The five-speed manual of the GSR is perhaps what the more hardcore enthusiast would seek anyway, but the six-speed twin clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission in the MR promises to make split-second shifts and rev-matched downshifts accessible to the average driver rather than the domain of footwork specialists.
Toss in the eminently streetable fully-automatic mode, and the MR may just be the Evo X for the masses - a fully fit, AWD terror with nearly lossless instant shifts on one hand, and a tame and manageable weekday driver on the other. And you can even drink your coffee while caught in bumper-to-bumper mayhem. All Evo X variants get the same 291hp, 300lb-ft turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder.
The starting price for the MR is $38,290, though expect to see that bumped up a bit if demand is higher than supply in your area. An optional technology package adds a 30GB hard drive, 650W Rockford-Fosgate sound system and prepaid Sirius Satellite Radio service to the mix, along with FAST Key entry, which lets the driver unlock the car simply by having the remote in his pocket while grasping the door handle.
Sales of the MR start at dealerships across the U.S. in June.