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The Evolution Of The Mitsubishi Lancer

The Evolution Of The Mitsubishi Lancer

Over 3 years ago the last Lancer Evolution was sold, and with that we saw the end of an era. From it’s inception in 1992 the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was a sports sedan that had one goal; stand out against the pack. And for a long time, that’s exactly what it did.


So how did the Lancer evolve and where did it go?


The first Lancer Evolution used the 2.0 L turbocharged DOHC engine and AWD drivetrain from the original Galant VR-4 in a Lancer chassis, and was sold in GSR and RS models. 5,000 of the first generation Evolutions were sold between 1992 and 1993. The Top speed was 142 mph. The GSR version of the Evolution I was the only Evolution Lancer released with a Viscous Limited Slip Rear Differential. The subsequent Evolution Lancer models all featured rear mechanical plate type LSD's.


The Evolution II was upgraded in December 1993, and was produced until February 1995. It consisted mainly of handling improvements, including minor wheelbase adjustments, lighter front swaybar that connected via swaybar links to the front struts, bodywork tweaks including a larger spoiler, and tires that were 0.4 in wider.


February 1995 saw the arrival of the Evolution 3, following a pre-release in 1993 which had several improvements over the previous models. New, more aggressive styling and a new nose moulding improved the air supply to the radiator, intercooler and brakes. New side skirts and rear bumper moldings and a larger rear spoiler were added to reduce lift.


The Lancer platform was completely changed in 1996, and along with it, the Evolution, which had become extremely popular throughout the world. The engine and transaxle were rotated 180° to better balance the weight and eliminate torque steer. There were two versions available, The RS and GSR. The RS version was produced as a competition car with a limited-slip front differential and a friction type LSD at the rear. The RS also had wind up windows, optional air conditioning in some models, and a few extra brace bars to strengthen the chassis, one behind the front grill and the other across the boot floor. The GSR and the RS shared a new twin scroll turbocharger which helped to improve response and increase power to 276 hp at 6,500 rpm and 330 N⋅m torque at 4,000 rpm.


Between the IV and V there were only minor changes. Most changes were to the body kit for the Lancer.


The Evolution VI's changes mainly focused on cooling and engine durability. It received a larger intercooler, larger oil cooler, and new pistons, along with a titanium-aluminide turbine wheel for the RS model, which was a first in a production car. The Evolution VI received new bodywork yet again, with the most easily noticeable change being within the front bumper where the huge fog lights were reduced in size and moved to the corners for better airflow.

The Evolution VII was based on the larger Lancer Cedia platform and as a result gained more weight over the Evolution VI, but Mitsubishi made up for this with multiple important chassis tweaks. The biggest change was the addition of an active center differential and a more effective limited-slip differential, while a front helical limited-slip differential was added. Torque was increased again to 385 N⋅m (284 lb⋅ft) with engine tweaks that allowed greater airflow, and horsepower officially remained at 276 hp.

 

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII was modified again in 2003 this time sporting 17" grey Enkei wheels, Brembo brakes and Bilstein shocks to handle traction and a 5-speed manual gearbox. Originally a one off model, sales were so successful in the U.S. that by 2005 it was available in four trims: the standard GSR model in Japan, the RS, 5-speed gearbox, and standard wheels (lacking excess components, such as interior map lights, power windows/doors, and radio), the SSL (with a sunroof, trunk mounted subwoofer, and leather seats), and the MR, which came with a revised front limited-slip differential, aluminum MR shift knob, handbrake with carbon fibre handle, 17 inch BBS wheels, aluminum roof, and a 6-speed manual gearbox. The new Evolution also sported chrome housing taillights and headlights.

Mitsubishi introduced the Lancer Evolution IX in Japan on March 3, 2005, and exhibited the car at the Geneva Motor Show for the European market the same day. The North American markets saw the model exhibited at the New York International Auto Show the following month.

Once the lancer was introduced to the American audience, everything changed. The two most popular iterations of the lancer were released. But that is a story for another day.

Do you think the lancer lives up to the hype? Is it overhyped? Or do you think it’s not respected enough?

 

We've also got a special deal for Lancer fans! 

