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Drove an Evo VIII

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  • Drove an Evo VIII

    So we've got this decent 2006 Mitsubishi Evo VIII at work, just a standard no-frills model with the rear wiper and carbon fiber rear wing. 35,000 miles on it or thereabouts. Got a chance to drive it today since we were slow and no managers were present. Took it for about a three mile spin through my usual test route, which involves a wickedly bumpy road (for suspension compliance), a straight for acceleration, an on-ramp/off-ramp combo to test handling and car balance, two more straights, and then another on-ramp/off-ramp combo with a final straight and a rapid deceleration to make it into the dealership parking lot.

    Started it up, very mild-sounding engine that idled well. I took off down the street nice and slow to give the car a chance to warm up, and went down my suspension compliance road at about 40 MPH. Car was comparable to my Miata with its Konis set to full soft, a decent amount of compliance but hints of something far more powerful underneath. Rattled a bit, something was loose in the back. Got onto my first straight and gave it the go in third. The engine revved up, I heard an electronic beep, and suddenly I was shoved very hard into my seat. Once more under control I did my on/off ramp combo, noticing that understeer was seemingly nonexistent and the car felt very balanced on the throttle, with throttle modulation altering the car's pitch in a very non-dramatic manner. A short burst in third and I was soon flying up the off-ramp, once again in complete control and balanced.

    The acceleration in first, second, and third gear was addictive, yet the car remained civil when I used part-throttle. At all times I heard the electronic beep, followed by a massive rush of power and the feeling that I would be in the back seat if my seatback gave way. On my second on/off ramp combo I had to come to a stop at the bottom of the on-ramp for an oncoming car, giving me a chance to test full throttle acceleration from a dead stop. Betraying my FWD/RWD driving career, the poor car fell flat on its face at first, but it soon made up for my inadequate throttle on launch and hurled itself forward with rocketlike gusto. I flew up the off-ramp at 60 MPH (posted 25), with the feeling that there was more in the car if I were willing to chance it.

    Downshifting was a little unusual, as I wasn't particularly quick to adapt to the Evo's pedal setup, but the vehicle was very willing to please. The brakes were quite impressive, the traction was overwhelming, and the power was addicting. Much like Pavlov's dog, when I hear that beep I begin to salivate in anticipation of the sudden overwhelming surge of power.

    In comparison to my Miata, I noticed a number of things. For one, I felt very uncomfortable driving a car so fast with that much headroom. It may sound odd, but I've associated fast driving with my hair touching the roof of the car, so being in the Evo with about four to five inches of headroom was very disconcerting. The seat was very pleasantly bolstered and felt very supportive and properly sporty, and the sensation of shifting gears was incredibly satisfying. I know the Miata gearbox gets a lot of praise for shifting, but this was masterful. The same solidity of feeling as the Miata but no notchy sensation at all.

    Handling "at the limit", or as close as I was willing to get in a $26,000 car that didn't belong to me, felt very interesting if somewhat boring. It had the prowess of the Miata, possibly with a little less understeer (I have the Racing Beat 1.125" front bar and stock rear bar), but it felt like it's "knife edge", if you will, was really the concave side of a spoon. I felt like as I pushed harder and harder the car became stuck in a very stable trench, doing exactly what was asked of it without fear of losing control. The Miata, in comparison, can be put on the knife edge easily and balances on a fairly sharp edge, with the knowledge that a spin out or understeer will show up if pushed much harder. The Evo kept mum about its ultimate limits, and I didn't have the time (or gas) to explore it further.

    All in all I found it to be a very interesting car, very sporting, very powerful, and very capable... but slightly boring. I've heard the STi is a bit more unruly, so I'm going to try and find one I can test out. Truth be told I enjoy the cars that are a little bit unrefined. I roared with laughter when I drove an SRT-4 simply because of its butt-kicking turbo and ridiculous torque steer, but the Evo had me simply in awe of its power. A superior car, but it needs just a touch of wild hair up its *** to keep me lusting after it.

