Notes From the L.A. Auto Show, Part... Oh, I forget, IV or V, or something

Where were some of these cars  when I was growing up?  Or, if not exactly growing up, learning to drive? Mitsubishi keeps cranking out performance-on-a-shoestring rides that are the most fun, this side of a carnival.  Only now, they have styling to match their mad performance.

The Lancer line is a case in point: the Evolution looks like an only slightly dangerous cousin at the wedding, until you get in, buckle up, and hit the go-fast pedal. Mitsu has built these cars to fly (no surprise, coming from a company that’s made airplanes for decades). The Evo is one of only two cars in which I’ve almost become car-sick…. as a driver. And that’s a good thing. It’s a kick to toss around: it’s hard to believe how much performance you can wring out of it, on a skid pad.

For the slightly more conservative, there’s the Sportback, which packs a lot of interesting-looking styling, with more room in back, to stash stuff. It’s also nearly half as expensive as the  $35K Evo… starting at about $18.5K.
Next up, look for the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander, which debuted at the L.A. Auto Show. It’s not a sports car, but it’s a couple hundred pounds lighter than the 2013 model, so it should have better performance.  And having spent time in the ’13, that’s good news. the ’13 was a decent driver, but the new model appears to be vastly improved, and will arrive next year with engine options, from a 2.4 litre 4, to a 224 hp V-6. Eventually, look for a plug-in hybrid as well.  It’s not clear what it’ll cost yet… this year’s version  starts just north of $23K.
 How to Make Yourself Sick, Just for Fun
Again, where were these cars 20 years ago? Oh yeah, the technology to make them either didn’t exist, or cost tens of thousands of dollars more.
(Photos courtesy manufacturer)

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