The Mitsubishi EVO first became available in the United States in 2003. At that time the Mitsubishi EVO was already on its 8th evolution, each iteration a more refined and less edgy version of its former self. The budget racecar possess a trick all-wheel drive system and a 2.0 liter four cylinder empowered by a larger than life turbocharger. The overall package made the most out of its vestigial JDM limits of 276 horsepower and was a force to be reckoned with.
As a whole there were few differences between the EVO and its competitor, the WRX STi. Each car battle/comparison became hotly contested, often ending in ties broken by petty differences. This fight has become an automotive proverb, accompanying other rivalries like the Mustang and Camaro or Ford and Ferrari.
Through the years the popularity of the EVO never waned, becoming more and more popular thanks to video games, popular culture, and a strong community online and off. The car quickly became an icon due to the large aftermarket support and tuning ability, making the EVO capable of punching above its own weight, and doing so cheaply and easily.
Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end. In the vicious automotive market, manufacturers must concentrate on their bread and butter to pay the bills. The Lancer Evolution was a low hanging fruit, which made discontinuing the EVO an easy option, and enabled Mitsubishi to concentrate more on utilitarian vehicles that appealed to a larger population.
But before the curtain falls, Mitsubishi has unveiled one more Lancer Evolution trim, now in its tenth iteration, called the EVO FE, or Final Edition. No edition has sounded more absolute than that. Absolutely heartbreaking actually. Those words, Final Edition, heavily tug at the heartstrings of many enthusiasts. There’s currently no plan for a sporty Mitsubishi vehicle replacement, leaving an EVO sized hole in its lineup indefinitely.
The FE will be the most powerful stock EVO ever produced. Putting out 303 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque, out of the same 2.0 liter turbocharged powerplant that has powered the EVO X since 2007. Other exclusive bits include special Enkei wheels, unique stitching, a black painted roof, and unique
gravestones Final Edition badging, indicating that you are one out of 1600 people to have purchased the last of the breed.
Although Mitsubishi has no plans, we are certain the EVO will return because the nameplate is just too iconic and valuable. So as we wait for the EVOs return, however long that may be, we can take solace in the all-wheel drive battle between the new Ford Focus RS and the mainstay heavyweight the WRX STi. Until then, we will keep dreaming.