Grab this Lancer Evo deck on our shop, and use the discount LoveLancer to get $9 off!

Enter The Tail Of The Dragon

Enter The Tail Of The Dragon

With 318 curves in 11 miles, it's America's number one motorcycle and sports car road. Deals Gap, also known as Tail of the Dragon, is a portion of U.S. Route 129 in Blount County, Tennessee, situated in a gap in Swain County, North Carolina, United States. It's heralded as one of the most scenic drives in USA.


The road still remains an adrenaline-pumping journey. With hundreds of blind curves, long blind crests, and high degrees of camber, this claustrophobic scenic forest road presents plenty of opportunities to leave the pavement both laterally, and longitudinally, and will provide a challenge for even the most seasoned sim veterans.

The 11-mile stretch of the Dragon in Tennessee is said to have 318 curves. Some of the Dragon's sharpest curves have names like Copperhead Corner, Hog Pen Bend, Wheelie Hell, Shade Tree Corner, Mud Corner, Sunset Corner, Gravity Cavity, Beginner's End, and Brake or Bust Bend.

The road earned its name from its curves being said to resemble a dragon's tail. While you're there, be sure to visit the Tree of Shame, where crashed motorcycle bits adorn the tree and dangle from its branches as a reminder of the road's dangers. These dangerous conditions could lead to a serious accident.

The road is certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation. It mostly travels through forested area and there are a few scenic overlooks and pull-off points along the route. Prior to 1992 the speed limit in both Tennessee and North Carolina was 55 mph.

In 1993 the speed limit on the Tennessee side was lowered to 40 mph.

In 2002 the speed limit was lowered to 30 mph, which is still in effect today.


The North Carolina portion of the Dragon was lowered to 30 mph in early 2005. The presence of law enforcement on the Tennessee portion has dramatically increased. This road used to be a popular shortcut for truckers when I-40 was blocked by a landslide (which tends to happen once in a while). After so many accidents and incidents involving semi-tractors the authorities finally decided to restrict large commercial vehicles from using this stretch a few years ago.



The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snowfall. Weather on the Dragon is fairly predictable most of the summer. The winter months from November through March can be impossible to predict. The road is desolate and can be a real adventure in the winter months, having to deal with bears, turkeys, deer, and wild boars in the road, trees down, ice/snow, and tractor-trailers taking-up both lanes in the curves. It is not a road for the squeamish, but if you're looking for a little excitement don't miss this one!


It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging.


There are many rideable days in the winter, but they are not predictable.


Higher elevations of the Cherohala and Blue Ridge Parkway can experience snow well into May. Many summer afternoons bring widely scattered rain showers. Often the weather stations and web weather will indicate rain for the entire area.


Be aware that you can still have nearly a full day of riding before the summer showers hit in mid-afternoon. And these showers are here and there .... not everywhere. They often dissipate in the late afternoon leaving several hours of good riding before dark.


The main risk on this curvy and narrow mountainous road is coming around a blind corner and discover a vehicle proceeding toward you.

Cars can run the Dragon most of the year, outside of winter. So winter is a great time to have the road to yourself if you’re on a bike.


At times the road is dusted with salt/sand, but that is only when a severe storm is coming. It is usually gone after the next good rain. One big advantage of winter on the Dragon is the ability to see through many the corners because the trees have dropped their leaves.


Good visibility from November through March.


One downside is the sun is lower and can get in your eyes even at noon. The shadows also make for reduced visibility.

However the most beautiful time to visit the dragon is during fall. North Carolina is known for having some of the most beautiful fall foliage, and it’s never been more apparent than on the tail of the dragon.


Many people journey to ride the dragon during late October/November to bask in the changing leaves. But this is also one of the most dangerous times to ride the dragon.


That perfectly sums up the tail of the dragon, it is both beautiful and dangerous. Which makes it one of the most sought after roads in the entire country.

The Legacy Of The Suzuka International Racing Course

The Legacy Of The Suzuka International Racing Course

The Suzuka International Racing Course is a motorsport race track located in Suzuka City, Japan and operated by Mobilityland Corporation, a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co, Ltd. It has a capacity of 155,000.


