evo9-wnt969.jpg

A few weeks back, lucky NST journalist Shannon Teoh took the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 out for a test drive review, and I got to have a taste of the car as well as be the photographer for the test drive. I can’t say much about the car as I only got to drive it a little around Cyberjaya and back to NST in Bangsar, but it’s safe to say it was everything I expected it to be and more.

I found myself saying under my breath, “I can’t believe this is 6th gear” – and the reason for it being said under my breath was because I did not want to interrupt the moments where I was feeling that amazing amount of torque – all 400Nm of it.

That is the same amount of torque as the new E92 BMW M3. While the Evo 9 introduces MIVEC variable valve timing to the venerable 4G63 series and is supposed to smoothen out the torque curve and increase low-end power, there is still a mad surge of power and the intoxicating sound of a large turbine spinning furiously when you enter the boost range which begins a tad below 4,000rpm.

It was very hard to believe that this is a performance car, as the Lancer Evolution 9 had everything you need to be a practical family sedan – 5 seats, 4 doors, a nice big boot. What else could you ask for? However, it was hard justifying the thought of me ever buying one if I could afford it, as for a sedan that costs a tad over RM280,000, the interior sure did not feel premium.

For example, even the air conditioning was a manual knob controlled unit, and the audio system was very basic. Plus, just try maneuvering the Evo 9 in tight parking spaces. You’ll discover that for some reason the car has a really bad turning circle, ensuring that multiple three point turns will be one of your most frequent maneuvers in this car.

But then again, that’s just me. I am very particular about my car interior ambiance, and the Evo 9 is just not for me. It might be the car for you though, if you had RM284,872 to plonk down for one of the most exciting cars you can buy on Malaysian roads. BTW, there is no standard warranty for this car – a 1-year warranty is optional!

For now, have a look at more photos after the jump. You can click most of the images in this post to view an enlarged version.