    --- Just been informed, an '06 model is actually an Evo IX. Silly me.
    Last edited by thx712517; 11-28-2008, 08:32 PM.
    Friday nights 7-9 PM, go to www.ksuradio.com and listen to Owl Oldies. Visit our Facebook group for any requests and suggestions. Classic Kevin - 60s and 70s on OWL Radio

  • #2
    I like the STI a lot more then the EVO. Feels a lot quicker.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by simontibbett View Post
      I like the STI a lot more then the EVO. Feels a lot quicker.
      That has to do a lot with to with the sti having more troque and horsepower from the factory but the evo is said to handle better from the factory.
      1988 323 GTX--- The toy now :D
      2008 Mazdaspeed 3::SOLD ----- 1991 BRG NA8 Swap, Turbo::SOLD

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      • #4
        Yeah I know, but I just liked the STI more overall.

        Personally i'm not a FAN of either.

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        • #5
          I was wondering...since I don't know Japanese..is 'Evo' a word that means
          'ugly like a donkeys ***' because if so I have to say those guys at
          Mitsuckcrapshi sure know what theyre doing. ;)
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Originally posted by metalman View Post
            I was wondering...since I don't know Japanese..is 'Evo' a word that means
            'ugly like a donkeys ***' because if so I have to say those guys at
            Mitsuckcrapshi sure know what theyre doing. ;)
            I don't mind the styling of the evo 8 and 9. I can't stand the styling of the new evo X. I still love the old old evo 3 and 4.
            1988 323 GTX--- The toy now :D
            2008 Mazdaspeed 3::SOLD ----- 1991 BRG NA8 Swap, Turbo::SOLD

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            • #7
              Originally posted by metalman View Post
              I was wondering...since I don't know Japanese..is 'Evo' a word that means
              'ugly like a donkeys ***' because if so I have to say those guys at
              Mitsuckcrapshi sure know what theyre doing. ;)
              :lol:


              Actually the problem is rooted all the way back to WWII with their plane they called Zeroes. As in Zero clue about styling.
              Last edited by jester911; 11-29-2008, 05:29 AM.
              2020 Jet Black Mica GT RF

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              • #8
                That's funny that this thread has come up as I'm currently looking to get an EVO; trading the S in on one. :)

                I've driven both the STi and the EVO and although I feel that the quality of the STi is better, from a performance aspect, I would go with an EVO.
                Last edited by MeFryRice; 11-30-2008, 01:04 PM.

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                • #9
                  I LOVE the new Evo.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MeFryRice View Post
                    That's funny that this thread has come up as I'm currently looking to get an EVO X; trading the S in on one. :)
                    Will you please make up your damn mind?! :lol:

                    Originally posted by miata5620
                    Eric's Garage ... You buy all the parts I tell you to and you will have a killer car... If you want other parts used your car will suck and it will cost you more...

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                    • #11
                      I know I know....here's my list...

                      EVO X
                      90-95 NSX
                      2007 Subaru Legacy Spec B
                      350Z


                      There are more but those are the main ones. LB wasn't a fan of the EVO till I test drove one.

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                      • #12
                        I vote NSX. :D

                        Originally posted by miata5620
                        Eric's Garage ... You buy all the parts I tell you to and you will have a killer car... If you want other parts used your car will suck and it will cost you more...

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                        • #13
                          If I buy another 2-seater then I will sell the Miata as I will still want something with four doors and more room.

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                          • #14
                            please not the evo X. I am sorry but the styling just sucks. That and you can find a clean used evo 8 or 9 for really good prices now days.
                            1988 323 GTX--- The toy now :D
                            2008 Mazdaspeed 3::SOLD ----- 1991 BRG NA8 Swap, Turbo::SOLD

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                            • #15
                              The evo x has great styling. I think it's a love or hate thing.

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