. A Deluxe package for the SE trim features most of the interior upgrades on the GT, along with soft-touch door trim panels.
The rear seats have generous legroom and are quite comfortable. You can fold these 60/40-split seat flats in case you need additional room for bulky luggage.

Performance and Fuel Economy.

The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo ES and DE draw their power from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 20 kg-m of torque and 148 horsepower. You get the standard five-speed manual and optional CVT. Combined, the five-speed and the base engine will get you to 97 km/h in just under 8.8 seconds, which is acceptable in the economy segment. With the CVT you arrive at that speed in 9.1 seconds, which is the average performance for cars equipped with automatic transmission.

When it comes to fuel economy, the engine achieves 9.7 kpl on the highway/11 kpl in traffic. With an automatic transmission, the fuel economy is at 12 kpl, the average rating for cars in this class.
The Lancer GT and SE feature a 2.4-liter engine that provides 23 kg-m of torque and 168 horsepower. You get the standard all-wheel drive and CVT with the SE model. All-wheel is the only option for the SE; it’s optional on the GT and ES models.

The GT comes with the five-speed manual standard and front-wheel drive. The optional CVT on the GT model comes with a manual mode that features simulated gear ratios which you operate using shift paddles located on the steering wheel. In tests, a manual-transmission GT takes 7.7 seconds to accelerate from zero to 96 km/h—quite fast for this class. The engine gets 12.7 kpl highway/9.7 kpl city and 11 kpl when combined with automatic transmission.

Powering the Ralliart is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that delivers 35 kg-m and 237 horsepower. All four wheels are powered by an automated dual-clutch manual transmission operated by shift paddles and active center differential. This Lancer model goes from zero to 96 km/h in an impressive 5.8 seconds.

Safety Features.

All 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo models come with standard safety features, including full-length head curtain airbags, front-seat side airbags, and a driver knee airbag. They also have Antilock brakes and stability control, but only the Ralliart, GTS, and SE come standard with four-wheel disc brakes.
The ES and DE are equipped with rear drum brakes. In brake tests, the Lancer GT came to a halt from 96 km/h in a remarkable 35 meters. Surprisingly, the Ralliart needs 38 meters to stop, even with its summer wheels.

The Driving Experience.

With a relatively quiet cabin and a good level of comfort, a 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer featuring the base 2-liter engine is a great option for your daily commute. If you’re looking for more driving excitement without having to break the bank, the GT and SE models are better alternatives as their suspensions remain responsive even with more aggressive driving.
The Ralliart model closes the gap to the range-topping Lancer Evolution model thanks to sharp handling, a turbocharged engine, and rapid-fire gear switches from the car’s dual-clutch transmission. From a mechanical standpoint, the Ralliart is definitely fun around the corners.


If you’re looking for something sportier than regular economy sedans, come get this one. It’s fast becoming popular and for good reason. Without breaking the bank; there are just a handful of cars today that can deliver such a driving excitement. The 2012 Mitsubishi Evo is ahead of the pack.

The Evolution Will Be Televised.
The Evolution Will Be Televised.