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The Facts - 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

All You Need To Know About The New EVO X

Jay Chen
Jan 1, 2008
Photographer: Courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors
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We finally have the smut on the production Evo X. We've even driven the first batch of right-hand-drive Evos on Mitsubishi's Tokachi test track.

Mitsubishi plans to release two versions of the Evo X (designated CZ4A) in the US. The GSR: for Evo purists and for privateer rally teams to meet homologation rules. And the MR: to capture some upmarket M3 and G37 buyers. While the MR still gets the better hardware, essentially what separates the two is the transmission. GSRs will come only with a redesigned five-speed manual transmission (W5M6A) sporting beefed-up gears for added torque capacity and double synchros on fourth and fifth gear. The gear ratios remain the same as in the previous transmission, but now have a shorter final drive (4.687 against 4.529).

The MR will be available only with the much-debated six-speed Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST). TC-SST is much like Audi/VW/Bugatti's twin-clutch DSG transmission, which utilizes two wet clutches split between six gears with each clutch overlapping engagement for near-seamless changes. Unlike DSG, Mitsubishi was smart enough to include three shifting modes: Normal, Sport and S-Sport. This lets drivers choose from a normal putt-putt, gas-saving commuter mode, a spirited mountain driving mode, or an all-out track setting that shifts only at the rev limit with instant engagement. Alternatively, a slap of the shift lever or paddle shifters will put the car into manual mode.

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In front of these two transmissions is the new 1997cc four-cylinder DOHC turbocharged and intercooled 4B11 T/C motor. In terms of bracing, this semi-closed deck block is different to the 'world engine' developed in conjunction with DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai. Mitsubishi also uses its own head, forged rods and crank, and gravity-cast full-floating 9.0:1 compression pistons. With a bore and stroke of 86mm, the 4B11 revs up to a 7000rpm redline, with fuel cut at 7600rpm.

One of the biggest changes in the 4B11 is the new chain-driven MIVEC, 16-valve, direct-acting valvetrain, which replaces the old roller rocker arm design of the 4G63. The reduction in parts, complexity and reciprocating mass creates a more compact design (lighter by 27.5 pounds). It also lowers the engine's center of gravity by 10mm, compared to the 4G63. By ditching the rockers, the valve angle has been reduced to 47 degrees from 57, with a trade-off of 2.5mm smaller-diameter exhaust valves. However, the 4B11 uses slightly larger 33.6mm-diameter intake valves. Balancing shafts have also been deleted, thanks to the engine's better overall harmonics (which uses four-bolt main caps and a die-cast ladder frame) and the use of hydraulic engine mounts.

The conventional-rotation Mitsubishi turbo (designated TD05H-152G6-12t) is now mounted against the firewall, and plumbed to a short higher-capacity downpipe and exhaust. Internally, the turbo still uses an Inconel turbine with the titanium-aluminide wheels omitted (though possibly appearing in subsequent higher-performance models). The new MIVEC, higher compression and new turbo design contribute to a claimed 20-percent increase in boost response at low engine speeds (however that's calculated) and increases the overall useable amount of low-end torque, especially between 3500 and 4500rpm. Mitsubishi rates the 4B11 T/C at 295bhp at 6500rpm (against the 4G63's 286bhp at 6500rpm) and 300lb-ft at 4400rpm (compared to 289lb-ft at 3500rpm.)

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Although some people see the use of an all-aluminum block and software-particular TC-SST transmission as the end for serious Evo tuning, Mitsubishi has left some leeway. The manual transmission isn't tied into the Gestapo stability and engine management computers. And the company left out direct injection, which at least allows tuners to upgrade to larger injectors and use conventional fuel pump upgrades. Mitsubishi also managed to pass evaporative emissions with a return-type fuel system, which saves the hassle of re-plumbing new lines for fuel-thirsty big boost. By deleting the balancing shafts and deploying the semi-closed deck design, conventional-rotation turbo, and better valve and piston geometry, this engine has significant power and rev potential. And, if you still doubt what an aluminum block can do, don't forget that 500hp Nissan SR20DETs are just a matter of big turbos and more fuel.

