Automotive Tragedy: 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was a tuning car enthusiast’s dream. Arguably the first true four-door sports car — a vehicle that didn’t pretend to be a high performance sedan for even a moment — the Lancer Evo was the perfect getaway car, bespoke rice rocket or touring car championship machine.

Though the Lancer Evolution is a legend among gearheads in the U.S. and abroad, Mitsubishi is getting out of the car selling business in American. That means we’re looking at the last run of Lancer Evo’s available across the fruited plain. The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition will say farewell to Uncle Sam with a run of 1,600 specially numbered cars opening with an MSRP of $37,995.

Related: 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE: Sales King

The Final Edition Lancer runs off of the GSR model, featuring new enhancements and upgrades. The Evolution went through 10 generations — three of which were sold in the U.S. during the last 12 years. 

Why is the legend abandoning U.S. buyers? The automaker has sales problems around here. That’s partly due to market penetration and stiff competition from other Japanese automakers. It’s also arguably due to an unfocused sales approach, branding image and a lack of advertising. Can you think of the last Mitsubishi ad you saw on TV? What’s their selling slogan? Exactly. Hence you end up with a great car as a casualty.

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The front engined, all wheel drive Limited Edition will include a  five speed transmission paired with a turbocharged and intercooled 16 valve,  four cylinder, 2.0 liter engine that produces 303 horsepower. To bring all of that a stop, you get lightweight two-piece Brembo brake rotors up front, accompanied by Bilstein shock absorbers and Eibach springs at the four corners — with Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel control system monitoring all four wheels.

Before we finally say farewell to the Lancer Evo in the U.S., don’t be surprised if I devote an Autolust column to this last incarnation in the weeks to come.