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  1. Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Disclaimer: Yes, this is still relevant, as there's still a brand new RS floating about. And it's even more relevant because the Lancer is too "old school" to compete with the new Focus, Mazda3 and Civic 2.0s.

    Yes, that is my car, and sorry, I only used it because I didn't have a Lynx with stock mags to photo on short notice


    Quickly: What do the Lancer GT and Ford Lynx RS have in common?

    No, it's not just the 2 liter engine... it's a whole host of things...

    1. Both the Lancer and Lynx have won the Compact Car crown of the Philippine Car of The Year awards, against better, more modern, cars, simply because they drive nicely and offer good value for money.

    2. Both use iron-block aluminum headed engines that are hand-me-downs from their bigger brothers, the 626 and Galant. Both engines are over a decade old.

    3. Both are end-of-the-line models, the last of the dinosaurs. The Lynx was the last of the 323/Familia family (yes, it actually is a Mazda), while this Lancer is the last one to come before the all-new one comes in next year.

    4. Both sport gonzo rear spoilers, subtle body kits, 16" rims, smoked headlights and low and stiff suspensions.

    Time to fight.

    Round One! - First Impressions

    The Lancer GT is obviously not a regular Lancer, unfortunately, it's not similar enough to the legendary Lancer Evolution (which, technically, isn't even a Lancer anymore) for the Evo's halo to rub off on it.

    The nose is sleeker than the Lynx's, and the ride height is low, very low. The tail is kind of droopy, and the spoiler isn't as nice, but the ride height redeems it somewhat, as the Lynx gives you the impression that the rear end is jacked up on stilts. The meatier tires fill the wheel wells better, but the Lynx's multi-spoke rims are a tad more original...

    On the outside, the Lynx still has the slight margin, but only because of that awful Lancer butt.

    On the inside, the Lancer just blows the Lynx away. The Lancer uses the same red and black mesh fabric as the Lynx, but it uses it more. It's all over the seat inserts and the door, and it gives the car a racier look than the Lynx's grays and blacks. The gray stippled console insert (carbon-look, supposedly, but carbon fiber doesn't look this good) is miles better than the Lynx's fake silver and carbon fiber inserts, or even the fake carbon fiber (yes, FAKE) on the Lancer Evolution dashboard.

    The Lynx fights back gamely with an original Nardi steering wheel, 6 CD changer and sunroof, but the Lancer's better bolstered Recaro seats, MOMO steering wheel, DVD player and rear cupholders take the win. Oh, and the stylized AT shifter is kinda cute, too.

    Round One - Lancer (just for the interior)

    Round Two - The Engine

    Ahhh... the legendary 4G63. High redline, stout iron block, rally credentials up the wazoo. Fire it up, and it sings like a race car engine. The Lynx's more pedestrian FSDE growls more menacingly, but the Lancer sounds like a true racecar.

    Of course, the promise of that 7000+ rpm redline falls apart once you get on the road. It's no point comparing this to the Lynx RS, which is so much faster, it's not funny... or even the slower Focus and Mazda3 2.0s (they'll still leave it for dead...)... What else is there? The Focus 1.8 Ghia (slow, heavy, horrible transmission...), it might be close.

    At low revs, the engine feels like it's bogging down, and it actually shudders when you boot the throttle at low revs in first gear. Where the hell does the torque converter kick in?!? 1000 rpms?

    There's no love for the Lancer till you get past 50 km/h and up into the powerband of first gear. That's when it starts to sing sweetly. Of course, shifting into second at the redline puts you back below 4000 rpm... fiddlesticks! Second to third isn't as long, but third gear will get you to 200 km/h... well, it would if the Lancer could, but it probably can't.

    As a purely mathematical exercise, 4th gear tops out around 300 km/h. Yes, it's that useless. You can start laughing now.

    At all speeds, a 1.5 manual car will kick this car's ass. Badly.

    Round Two: The Lynx, obviously.

    Round Three: Handling

    Thankfully, the Lancer doesn't embarrass itself here. Those comfy and soft Recaros are amply supportive without being punishing. They don't have the Civic's excessive lumbar support, which seems set on punishing you for being overweight or over-age. A far cry from the Lynx's flat (but still comfortable) seats.

