To launch it briskly requires a greater-than-usual number of revs. As with virtually every other aspect of the car, Mitsubishi spent its money where it counts most, on the driving experience. The Evo's lack of a limited-slip front differential might have handicapped it launching out of corners, but it negotiated them faster anyway. If the level of juvenile appeal can be measured by the height of an economy sedan's rear wing, then these two sedans are positively infantile. Those 29 extra ponies under the Subaru's flapping hood are for real. The 'King of the Hill' Compares Our Cars on the Big Dirty You are not Rod Millen.
It's all accompanied by a tough-sounding midrange trill of an exhaust note. It may not deliver its power in a linear fashion or be a match for the Subaru's engine, but you have to admit it's exhilarating. Also, well, it's a bitchin' thing to do. Mitsubishi's initial response was the decidedly lame Lancer O-Z Racing Rally Edition. Also, the shape makes it perfect for use as a skateboard ramp.
The dark-red-on-black gauge package is difficult to read. With a curb weight identical to the Mitsubishi's 3260 pounds , an axle ratio only slightly less aggressive, and a positive-shifting six-speed manual transmission, the Subaru's extra juice makes it the drag-strip king. It's especially wonderful when his assessment jibes with our own. Consider that one of our testers quite rightly concluded after a hard point-and-squirt run on a tight country road in Southern California that he couldn't have gone through the section any faster if he'd been in a Ferrari 360 Modena. Its responses are less predictable. Finally, Mitsubishi introduced the Evolution to this country at the Los Angeles auto show last January.
Problem is that the hefty-looking side bolsters yield immediately to your weight in hard cornering, forcing you to brace yourself against the door panel. In this fashion, they will be familiar to much of America as variations on the slammed Honda Civic theme. Heavily boosted motors—and the Subaru's is, with 14. The 300-hp car loses to a similarly priced, less-powerful vehicle!? No, not the campers, but cars that look slow but are actually pretty quick, both on and off the track. Despite his modest self-deprecation, we felt unnaturally comfortable sitting in the passenger seat as Millen somehow managed to get to 122 mph on the short straight and then dive sideways through the rest of our dusty little course. The steering wheel is the only part of the upgraded interior that seems the least bit cheesy. The engine powers the wheels via a 5 speed manual transmission.
Its handling balance is nearly perfect, able to drift, rotate, and hang with you through all but the most ham-fisted moves. The highest praise we can bestow on a performance car is this: We feel immediately comfortable driving it quickly. It is for now, and for the foreseeable future, a class of two. He's also earned success in off-road truck racing and endurance road racing. He now focuses on his growing businesses of aftermarket parts for Toyota cars and contract engineering for carmakers and the U. Some of this, we suspect, is due to the torque-sensing limited-slip differential. On paper, the Evolution doesn't look like such a great proposition.
When it comes to minivans, economy cars, and most sedans, stability is the suspension tuner's Holy Grail. Thanks in part to the Subaru's relatively large displacement at 2. It could be used as temporary shelter for a diminutive immigrant family. How's that for absurd, old man? Otherwise, the interior materials have a quality look, and the design is pleasant. Heck, on this day, even Rod Millen wasn't sure if he was Rod Millen. In fact, for those who do not aspire to own Corvettes, they are the anti-status-symbol status symbols.
Claimed weight at the kerb is 1360 kg. At low speed, there's a two-second gap between throttle application and full turbo boost. Then the engine virtually explodes with power, the turbo hissing in sinister fashion. Now, we're not talking Buick-style understeer here. In fact, it's smaller in all dimensions than the Evolution. This automobile has a 4 door saloon sedan body style with a front positioned engine powering all four wheels. The course, a two-lane-wide road made up of fine sand, starts with three well-graded tight turns, opens up to a washboard downhill straight a quarter-mile or so in length, continues over two rises, through a chicane of trees, and to a fast left-hand corner made of a patchwork of old asphalt and dust, and finally ends on an uphill chunk of road.
We are not Rod Millen. Only the absolute bottom of the engine's rev range feels weak-kneed. And did we mention 300 horsepower? It was Subaru that popularized this whole idea of selling economy sedans with punchy turbocharged motors and all-wheel drive to Americans. These are not drag racers, and what a stopwatch considers a good start a dealership service department considers a lucrative one. The understeer we noted on the track and road wasn't the problem on the dirt.