Mitsubishi and Subaru are entering round two of the newest battle for all-wheel-drive supremacy and AutoExpress has ringside seats. Both automakers are preparing hard-core versions of their turbocharged, rally-bred road rockets and that means more power, more aerodynamic mods and, in the case of Subaru, less weight.
The Lancer Evolution X MR is on the way, with a new fascia equipped with extra venting and a new air intake, while a revised rear wing, side skirts and blacked-out wheels complete the exterior makeover. Output is increased by 20 hp (in UK spec) to 305 hp and the mid-range has been tweaked to provide more low-end torque, dropping the 0-60 time to under five seconds. The paddle-shifted SST twin-clutch transmission transfers over from the GSR model (likely with some software revisions) and the body has been stiffened to maximize the MR's handling.
Subaru is taking a different tack, keeping power upgrades to the STI's turbo'd 2.5-liter boxer to a minimum and instead focusing on weight reduction. The Impreza WRX STI Spec C will get a slightly revised aero kit, with a roof scoop (functional?), standard gold wheels, a lightweight roof, aluminum trunk lid, compact batter, smaller fuel tank and thinner compartment glass all around. All that work is expected to result in a 154-pound drop in weight, so the Spec C will tip the scales at just over 3,000 pounds.
Subaru is also planning to equip the new Legacy with the STI's drivetrain, a revised suspension and slapping on an "S402" badge on the back, along with a sporting interior with more grippy seats. All of this is only for JDM consumption at the moment, but we'd expect to see both the MR and Spec C hit the UK next year, with sales in the U.S. of the MR coming around the same time.