Lancer Evolution VIII Hits The Road | Part Two

Interior
  • Evolution VIII uses an off-black color scheme and the strategic placement of dark titanium-finish panels to create a sporty interior space that fully complements the vehicle’s character and supports sports driving requirements.
  • Dashboard ornamentation is finished in blue to coordinate with the seat upholstery.
  • The dark titanium-finish center panel accommodates 2DIN and 1DIN audio systems on GSR and RS trim levels respectively.
  • The race-serious instrument panel locates the tachometer in the center and uses the same full-scale 270 km/h speedometer (the governor operates at 180km/h as on its predecessor) as fitted to the recently launched North America market Evolution VIII, the first Evolution model to be offered on that market.
  • The shifter features a smaller spherical design that enhances operability. On 6-speed close-ratio gearbox models, the shift gate plate is embellished with the Evolution logo made from the same CFRP material as the rear spoiler.
  • Recaro bucket seats use slim-line bolsters and a lustrous blue knit fabric with a distinctive dimple-finish.
Engine
  • Evolution VIII is powered by an improved version of the 2-liter in-line 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC twin-scroll turbocharger-with-intercooler 4G63 engine that develops class-topping maxima of 280PS (206kW)/6500rpm (unchanged) and 40.0kg-m (392Nm)/ 500rpm (an increase of 1.0kg-m).
  • Optimization of supercharging characteristics has produced class-topping maximum torque of 40.0kg-m/3500rpm and even gutsier torque in the flat 3000rpm-to-5000rpm band.
  • To match the higher torque, cooling performance has been improved by uprating the water pump capacity and by enlarging the water passages in the turbocharger. Engine durability and reliability have also been improved by uprating the aluminum pistons and forged steel con rods.
  • Detail changes have reduced total engine weight by 2.5kg (models with air conditioning). Use of lighter valve springs and valve spring tensioners has lowered the moment of inertia of, and with less load on the springs reduced friction in, the valvetrain.
  • Evolution VIII models use the same fuel tanks as fitted to the North America market series. At 55 liters, the GSR gets a 7-liter increase to extend its cruising range; while at 50 liters, the RS gets just 2 liters more in view of weight and motorsport minimum range considerations.
Transmission
  • Evolution VIII uses a 6-speed close-ratio gearbox (standard on the GSR) to maximally utilize the engine’s outstanding power and torque characteristics. With the motorsport competitor in mind, the RS comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard and is available with a 6-speed gearbox/17-inch wheel combination package as a factory-fitted option.
  • The ratios on the 6-speed gearbox have been carefully chosen to extract every ounce of torque from the engine: 1st for acceleration from rest; 2nd to 5th for seamless shifting and response; while 6th supports an increase in top speed. The ratios also enable Evolution VIII to return 9.7 km/l in the Japanese 10-15 urban mileage test, an improvement of 0.1km/l over VII.
  • The 6-speed gearbox employs a pull-ring mechanism to prevent accidental selection of reverse.
  • For Evolution VIII, 5-speed RS models now come standard with the super-close ratio gearbox offered as an option on its predecessor, with uprated durability and stiffness to match the increased torque.
continues... | Part Three
Published 29 January 2003 Melanie Carter

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