In 2001 the Lancer Evolution 7 brought along the Lancer Cedia Body styling and improved engineering features and body styling. The Body kit design accommodates a wider track rim and wheel selection. The Body frame is a larger size but has retained strength while giving a lighter weight.
For its front suspension, Evolution 7 retains the MacPherson strut arrangement extensively optimised to the model's new dimensions. Cornering performance - from initial response right up to the limit - has been improved by widening the track, optimising the roll center height and increasing the bump stroke by 15mm. The steering gear box has been lowered to realise greater linearity in toe changes, and to increase vehicle stability when turning.
Evolution 7 Extras
Evolution 7 features a new Active Center Differential using an electronically controlled variable multi-plate clutch. The ACD boasts a differential limiting capacity three times greater than that of the viscous coupling-type differential used to date.In addition, the ACD's ability to tailor slippage for different driving conditions brings levels of steering response and traction control not possible with a viscous coupling differential. A 3-way manual override switch enables the driver to select Tarmac, Gravel or Snow modes to suit his preferences or conditions. The ACD also frees the differential on operation of the parking brake - thereby enabling the driver to make more effective use of side brake turns in rallies and other events.
improvements to the turbo charger, larger capacity intercooler and oil cooler, and the use of triple-nozzle auto-adjust intercooler sprays (with manual override) realise class-topping maximum torque of 282lbs/ft at 3500rpm as well as a wider torque band. To accommodate the increase in torque, the transfer, propeller shaft and drive shaft specifications have all been uprated.
In 2003 Evolution 8 took a further step up the evolutionary ladder with the introduction of Super A YC, a 6-speed close ratio manual transmission and other cutting-edge automobile technology. Evolution 8’s features significant advances in aerodynamic and cooling performance reaped from extensive testing during development on the Nürburgring in Germany and in Mitsubishi’s own advanced wind tunnel facility. Reducing drag and lift, Evolution 8’s exterior lines give it better high-speed straight line stability and handling through corners.
The design also achieves the increased cooling performance necessary to extract the full potential of the new model’s uprated power plant and drivetrain. The hot air extraction vents in the engine hood, meanwhile, are 60% larger than on Evolution 7 and with an improved heat protector design double the effective area. The rear spoiler uses carbon fibre-reinforced plastic for both horizontal and vertical components – a world-first on a 4-door production sedan.
Evolution 8 Extras
The power plant now generates torque of 290lbs/ft at 3500rpm, the result of optimising the turbocharging characteristics of the twin-scroll turbocharger to increase boost pressure to 40mm Hg around peak torque. Engine durability and reliability have also been improved by uprating the aluminium pistons and forged steel con rods. With a number of other ranges the engine is now 2.5kg lighter. Standard on the GSR, Evolution 8 uses a 6-speed close ratio gearbox to maximally utilise the extra torque generated by the uprated engine.
AYC had come under criticism in some quarters for not transferring enough torque to match the increased power outputs of the latest Evolution models when shod with high-grip tires and driven on race circuit or other high-friction surfaces. Responding to this, Mitsubishi developed and now introduces Super AYC after carefully calculating torque transfer requirements under simulated race conditions. Switching from the use of a bevel gear to a planetary gear differential, the new unit is able to transfer twice the torque of the currentA YC.
The Evolution 9 was launched in 2006. Building on the Evolution 8 MR platform, the Evolution 9 was the first Evolution to utilise MIVEC technology(variable cam timing) aimed at increasing torque and reducing turbo lag. The official factory power output stayed at 286bhp and torque increased slightly to 289ft/lb, although unofficially the power figures were thought to be considerably higher.
The most significant mechanical change on the Evolution 9 was the introduction of a revised turbo (fitted as an option on the GSR) using a magnesium alloy turbine wheel to improve turbo spool up. Uprated pistons rings were also fitted along with a stronger timing belt.
All other features of the MR such as the aluminium roof, Bilstein suspension, 6-speedgearbox (option on RS) were all retained.
Evolution 9 Extras
The Evolution 9 was also the first Evolution to be produced in GT trim. GT trim replaced the old RS2 model and sits between the minimal RS and fully equipped GSR models.
Cosmetically, the front bumper underwent some minor changes and a diffuser was added to the rear bumper. Various other subtle cosmetic modifications were introduced with the 9 including a new darker front and rear light surround and the rear spoiler side struts were colour coded and with just the blade finished in carbon fibre.