Mitsubishi Galant, Eclipse & Evo track drive

Mitsubishi Galant, Eclipse & Evo track drive

Al Habtoor Motors officially launched the 2009 versions of the Galant, the Eclipse and the Lancer Evolution X today, with a press track drive at the Dubai Autodrome.

The setup consisted of three cars following an instructor-driven older Galant around the “hill circuit” of the Autodrome. We press guys had to chase the lead Galant while not overtaking, essentially trapping the turbo Evo behind the V6-powered Galant and Eclipse testers. So the convoy had the old instructor Galant, the new Galant, the Eclipse and the Evo, always in that order.

This was supposed to not be a high-speed test, but the track setup was made interesting with various obstacles. One was a set of roadblocks, designed to imitate a lane-change manouevre. Another was a row of slalom cones on a straight part of the track. We got only 2 laps per car, before switching cars.

I drove the exotic-looking 2009 Eclipse first, but don’t remember much, as it’s been almost a year since I last drove at the ‘Drome, and my focus was on keeping the car on the track. The seating position is low, and interesting touches include frameless doors and a two-tone interior. The 3.8-litre V6 engine, mated to an automatic, is reasonably rev-happy and didn’t have trouble keeping up with the Galant up ahead. Understeer was easy to induce, as the front-wheel-drive coupe squealed its tyres loudly on turns as it moved outwards of the corner, but things were always safely in control and within the lines. Body roll was limited and the car never felt jiggly. I’d assume it can match its conservative coupe competitors in most performance aspects. It is competitively priced too, at Dhs 94,000 for a base 2.4-litre model, and going up to Dhs 119,000 for a loaded 3.8-litre.

The 2009 Lancer Evo was next, and this was the manual version too, mated to a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo and all-wheel-drive. The spacious cabin is exactly the same as that of the base Lancer, except for the Recaro seats and the three aluminium pedals. There was no tyre squeal as we took off at moderate revs. The convoy happened to be very slow this time, as the lead press driver in the Galant took his time through the roadblocks and the slalom. So I was backing off, leaving some space from the Eclipse in front, and then speeding up to easily catch up again. The easy-to-drive Evo was flatly flying through corners without any complaint, at speeds that made the Eclipse howl its tyres. I simply drove in 3rd gear throughout the whole stint, and even managed a slight drift on one corner, for which the instructor scolded me later on. So one thing I learned today is that, unlike crappy all-wheel-drive VWs, the Evolution can actually be a fun tail-happy car. The Dhs 180,000 for one almost seems worth it.

Jumping from the Evo into the facelifted 2009 Galant made its deficiencies glaringly obvious on a track, but then again, it is a spacious family car, and not a tuned rally racer. The new one sports a huge screen on the dash for showing a/c and other settings, as well as being part of the reverse-camera system. The 3.8-litre V6 and the auto gearbox were fine, and while body roll was there, it was progressive and never floaty. Our speeds were pretty low though, as the instructor slowed to a crawl to let the faraway Eclipse behind us catch up. I was pretty much cruising with one finger on the wheel during this lap, and not feeling much from the soft power steering. Prices are not out yet, and I’d need to drive this one again to give it a proper review.

It is good to see that Al Habtoor Motors, the Dubai dealer for Mitsubishi, is expanding the line-up with more desirable models. For once, people here might actually aspire to own Mitsubishis.

What do you think?



  1. all the three cars looks quite attractive and seems to be performing well!! :mrgreen:

  2. I just looked at the lancer through out. it looks great! ooo I wish I had one of ’em. still dont like that galant. the eclipse looks good too but the rear end can be beter. overall… I love that lancer!!!

  3. I think there is a mistake , this is the evo 10 lancer. Not the evo9.

  4. dude i guess uve mentioned lancer evo 9 instead of 10

  5. Author

    I suck at roman numerals.

  6. O I didnt notice that typo. want an eay way to remember roman numerals?

  7. Hey, check out this Borrego [American Mohave]. It will be displayed at the SEMA in Las Vegas.
    ht tp://w
    just remove the spaces where needed and paste in your address bar.

  8. the last time i checked out the price of lancer, the sales guys said that there was a waiting period 3 to 4 months for lancer

  9. Author

    sure, boris

  10. just remember the ‘V’ is five and each ‘I’ is one unit.
    then think of V as the centre [0] of a timeline [everything to the right of it is plus and to the left is minus] I to the right of a V is 5 – 1 = 4. I to the right of V is 5 + 1 = 6

  11. then ‘X’ looks like two ‘V’s joint by their bottoms. means two 5s [5+5=10] then do the same as above only here the ‘X’ is the centre and anything on the left is minus and to left is plus. XII [10+1+1=12]

  12. cant say more. anything above XIII [13] and I’m a sitting duck.

  13. evo so much expencive dnt know why

  14. AWD is not cheap. Recaro seats, aluminium pedals, two tone exterior. matte finish on grille and smoked wheels, big rear wing, body kit etc.

  15. evo looks stunning!

  16. I had an invite for this event but couldn’t make it 😥
    Mitsubishi seems to be on a roll of sorts and the launch of these cars will help strengthen it’s position here. Increasing their marketing strategy as well as improving their customer service(sales/after sales) will see it take the game away from Toyota/Honda/Nissan in a few years.

    Boris – 14,15,16 is XIV,XV,XVI and so on…

  17. check out this Borrego [American Mohave]. It will be displayed at the SEMA in Las Vegas.

  18. That Galant rear looks interesting…any changes to the front?? and what about the engines…are they the same or any better…

  19. Mr Mash, i wanted to come with you for the test drive. hope you remember my request in my earlier comments. dont forget next time. asif

  20. Author

    I had a buddy with me. I cannot show up with a whole gang yet, since I am not “the man” right now, although some local TV show did bring an entire crew.

  21. Guys, EVO has only manual gearbox, right?

  22. I thought it also has a semi automatic tranny option with paddle shifters

  23. no probs, next time just lemme know.thanks

  24. All 3 are being displayed in the showroom Mashfique. You should test them…

  25. evo and eclipse look cool but galant looks very boring
    looks like finally eclipse has come

  26. the eclipse looks awesome! great pricing as well. nice review mash

  27. The Evo X only has positive reviews and it one of the few cars the pricing for it is on al habtoor website.

    thinking to buy this car in the future with the Honda s2000

  28. does the galant have USB?

  29. sir,
    i need mitsibishi glant 2010 pls i need price range.


  30. 2013 Mitsubishi Galant 2.4 updates please. Performance, Price, Resale value etc. I currently drive a 2004 model Maxima and would like to get a new car, other options please

Browse archives

Share This