Soichiro Honda decided to develop a new permanent circuit in Mie prefecture in the late 1950s. Designed as a Honda test track in 1962 by Dutchman John "Hans" Hugenholtz, Suzuka is one of few circuits in the world to have a "figure eight" layout, with the 1.2 km back straight passing over the front section by means of an overpass.

Suzuka Circuit


The circuit has been modified four times:


In 1983 a chicane (a serpentine curve in a road, added by design rather than dictated by geography) was put at the last curve to slow the cars into the pit straight and the Degner curve was made into two corners instead of one long curve; the circuit was also made considerably safer by adding more crash barriers, more run-off areas and removing straw bales leading into vegetation.


In 2002, the chicane was slightly modified, 130R was also modified and some of the snake curves were made a bit straighter and faster;


In 2003, the chicane was made slightly faster and closer to the 130R.


Following the death of Daijiro Kato at the 2003 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix, Suzuka reconfigured the motorcycle variant of what is now known as the Hitachi Automotive Systems Chicane before the final turn, and added a second chicane, between the hairpin and 200R.

The circuit can be used in five configurations; the car full circuit, the motorcycle full circuit, the "Suzuka east," "Suzuka west car," and "Suzuka west motorcycle" configurations. The "east" portion of the course consists of the pit straight to the first half of the Dunlop curve (turn seven), before leading back to the pit straight via a tight right-hander. The "west" course is made up of the other part of the full circuit, including the crossover bridge; the straight leading to the overpass is used for the start/finish line and the grid. The chicane between the hairpin and 200R separates the west and full course sections between cars and motorcycles.


The Degner curve was named in honour of Ernst Degner after he crashed his factory Suzuki 50 there during Suzuka's inaugural All Japan Championship Road Race meeting on 3 November 1962.


Suzuka was dropped from the Formula One calendar for the 2007 and 2008 seasons in favour of the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway, after the latter underwent a transformation and redesign by circuit designer Hermann Tilke. Suzuka and Fuji were to alternate hosting the Japanese Grand Prix from 2009. However, after Fuji announced in July 2009 that it would no longer be part of the F1 calendar, Suzuka signed a deal to host the Japanese Grand Prix in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The circuit closed for a year in order for the renovation to make it F1-compliant for 2009, with the last major event held on November 18, 2007, although some annual events (for instance, the Suzuka 8 Hours and Suzuka 1000km) were still held. The track held a re-opening day on April 12, 2009.

Suzuka also hosts other motorsport events including the Suzuka 1000 km endurance race. Previously a part of multiple GT racing series including the now defunct group C class of the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, the Suzuka 1000 km as of 2006 is now a points round of the Super GT Series, and is the only race of such length in that series.


Suzuka, openly touted by F1 drivers and fans as one of the most enjoyed, is also one of the oldest remaining tracks of the Formula One World Championship, and so has a long history of races as venue of the Japanese Grand Prix. Its traditional role as one of the last Grands Prix of the season means numerous world championships have been decided at the track.


Another major motorsport event is the Suzuka 8 Hours for motorcycles, which has been run since 1978. This event usually attracts big name riders and with the exception of 2005, due to the importance of the major manufacturers' involvement, the FIM ensures that no motorcycle races clash on the date.

NASCAR organized the NASCAR Thunder 100, a pair of exhibition 100-lap races on the east circuit, a 1.4 mile layout which utilizes the pit straight and esses, before rejoining the main circuit near the Casio triangle. The cars were Sprint Cup Series and Camping World West Series cars and the field was by invitation for the two races, run after the 1996 and 1997 seasons. The 1996 event was marred by tragedy when during practice, pace car driver Elmo Langley died of a heart attack in the Chevrolet Corvette pace car at the esses during an evaluation run.

During qualifying for the 1997 race, rain caused Goodyear to use rain tires on Sprint Cup cars for the first time in the modern era.


It was announced on June 21, 2010 that the east section of the Suzuka Circuit would host the Japan round of the 2011 WTCC season instead of the Okayama International Circuit.

Wear your love of the Suzuka International Race Course everyday!