Mitsu Evo now up to $8900 cheaper

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Mitsubishi has trimmed up to $8900 from the price of its rally-bred performance icon, the Lancer Evolution X sedan, to make it more competitive against its most direct rival, Subaru’s WRX STI.

Priced from $56,990 plus on-road costs ($5400 less than the model it replaces), the entry-level MY13 Evo five-speed manual is now $3000 cheaper than the base STI, which costs from $59,990 in both sedan and hatch guise with either a six-speed manual or five-speed auto. For the same $3000 (down from $5000), the manual Evo can still also be optioned with a performance pack that includes two-piece Brembo front brake rotors, Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs all round, and 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels.

When fitted with a Getrag twin-clutch automated manual transmission, the MY13 Evo TC-SST is priced $5000 higher at $61,990 (also $5400 less than before) and also continues to come standard with Brembo brakes, positioning it $2000 upstream from the auto STIs. Both entry-level Evos now offer an upgraded sound system featuring a 6.1-inch full colour display with single-CD player, iPod/iPhone connectivity, Bluetooth phone connectivity, audio streaming and reversing camera.

Continuing to top the Evo line-up is the MR flagship, which remains available only in TC-SST auto form and now costs $65,990 – down $8900 from its exorbitant previous price of $74,890 and the same price as all versions of Subaru’s range-topping STI spec.R. The Evolution MR gains the new Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS), which comprises a seven-inch colour touchscreen that also includes satellite navigation with 3D mapping, iPod/iPhone connectivity and voice-activated Bluetooth.

All Evo models continue to be powered by the turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-litre DOHC MIVEC four-cylinder petrol engine that pumps out 217kW of power at 6500rpm and 366Nm of torque at 3500rpm (STI: 221kW and 407Nm, or 350Nm as an auto).

Available only through specialist Mitsubishi dealers around Australia, Evo models are offered in five exterior paint colours: Starlight, Titanium, Phantom Black, Red and a new Sapphire hue.

Currently, Mitsubishi sells only around 10 Lancer Evolution models a month in Australia, split evenly between about 60 base models and 60 MRs a year – far less than its chief rival, which is expected to appear in an all-new bespoke body next year. However, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited hopes the substantial price reductions will double sales of its performance flagship to around 240 in total – including 120 Evos and 120 MRs - annually over the next two years.

An all-new Lancer is not due to appear until early 2014, after which the redesigned Evo XI is expected to emerge with a petrol-electric hybrid all-wheel drivetrain.

“Quite frankly, we’re sick of being outsold by Subaru,” said Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited Vice-President Customer and Brand Management, Paul Unerkov.

In addition to the upgraded Lancer Evo’s sharper pricing and a revised MY13 Lancer range that now opens at $19,990, expect price reductions for the auto-only Lancer Ralliart SST sedan (pictured) and hatch ($44,490) within the next 12 months.

Mitsubishi MY13 Lancer Evolution pricing (plus on-road costs):
Lancer Evolution manual - $56,990
Lancer Evolution TC-SST - $61,990
Lancer Evolution MR TC-SST - $65,990