Friday, June 13, 2008

A day that will live in infamy 6/13/2008

Today, I have become the very proud owner of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X MR in Graphite Grey Pearl.

It scares me when I drive it... but in a good way. From a stop light, I rest my foot on the gas lightly and the car rolls foward seemingly docile, until you hear that whine. Then it lurches forward at a speed that sends my stomach into my spine. The first time I tried to make a left turn and depressed the gas pedal at what I felt was a reasonable position, I heard the engine come to life and I had to react way faster than I had expected to. Mistake 1, my foot is used to the lag of a torque converter.

It's no walk in the park on the freeway either, while cruising I breathe on the accelerator, and the pull to my intended maximum speed is amazing. If I'm a split-second late off the gas I blow my target speed by 15 mph. It demands every bit of attention from me to drive it with fuel economy in mind and trying to stay under the speed limit.

The range on a full tank shows about 200 miles, hopefully it goes up after the break in period. So not only does the power scare me, the eventual gas bill does too. Thank goodness I live and work in the same city so my daily commute is 10 miles round trip. Once a week or so I head to Alhambra for some deliciousness at Lee Kam Kee.

How does it feel to drive an evo you ask? I feel drunk on power, as I hear the whine of the turbo as it spools up, my heart rate rises in in unison. The car feels poised ready to pounce at any turn I am going to send it's way, and it is ready to chew it up and spit it out. The gadgetry is amazing, the included sound system rivals some home theaters. It's got everything Lexus has to offer, with none of the fancy fake wood trim. Everything feels precise and minimal. In other words, your luxury German marque comfort monger is not going to like it, and will make countless comparisons to the 3 series or the 1 series which I do admit, beats the Evo in a straight line in the 3.0 Twin Turbo V6 models but it's just different animal. One is like a Bagheera, still a wildcat, but he's nice and cuddly on the inside. The other is Shere Khan. The evo taunts me everytime I get in the car. It pleads to me, let me loose, tear it up, thankfully my voice of reason kicks in every time, it's still the break in period.

The geometry of the car seems to be meant for a tall skinny person, and last I checked Mitsubishi is a Japanese company. I'm 5"6' and I feel swallowed in those Recaro' buckets. The A pillar is a huge blind spot when looking for cars coming from the left and right, the rear spoiler blocks half the rear view mirror. The side head bolsters of those recaro's block my view when trying to navigate Los Angeles stop and go traffic, and the door panels feels like they start where my neck does. It makes parking a brand new car rather interesting because I never felt like I had visibility problems in my previous car a Mazda 3. So let's look at a table.

The difference in measurements is miniscule except for the 2.2 inches in width. It feels much wider, but now that I'm looking at the measurements, it must be all perception! So why does it feel hard to maneuver in tight spaces? It didn't dawn on me until I looked at the curb to curb turning circle. Mazda (34.1 feet) , Mitsubishi (38.7). That's 4.8 feet, so all my usual turning points to judge how to get into a parking spot, are different. Alright, alright enough with the Asians can't park jokes. Again it's all a matter of adapting.

On the whole, I couldn't be happier, other than dealing with the initial feeling out period of a new car and becoming comfortable with it. I am now in the club of those who have attained their dream car. It has been a long wait and I'm glad I don't have to wear a suit and drive this to work everyday. Getting in and out of it would probably leave some nasty creases.


Dave said...

Congrats on the new car! Now you can tear up Crane Cyn.

Lososaurus said...

Uh oh!

Theme Park Review said...

How much will you charge for rides?

Lee said...

how many cup holders does it have?

Dinh said...

For all of you who sat in the front seat...I came all over it during my first and last voyage in James' new ride.