The stiff body structure of the new base Lancer (which is already stiffer than the Evo IX) provides the foundation for the Evo X. The unibody doesn't use additional welds over the standard Lancer (like the Evo IX), although areas in the front subframe and rear suspension towers use additional sheetmetal gussets-as well as a completely different rear floor stamping to accommodate the subframe, which is unique to the Evo.

A rear V-brace and cross member go behind the rear seats. Both front and rear subframes have new stiffer and lighter designs with forged aluminum control arms, and even more pillow-ball bushings and ball joints for added precision. Geometry revisions include increased front caster for better steering feedback and for added camber gain during cornering. There's also an overall increase in suspension travel by 10mm-nothing major, just an evolution of the previous Evolution.

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New steps were taken in terms of weight management beyond the use of an aluminum roof, hood and front fenders. Engineers relocated the battery and washer fluid tank to the trunk, and replaced the front and rear bumper structures with aluminum box sections that are 15 pounds lighter. This, in conjunction with the lighter engine, shifts weight distribution back by two to three percent and drops the car's overall CG by 10mm.

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Outside of the transmission, wheels and brakes will also set the MR and GSR models apart. GSRs will have 18x8.5 Enkei cast aluminum wheels, while MRs will have forged BBS pieces that save roughly two pounds per wheel. This doesn't include the MR's front and rear two-piece floating rotors, which are three pounds lighter per corner than the one-piece cast discs on the GSR. From what we can tell, the brake calipers and piston sizes are identical to the Evo IX and the inch-larger rotors will fit onto the older hubs. A big brake kit for Evo VIIIs and IXs might be as simple as an aluminum caliper bracket.

MRs will also have Bilstein inverted monotube dampers, valved specifically for the reduced unsprung weight in the front and rear, while GSRs will use a KYB inverted monotube front and twin-tube damper in the rear. Grip comes from new 245/40/18 Yokohama Advan A13C tires, developed specifically for the Evo X (as if the old A046s weren't expensive and rare enough already). Rated at 180/A/A by Yokohama, these tires are just as sticky (if not more so) than the old ones, but are greatly improved in terms of wet traction and overall noise.

For the most part, the Evo X is still the quintessential Evolution. While the engine and transmission have changed, the car's lineage is obvious. The revolution on the X is the Super-All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), electronically coercing 3400 pounds to perform unnatural feats of track acrobatics. S-AWC consists of Mitsubishi's Active Center Differential (ACD) that splits power between the front and rear wheels (depending on traction conditions), Sport ABS systems, the Active Yaw Control (AYC) differential (vectoring torque between the rear wheels to help rotate the car), and Active Stability Control (ASC) to bind them.

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Although systems such as AYC and ACD are already in use on Japanese Evos and operate in much the same way, S-AWC goes to another level by integrating AYC action, individual wheel ABS brake activation and front-and-rear power distribution to control spins, slides, and understeer. All systems talk to each other via the ASC and continually monitor steering, throttle, brake pressure, wheel speed, and yaw inputs to ensure the Evo X is always doing what the driver wants, minimizing the need for large or snap steering inputs and corrections. The Evo X almost drives itself around the track. Only seasoned drivers will know when ASC is intervening with some severe butt-saving action, because the car just refuses to spin, giving even more sphincter-pinching satisfaction than previous Evos-if that's possible.

Luckily, for track drivers who don't like the unnatural feel of ASC intervention, it can be turned off in two stages. Stage one disables the ABS control of individual wheels in understeer and oversteer conditions, while still enabling rear-wheel braking control to help the AYC. The second stage disables AYC braking control, giving essentially JDM Evo IX feedback with Evo X hardware. It will also give curious passengers another button to play with.

There isn't much to hate in the Evo X. It's still a far cry from what a luxury performance sedan should be, as the econobox interior is a bit of a mismatch with the techno-wonder performance. But it's another victory for the US performance mass market. Think of it this way, at least now you can sell the wife on buying an Evo because it comes with an automatic option.

