Evo X MR vs GSR: A Performance Showdown

When discussing high-performance sports sedans, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, widely known as the Evo X, is often a significant point of reference. This remarkable vehicle brings together rally-inspired engineering and cutting-edge technology. However, within …

When discussing high-performance sports sedans, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, widely known as the Evo X, is often a significant point of reference. This remarkable vehicle brings together rally-inspired engineering and cutting-edge technology. However, within the Evo X lineup, there are two notable variants that draw considerable attention: the Evo X MR and the Evo X GSR. This article delves into a comprehensive performance showdown between the Evo X MR and GSR, examining key aspects such as engine and transmission differences, handling and suspension, interior and comfort features, price, and overall value for money. This extensive comparison aims to assist enthusiasts and potential buyers in determining which variant suits their specific driving needs and preferences.

Performance Comparison of Evo X MR and GSR

The performance of both the Evo X MR and GSR is highly regarded in the automotive community because of their rally-bred roots and advanced engineering. However, there are critical differences that set them apart. The Evo X MR typically features a six-speed twin-clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST), while the GSR is equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox. The TC-SST in the MR allows for rapid gear changes and offers both automatic and manual shifting modes, catering to a broader range of driving preferences. This makes the MR more adaptable in various driving scenarios. On the other hand, purists who prefer a more engaged driving experience might lean toward the GSR’s traditional manual transmission, which provides a more direct connection to the car.

Engine and Transmission Differences

At the heart of both the Evo X MR and GSR is the same 2.0-liter 4B11T inline-four turbocharged engine, delivering an impressive 291 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. Despite sharing the same engine, the transmission significantly influences driving dynamics. The MR’s six-speed TC-SST transmission allows for seamless, quick shifts without the need for a clutch pedal, making it suitable for both spirited driving and urban commutes. In contrast, the GSR’s five-speed manual transmission requires more driver engagement, providing a more hands-on driving experience. The difference in gears also means the GSR’s ratios are spaced out differently, often requiring more attention to keep the engine within its optimal power band during aggressive driving.

Handling and Suspension

One of the standout attributes of the Evo X lineup is its exceptional handling capabilities, stemming from Mitsubishi’s rally heritage. Both the MR and GSR benefit from advanced All-Wheel Control (AWC) and Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) systems, ensuring excellent grip and stability, whether on tarmac or loose surfaces. However, the MR variant is often perceived to have a slight edge due to its additional handling tweaks and advanced electronic controls. Moreover, the MR is equipped with Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs, which provide a more refined and composed ride compared to the GSR’s more basic suspension setup. This refinement contributes to better handling and stability at higher speeds, making the MR a preferable choice for those who prioritize sophisticated handling dynamics.

Interior and Comfort Features

While performance is paramount in both variants, interior comfort and features also play a significant role in the overall driving experience. The Evo X MR tends to come with more premium features, including leather seats, a superior sound system, and more extensive use of soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. Additionally, the MR often includes conveniences such as a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a high-quality infotainment system. Conversely, the GSR’s interior focuses more on functionality with fewer luxuries, sporting Recaro racing seats, a somewhat basic sound system, and utilitarian materials. This difference underscores the GSR’s inclination towards a more raw, race-inspired driving atmosphere compared to the MR’s relatively plush environment.

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Price and Value for Money

The Evo X MR and GSR come with notable differences in price, reflecting their varying levels of equipment and intended market. The MR generally carries a higher price tag due to its more sophisticated transmission, enhanced handling components, and luxurious interior features. For buyers seeking a vehicle that offers advanced technology, comfort, and flexibility in driving modes, the extra investment in the MR can be justified. On the other hand, the GSR represents a more budget-friendly option while still delivering the core performance attributes that make the Evo X legendary. Enthusiasts who crave a more visceral and engaging driving experience may find better value in the GSR, especially if they prioritize performance over comfort.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Buy?

Choosing between the Evo X MR and GSR ultimately boils down to individual preferences and priorities. If you value a more sophisticated transmission, upscale interior features, and a slightly more refined handling experience, the Evo X MR stands out as a compelling choice. On the contrary, if you seek a raw, engaging, and purist driving experience without the extra frills, the GSR holds significant appeal, particularly with its manual transmission that offers a more traditional connection to the car. Both variants embody the essence of Mitsubishi’s rally heritage, ensuring that regardless of choice, drivers will enjoy an exhilarating performance and driving pleasure. Whether you opt for the tech-laden MR or the no-nonsense GSR, the Evo X remains a remarkable testament to Mitsubishi’s engineering prowess and legacy in the high-performance auto market.

More in ‘Auto’

When it comes to the high-performance auto segment, the Evo X MR and GSR are just the tip of the iceberg. Whether it’s the Subaru WRX STI, which has been a long-standing rival of the Evo, or newer entrants like the Honda Civic Type R and the Toyota GR Yaris, the landscape is thriving with formidable contenders. Each vehicle brings its unique set of attributes to the table, catering to different aspects of driving pleasure and performance. Enthusiasts often find themselves deep-diving into specs, reviews, and test drives before making a decision. Keep exploring to discover what each vehicle has to offer and how they stack up against each other in the relentless pursuit of automotive excellence.

Turbocharging and Boost: Enhancing Performance

When diving into the performance showdown between the Evo X MR and the GSR, it’s essential to examine the role that **turbocharging** plays in each model. Both cars feature Mitsubishi’s iconic turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine, known for its exhilarating power and responsiveness. However, the implementation and tuning of these turbo systems do have significant differences that impact performance.

