Scott Lear
Scott Lear
1/29/09 12:00 a.m.
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Last year we had a manual-transmission Evo GSR, and more recently we had a dialed-down Evo Ralliart, but finally the GRM staff has spent some time with the full-tilt Lancer Evolution X MR. Although the Ralliart shares the MR's terrific six-speed twin-clutch manumatic transmission, the gearbox is somewhat neutered in Ralliart trim.

The MR's transmission, on the other hand, can operate in full-anger Super Sport mode. This particular press fleet Evo came with the optional technology package and in-dash navigation, bringing the sticker price to more than $44,000.

The MR is further distinguished from its lesser siblings thanks to its standard fitment of Eibach springs, Bilstein dampers, handsome forged BBS wheels and HID lights. The price hike over the five-speed manual GS-R model is no small sum, but the TC-SST doesn't give up anything to the other car in performance; for many, the joy of shifting with a proper paddle gearbox will be worth the price of admission. Frankly, we couldn't find much reason to take the car out of its fully automatic setting; it allows the driver to concentrate on the line and braking points. In Super Sport mode, the transmission chooses gears more aggressively than the average driver would.

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