CHASSIS
{{{2008 Lancer}}} Evolution X {{{2006 Lancer}}} Evolution IX
Torsional rigidity (MNm2/rad) 4.3 3.1
Bending rigidity (MNm2/rad) 5.4 3.3
SUSPENSION
Front
Camber angle -1 degrees -1 degrees
Caster angle 4 degrees, 25 minutes 3 degrees, 55 minutes
Toe-in 0mm 0mm
Caster trail 24.2mm 21.1mm
Kingpin inclination 13 degrees, 50 minutes 13 degrees, 45 minutes
Kingpin offset (scrub radius) 0.7 -0.3
Wheel stroke (compression/rebound) mm {{{90}}}/90 {{{80}}}/95
Rear
Caster angle -1 degrees -1 degrees
Toe-in 3mm 3mm
Wheel stroke (compression/rebound) mm 110/85 {{{100}}}/85
    2008 MITSUBISHI 2006 MITSUBISHI
    LANCER EVOLUTION X LANCER EVOLUTION IX
Estimated Price : TBD $31,399
ENGINE
Engine Code : 4B11 T/C 4G63 T/C
Type : In-line four, aluminum block and head, In-line four, cast iron block, aluminum head,
    turbocharged and intercooled turbocharged and intercooled
Valvetrain : DOHC, four valves per cylinder, MIVEC DOHC, four valves per cylinder, MIVEC
    variable intake and exhaust variable intake valve timing
    valve timing
Displacement : 1998cc 1997cc
Bore x Stroke : 86mm x 86mm 85mm x 88mm
Compression Ratio : 9.0:1 8.8:1
Claimed Crank Hp : 295hp @ 6500rpm 286hp @ 6500rpm
Claimed Crank Torque : 300lb-ft @ 4400rpm 289lb-ft @ 3500rpm
Redline : 7000rpm 7000rpm
DRIVETRAIN
Layout : Transverse front engine, all-wheel drive Transverse front engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission   Six-speed TC-SST/five-speed manual Five-speed manual
Gear Ratios
1 : 3.655/2.857 2.857
2 : 2.368/1.950 1.950
3 : 1.754/1.444 1.444
4 : 1.322/1.096 1.096
5 : 1.008/0.761 0.761
6 : 0.775/- -
Final drive : 4.062/4.687 4.529
Differential : Helical limited-slip (F), active Helical limited-slip (F), active clutch-
    clutch-type (C), type (C), clutch-type limited slip (R)
    planetary gear, active yaw
    limited-slip (R)
CHASSIS
Chassis Code : CZ4A CT9A
Exterior dimensions
Curb Weight : 3344 lbs (GSR)/3388 lbs (MR) 3263 lbs
Weight Distribution F/R : 58/42 60/40
Overall Length : 177.0 in. 178.5 in.
Wheelbase : 104.3 in. 103.0 in.
Overall Width : 71.3 in. 69.7 in.
Track F/R : 60.8 in./60.8 in. 59.6 in./59.6 in.
Height : 58.3 in. {{{57}}}.1 in.
SUSPENSION
Front : MacPherson strut, inverted monotube, MacPherson strut, inverted dampers, forged
    forged aluminum lower control arms, aluminum lower control arms, 24mm swaybar,
    25mm stabilizer bar, steel front strut steel front strut tower brace
    tower brace
Rear : Multi-link upper and lower control Multi-link upper and lower control arm
    arm w/forged aluminum trailing links, w/forged aluminum trailing links,
    lateral links and cast aluminum lateral links and cast aluminum
    cross-member, twin tube (monotube cross-member, 22mm anti-roll bar
    for MR) dampers, 23mm anti-roll bar
BRAKES
Front : 13.8-in. vented discs (two-piece for 12.6-in. vented discs, four-piston fixed calipers
    MR), four-piston fixed calipers
Rear : 13.0-in. vented discs (two-piece for 11.8-in. vented discs, two-piston fixed calipers
    MR), two-piston fixed calipers
Electronic driving : ABS, AYC, ACD (switchable), ABS, ACD (switchable)
aids/inhibitors   ASC (switchable)
WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels : 18x8.5 aluminum 17x8 aluminum
Tires : 245/40/18 Yokohama ADVAN A13C 235/45/17 Yokohama ADVAN A046
By Jay Chen
85 Articles

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