The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X is an impressive car. It has grown the once high-strung, temperamental nameplate into a more comfortable, yet still high-performance car. For 2011, Mitsubishi is adding value to the Evo X, without bumping the price. But there's a curious omission from the lineup.
Back in July, Mitsubishi announced a new trim level would be joining the range: the Lancer Evolution SE. Packaged with the twin-clutch TC-SST transmission but with more affordable interior options, it was to be the Goldilocks Evo. But it's nowhere to be found in the 2011 Evolution release. Mitsubishi even goes into detail describing the two models that will be on sale in the U.S. for 2011:
"Two versions of the Lancer Evolution will be offered in the U.S. market for the 2011 model year: the GSR model that features a short-throw 5-speed manual transmission along with a long list of standard features as well as numerous advanced electronic driver aids including the advanced Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) full-time all-wheel drive system and an even better equipped MR edition that includes Mitsubishi's remarkable 6-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic-Shift Transmission (TC-SST)."
The MR and GSR will get some upgrades, but don't expect more performance. The upgrades are all in the looks, sound, and features departments. Tech is at the top of the list, with a new real-time traffic system added to the optional 40-gigabyte hard-drive-based nav system. USB bonuses include a standard USB port between the front seats, and the new FUSE hands-free system that allows Bluetooth-enabled cell phones, iPods, and USB drives to be controlled by voice commands.
Beyond the list of gadgetry, there's not much new except for the retuned exhaust that delivers "an even more sporty note" according to Mitsubishi. All GSR models now get a standard large rear spoiler, while the MR gets a low-key lip.