The all-new Lancer Evolution has arrived in Australia and with its stunning good looks, blistering performance, cutting edge technology and sure-footed dynamics, the vehicle will set a new benchmark in Australian sports sedans.

According to Robert McEniry, president and chief executive officer of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL), the all-new Lancer Evolution has created a storm of interest in the Mitsubishi brand.

“As head of the Lancer sedan family, and halo vehicle for the Mitsubishi brand, the 2008 Lancer Evolution has captured the imagination of the general public since the first concept vehicle, Concept-X, was shown at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show.

“Following its recent overseas release, the 2008 Lancer Evolution has been the recipient of rave reviews from international motoring journalists, and this has set the scene for the Australian public’s high anticipation of the vehicle’s imminent arrival.” Mr McEniry said.

The production model of the Lancer Evolution stays true to the styling direction of the acclaimed concept vehicle and the finished package hints at the agility and flexibility of the vehicle, making a maximum performance statement and blending the concept car’s themes and sound aerodynamic principles which convey the brand’s rally heritage. A shark nosed front end inspired by jet fighter air intakes, a distinct wedge-like profile and crisp, taut lines highlight the new-generation Lancer design.

The 2008 Lancer Evolution boasts a powerful new engine, an inter-cooled and turbo-charged 2.0-litre DOHC inline four cylinder with reinforced cast-aluminium cylinder bock which generates an impressive 217 kW of power @ 6500 rpm and 366Nm of torque at 3500 rpm.

Mitsubishi’s all-new Twin Clutch Sport Shift Transmission (TC-SST), an automated manual transmission capable of executing lightning-quick gear changes with no discernable drop-off in engine power, and featuring a console-mounted shifter and steering wheel paddle shifters, will be available on all models.

TC-SST offers three drive modes - Normal, Sport and S-Sport – with the choice between automatic and manual shifting available in each mode. Normal mode suits everyday driving, while the Sport mode uses higher shift points when in automatic and quicker shifting to deliver instant throttle response. The S-Sport mode is designed for performance situations, such as track events.

The high-end technology story continues with the next generation of Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) incorporating an Active Centre Differential, Super Active Yaw Control (SAYC), Active Stability Control and Sports Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and a Limited Slip Differential supplying a significant advance in dynamic capability. The S-AWC offers the driver three traction modes – Tarmac, Gravel and Snow – to optimise vehicle performance and safety.

Braking performance is enhanced with a Brembo system comprising 18 inch ventilated four pot front brakes (two-piece type on up-spec models) and 17 inch ventilated two pot rear brakes. Road-hugging dynamics are provided by the high performance suspension system including front McPherson strut suspension (inverted), and rear multi-link suspension with mono-tube shock absorbers and front and rear stabilizer bars and front strut tower bar.

The Lancer Evolution boasts a comprehensive list of standard features to enhance safety and driveability and adds standard driver and front passenger SRS airbags, driver side knee airbag, and side and curtain airbags to the vehicle’s S-AWC, Active Centre Differential, SAYC, Active Stability Control, and Sports Anti-lock Braking System and Brembo brakes.

Two variants will be available - the entry level Lancer Evolution or the up-scale Lancer Evolution MR, with an optional Performance Package available on the base model.

The entry-level Lancer Evolution comes with a five-speed manual transmission as standard, with the option of Mitsubishi’s new six-speed Twin Clutch Sport Shift Transmission (TC-SST). TC-SST is standard on the Lancer Evolution MR.

Inside, Recaro bucket seats and a sports-style steering wheel emphasise the Lancer Evolution’s performance credentials, while touches such as automatic climate control, Smart key keyless entry, hands free Bluetooth connectivity, dusk sensing headlamps and rain sensing wipers, cruise control and AM/FM six stacker CD audio with steering wheel audio controls contribute to occupant comfort.

The top level Lancer Evolution MR adds standard TC-SST with steering wheel paddle shifters, upgraded two piece front disc Brembo brakes, Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers, Eibach front and rear springs, high intensity definition (HID) headlamps with adaptive front-lighting system (AFS) with headlamp washers and auto headlamp levelling, 18 inch BBS forged aluminium wheels, colour coded hood and fender air outlets and chrome belt line moulding and grille surround.

Premium interior appointments on the MR include leather combination seat trim, heated front seats and a Rockford Fosgate AM/FM CD sound system with nine speaker including subwoofer. Mitsubishi’s Multi Communication System, including satellite navigation, is also standard on the MR variant.

The optional performance pack available for the entry level Lancer Evolution includes Brembo two piece brakes, Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers, Eibach front and rear springs and 18 inch BBS forged aluminium wheels.

The 2008 Lancer Evolution is available in a range of colours including Solid White, Cool Silver, Red Metallic, Lightning Blue and Phantom Black.

Pricing for the 2008 Lancer Evolution is sharp with the entry level vehicle available from $59,490, the Lancer Evolution with TC-SST from $64,490 and the top level MR from $71,690. The optional Performance Pack adds $5,500 to the entry level Evolution.

All Lancer Evolution vehicles are covered by Mitsubishi’s industry leading Diamond Advantage Warranty, with its comprehensive five year/130,000 whole vehicle warranty, backed up by its 10 year/160,000 km powertrain warranty and a five year/unlimited km roadside assistance package.

Launching the vehicle at Winton Raceway in rural Victoria this week, Robert McEniry said the Lancer Evolution is a fitting vehicle to lead Mitsubishi’s broad-ranging product line-up in its assault on the Australian market.

“The 2008 Lancer Evolution has got the lot – fantastic performance, unbelievable dynamics, state-of-the-art technology, and good looks by the truck-load,” Mr McEniry said.

“And with its impeccable, rally-driven heritage, the Lancer Evolution is the perfect halo vehicle for the Lancer sedan range, and the Mitsubishi brand, as we continue to grow our imported vehicle sales in the Australian market.”

The Lancer Evolution and Evolution MR will be on sale from July 21st 2008.

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