Evo IX: An ode to my personal favorite beast

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I have been a car enthusiast for all my life. From early age I’ve been learning car brands and models, later – their tech specs. At 7 I got my first real driving experience – it was a 525tds BMW with AT. Barely touching the pedals I started creeping a huge and empty paved space in a military base, where my father served. My biggest impression from a 2 minute drive was a turbo kicking in, it seemed like a rocket ship launch. To my surprise in 12 years I was going to experience a proper boosted action.

It came unforeseen. I was driving my parents’ Citroen C5 and wasn’t making a fuss about changing it to something more sophisticated. But thanks to my lucky stars father’s friend was selling his 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 and offered a good deal. Don’t know why but it was my father who was trying to persuade me to own it! After some time I decided that it was a pretty rare chance to try something new. I was right more than ever.

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After comfy as grandma’s sofa in the living room Citroen, Evo required a massage after every drive. With broken power steering, hard suspension and as hungry for fuel as a jet fighter I hated Lancer. And then I pushed a pedal to the metal. The world had changed in that very moment. Steering became light, shocks also seemed to do the job right and fuel… Let’s just forget about the gauge for a second. Mighty 4G63 roared, turbo got a portion of boost and takeoff!

But that’s only a part of the story. The biggest excitement came with corners. Once the heavy nose is in, push the gas pedal and the dance begins. Computer in a tricky all-wheel drive system figures out the best option in torque splitting and 4-wheel powerslide comes on display. The almost cartoon easiness of the controlling gives the false sense of obtaining roughly Tommi Mäkinen’s skills.

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Owning that car was a nightmare with constant servicing and being a regular customer at local gas station. But when I was driving it was the most pleasant dream that came true. Getting up at 4 am just for drive in an empty city was a norm as well as switching off the radio to listen to all mechanical sounds it made. Though I had to let the Evo go, it was a lifetime experience that made a real pistonhead.

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