The Mitsubishi RalliartEvo, which is often called just the Ralliart, is an important part of the Lancer series of cars, which has been one of the most popular models offered by Mitsubishi to the world. The Lancer has a history dating back to 1973, but the Evolution was introduced only in 1992 as a high-performance version of the sedan. The Evo was meant only for the Japanese domestic market, but soon became popular around the world.
The RalliartEvo is positioned right in the middle of the Lancer and Evolution models. It offers a combination of the cost-effectiveness and conservativeness of the Lancer with the looks and power of the Evolution. In simple terms, the Mitsubishi RalliartEvo is perfect for those enthusiasts who want some of the Evolution’s performance and do not have a lot of money burning a hole in their pocket.
The Evolution, for all its blistering power and aggressive looks, is very costly and offers incredibly low mileage. For this reason, most people preferred to go for the Subaru Impreza WRX instead, which is cheaper, but offered performance at the same level as the Evolution. Mitsubishi wised up and began to offer the best of both worlds with its RalliartEvo and filled the huge gap between the mild-mannered Lancer VRX and the Evolution as a suitable answer to the WRX. In fact, it is safe to say that the RalliartEvo was designed, right from the onset, to tackle Subaru’s competition to the Evolution. As a result, the RalliartEvo now takes on the WRX while the Evolution stands above both.
In terms of looks, the Mitsubishi RalliartEvo wisely takes most of its design from its big brother Evolution, including the vented and scooped-up bonnet and the shark-like snout. The rest of the car is mostly similar to the Lancer VRX, but Mitsubishi adds a Ralliart badge at the rear to give it a distinguishing touch.
The feel of the Mitsubishi RalliartEvo inside is completely minimalistic, so do not expect much in terms of features or comfort. The ride quality is acceptable but definitely on the firmer side. On open roads, the car can feel a little too stiff-legged, and the car performs best when it is unleashed on curves. The driving position will not be agreeable to a lot of folks, and the lack of a telescopic steering wheel or any sort of seat adjustments except for the bare minimum is telling. The rear seats, while not lush and comfortable, offer enough support and room for two adults as long as they are not too tall.
The rated power of the Mitsubishi RalliartEvo is a little lower than that of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, but both of them are very similar in terms of real-world performance. The Lancer Evolution has always used its now-popular turbocharged 2.0L, 4-cylinder engine. All models of the RalliartEvo use a slightly powered down version of the same engine that delivers 177kW of power and 343Nm of torque through an all-wheel drive system. All this power is regulated by an automated, 6-speed, automated, dual clutch manual gearbox called the Twin-Clutch Sequential Sportshift Transmission (TC-SST).
This transmission system gives the driver the option of automatic or manual shifts with incredibly fast gear changes and perfectly timed downshifts. For those enthusiasts who want a 3-pedal manual transmission, the RalliartEvo is unfortunately out of the question, because it only comes with the TC-SST.
There is a small delay in response when the car is pushed from standstill because of the electronic transmission preventing driveline shock. However, after the small delay, the car zooms ahead and reaches 100km/h in less than 6 seconds, which is around a half-second off the WRX but still pretty quick. The performance gets a lot better with the ‘Sport’ mode, shifting gears smoothly and matching downshifts perfectly with the driver to get the most out of the engine. The car performs well in stop-and-go traffic too, and surprisingly, it stays firm on the ground even when cornering hard. The stock tires are too thin to really last long.
The standard and optional kit on the Mitsubishi RalliartEVO is kept to a bare minimum with creature comforts like power doors and windows, a climate control system, basic stereo system, and a LATCH system for attaching child safety seats. Anyone looking for a modern, comfortable interior with a variety of standard and optional features may be disappointed.
The main competition of the RalliartEvo is the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, which is rated at 242kW and 462Nm. Both cars are similar to each other in most respects except for power and torque specifications, in which the Subaru takes an edge. Nevertheless, both the Ralliart and the WRX perform equally well when pushed to the limit.