The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution may be going away, but the base car is sticking around for the foreseeable future, as evidenced by a host of changes for the 2016 model year. The same basic look has been updated with a bolder front bumper that features vertical LED accents. The rear end, though, looks totally free of any significant changes. The profile gets some small updates, including mirrors with integrated turn signals and a flashy (optional) set of 18-inch wheels.
The Lancer's cabin gets a similarly modest array of upgrades, including standard USB connectivity in a redesigned center console, standard display audio, and a redesigned, optional infotainment system. In addition to the new standard features Mitsu will offer a color LCD display in the instrument cluster, the LED running lights, and automatic air conditioning on the base ES trim.
Mechanically, Mitsubishi has expanded the availability of its snappy All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive system. Not only will it be offered on as standard on the carried-over SE and new SEL trim, but it can be snagged as an option on the base ES trim. All AWD-equipped cars will feature the same CVT8 offered on the Outlander Sport and Outlander, although front-drive trims, the base ES, and the more aggressively styled GT, will offer a five-speed manual as standard. Despite the new CVT, the engine lineup is unchanged for 2016, with the base ES using a 2.0-liter, 148-hp four-cylinder, while all other trims get a more robust, 168-hp, 2.4-liter mill.
And now, the bad news. Just as there will be no more Lancer Evolution, Mitsubishi has dropped the lukewarm Lancer Ralliart. Slotting in between the Evo and the Lancer GT, the Ralliart offered all-wheel-drive, turbocharged power, and the Evo's dual-clutch transmission, along with a dose of its big brother's style.
Prices get a tiny bump for 2016, with the Lancer's base price jumping up $200, to $18,405. Adding a CVT increases the price by $1,000, while all-wheel drive requires another $400. The AWD-only SE starts at $21,805, while the SEL demands another $1,000. Finally, the top-end GT starts at $23,305 for a five-speed stick, or $24,305 for the CVT model.