Lancer Evolution VIII Hits The Road

Tokyo, January 29, 2003 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced that it will launch the Lancer Evolution VIII sports sedan in Japan on January 31. Features include a high-performance 2-liter intercooler-turbocharged engine, a 6-speed close-ratio gearbox and MMC’s advanced all-wheel traction control system. Available in three trim levels, the Evolution VIII GSR is priced at JPY3,298,000, the RS 5-speed manual transmission model JPY2,740,000 and RS 6-speed gearbox model JPY3,160,000. MMC is targeting total sales of 5,000 units.

The Lancer Evolution VIII marks the eighth step up the evolutionary ladder in the 10 years since the series made its Japan debut in October 1992. Providing a base model for a wide range of motorsport events, Evolution VIII continues the tradition of delivering quicker competition performance with each new model in the series. Evolution VIII also brings a significant improvement in perceived driving quality, offering a kid-glove fit between man and machine that inspires greater confidence over all speed bands and surfaces.

Major changes over Evolution VII include:

  • A 6-speed close-ratio gearbox that maximally extracts the engine’s class-topping maxima of 280PS (206kW, unchanged) and 40.0kg-m (392Nm, an increase of 1.0kg-m).
  • The addition of Super AYC to the race-proved ACD in MMC’s all-wheel traction control system realizes significant improvements in cornering and traction performance. (Standard on GSR, factory-fitted option on RS models).
  • Improved aerodynamic performance with the use of a new-design oversize front bumper, engine undercover and the first all-carbon rear spoiler on a 4-door production sedan.
Exterior
  • Evolution VIII presents a more aggressive exterior design that incorporates the new MMC design identity in the front grille and sees improvements in aerodynamic and cooling performance.
  • Stamping the new MMC design identity on the front visage is the pyramid-shape element in the center of the grill that locates the silver Mitsubishi 3-diamond logo, the apex of which provides the origin for a ridge line that flows seamlessly into the engine hood.
  • Intercooler efficiency has been boosted with a 10% enlargement of the mid-bumper air intake. The engine oil cooler air intake located under the right end of the bumper has been redesigned as a duct to promote a smoother flow of air and improve oil cooler performance.
  • The new-design engine undercover generates significantly more downforce and features a new diffuser that directs cooling air over the drivetrain. The new model retains the brake cooling air ducts fitted on its predecessor.
  • The rear spoiler uses carbon fiber-reinforced plastic for both horizontal and vertical components – a world-first on a 4-door production sedan. Exploiting to the full the low mass, high strength and rigidity properties of CFRP, the aerofoils are slimmer and optimized in section. The spoiler generates significantly more downforce than its predecessor without incurring any extra drag penalties.
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Published 29 January 2003 Melanie Carter

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