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Evo X MR Turbocharging System

The Evo X MR is equipped with Mitsubishi’s **Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST)**, which offers quicker shift times and smoother acceleration. This dual-clutch setup helps the turbo spool faster, reducing lag and ensuring a more immediate throttle response. The MR’s turbo setup is designed to perform seamlessly with this advanced transmission, providing a linear and consistent boost delivery across the rev range.

GSR Turbocharging System

On the other hand, the GSR comes with a **5-speed manual transmission**, which offers a more traditional and engaging driving experience. While the manual system allows for greater driver control and involvement, it may not facilitate turbo spool-up as efficiently as the TC-SST in the MR. The turbo in the GSR has a more pronounced lag, particularly at lower RPMs, but offers a more rewarding surge of power once it kicks in. This difference can affect how quickly and smoothly power is delivered when accelerating from a standstill or at lower speeds.

Tuning Differences

Moreover, the tuning of the turbo engines in both models also diverges. The MR’s turbo system is calibrated to be a bit more conservative to protect the transmission and ensure longevity. This means slightly lower peak power but increased reliability and smoother power delivery. Conversely, the GSR’s turbocharger tuning is more aggressive, aimed at maximizing power output via less restriction in boost pressure, which results in a more raw and unrefined driving experience.

Aftermarket Modifications

Performance enthusiasts often modify these turbo systems further with aftermarket tuning and parts. Both the Evo X MR and GSR boast a strong aftermarket support community, offering a range of turbo upgrades, intercoolers, and custom engine maps to push the limits of each engine’s capability. This flexibility is a significant factor for those looking to personalize their performance vehicles beyond the stock setup.

In conclusion, while both the Evo X MR and GSR leverage advanced turbocharging technology to amplify their performance, the difference in transmission systems and tuning strategies create distinct driving experiences. The MR is tailored for a balance of speed and refinement, whereas the GSR presents a more raw and direct interaction with its turbocharged power.

Drivetrain and All-Wheel Drive Systems

An in-depth performance comparison between the Evo X MR and the GSR would be incomplete without analyzing their **drivetrain and all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems**. Mitsubishi’s renowned AWD technology has always been a hallmark of the Evo series, providing exceptional traction, stability, and handling across varying driving conditions.

Common AWD Features

Both the Evo X MR and GSR are equipped with Mitsubishi’s **Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC)** system, which integrates features like:

– **Active Center Differential (ACD)**
– **Active Yaw Control (AYC)**
– **Active Stability Control (ASC)**

These technologies work in concert to enhance cornering ability, directional stability, and overall vehicle control. However, there are critical distinctions in how these systems are implemented in the MR and the GSR.

Evo X MR AWD System

The Evo X MR’s S-AWC system is engineered to offer a more advanced level of performance, thanks to its integration with the TC-SST dual-clutch transmission. This combination allows for more precise and responsive control of torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, as well as side-to-side torque manipulation. The MR can finely tune power delivery in real-time, ensuring optimal grip and minimizing understeer or oversteer. The result is a highly cohesive and confidence-inspiring driving experience, particularly noted during aggressive cornering or high-speed maneuvers.

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GSR AWD System

By contrast, the GSR’s AWD system, while still highly capable, is somewhat less refined in its operation. The manual transmission does not work as seamlessly with the S-AWC’s electronic aids as the TC-SST does in the MR. This can lead to a slightly less intuitive feel from the drivetrain, particularly in dynamic driving scenarios. The GSR’s system tends to be more mechanical in its operation, demanding a higher skill level from the driver to extract maximum performance.

Weight Distribution and Center of Gravity

Another critical difference lies in the weight distribution and center of gravity between the two models. The Evo X MR benefits from a marginally lower center of gravity, thanks in part to its more advanced transmission setup, which aids in distributing the vehicle’s weight more evenly across all four wheels. This, combined with the sophisticated S-AWC system, results in a more planted and balanced feel, particularly beneficial during track days or spirited driving on twisty roads.

In conclusion, the drivetrain and AWD systems of the Evo X MR and GSR underscore the unique characteristics of each model. The MR’s advanced integration of electronic aids and transmission technology provides a seamless and sophisticated driving experience, while the GSR’s more mechanical setup demands and rewards driver skill and engagement. These differences are fundamental to choosing the vehicle that best aligns with your performance driving style and preferences.


1. What are the main differences between the Evo X MR and the GSR?
The Evo X MR features a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission (SST) and has more comfort and luxury features, while the GSR comes with a 5-speed manual transmission and is more focused on raw performance.

2. Which model has better track performance, the Evo X MR or the Evo X GSR?
The Evo X GSR generally has better track performance due to its lighter weight and manual transmission, which allows for more direct control during high-performance driving.

3. Are there any significant suspension differences between the Evo X MR and GSR?
Yes, the Evo X MR often comes with a more advanced suspension setup that is better suited for everyday comfort and handling, whereas the GSR has a stiffer, more performance-oriented suspension.

4. How do the braking systems compare between the Evo X MR and GSR?
Both the Evo X MR and GSR come with high-performance Brembo brakes, but the MR may have slightly upgraded components for better performance and longevity.

5. Is there a noticeable difference in price between the Evo X MR and the GSR?
Yes, the Evo X MR is generally more expensive than the GSR due to its additional luxury features, advanced transmission, and more refined interior.

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