    The MOMO steering wheel feels like plastic compared to the Lynx's Nardi leather and it doesn't communicate as well. That said, it's well geared, direct and firm, and compares well to more modern steering systems. It still gets my thumbs up.

    Handling is neutral, with more understeer and roll than the Lynx, but the ride is almost as firm but more supple, a surprise, given the lower ride height. I can even compare it favorably to the Ford Focus (hard to imagine, I know). The Lancer scores some big brownie points here.

    The tires may have a lot to do with this... the Lancer's Bridgestone Turanzas offer excellent grip while offering a softer and quieter ride than the Lynx's Advan A460s, due to a better compound and a thicker sidewall. Heck, every time I drive a car on Turanzas, I drool... great tires!

    Still, the Lancer doesn't have the up-on-tiptoes feeling the Lynx has, or the Lynx's playful demeanor. It's great otherwise, and might be easier for more timid drivers to go fast in, as it feels solid, and builds confidence from the get-go.

    Round Three: The Lynx, but not by as much as I'd thought.


    The Lynx is still the better car for the dedicated driver, no surprise. It's got more power, more speed and higher handling limits. But the Lancer won't disappoint on a winding mountain road.

    That is, until you try to overtake the bus in front of you... good luck.

    The Lancer is a well-rounded package, comfortable, well-equipped, well-suspended, and with a great engine with tremendous potential. Heck, the interior looks miles better than the Evo! But a truly crapulent transmission saves this car from being a worthy SiR and RS successor, and relegates it to being an also-ran. Pity.

    Are you listening, Mitsubishi? Give us a manual, or a five-speed automatic... or at least a torque converter that locks up at much higher rpms, like 4000 or so... That'd be more in the Ralliart spirit than this crummy box!

    Maybe the Sentra 180 GT would be a better match to the Lancer 2.0 GT. Ah, but that's a question for another time.

    Thanks to carlocaraddict for the pics, and for putting up with my driving.
    Last edited by niky; October 22nd, 2006 at 04:36 PM.

    Ang pagbalik ng comeback...

  2. Join Date
    Oct 2005
    no surprise. the Protege won almost all comparison its in, on C/D mag.

  3. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    just in my opinion, the lancer can't compare to the mazda 3 2.0. the civic 2.0 either has weird or great styling (take your pick) and offers even more horsepressure and more of everything.

    hopefully, mitsu can work its magic on the lancer like it did with its new Strada.

  4. Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Meron pa bang binebenta ang Ford na b-new RS?

  5. Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by rj_tim View Post
    Meron pa bang binebenta ang Ford na b-new RS?
    Wala na po!

  6. #6
    hanap ka sa showrooms, ford quezon ata still has the red one...

  7. Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Mamar View Post
    Wala na po!
    awwww too bad...

  8. Join Date
    Aug 2004
    There's still one, at least. At 835,000 pesos, it's a bargain. One sales agent or another places it in Buy&Sell from time to time.

    Yes, the Lancer can't compete with the modern 2.0s, which are bigger, faster and better built, but it has a raw honesty that's appealing, and, like I said, the handling, ride and interior ain't at all bad.

    A friend in the US said that he actually found the Ralliart Lancer (2.4 MT) more fun to drive than more modern sport compacts... it's lighter, more direct, and more honest.

    The Lynx/Protege and Lancer are old, yes, but buttressed, stiffened, tuned and refined by modern technology. They represent the ultimate evolution of their respective lines and can actually compete very well with the modern cars in terms of driving experience.

    Except, again for the Lancer's autobox. Words alone cannot express how badly I hate that transmission, for ruining what should have been a terrific little car. I'd personally like to go straight to Mitsubishi and rip that box out of the car, and drag it from Pagudpud to Sorsogon hitched behind the new Strada. Afterwards, I'd put the gearbox from the old Galant GTi into the Lancer. That'd be a perfect Lancer.

    As it is, it's a little like Eric Morales (yeah, it's that old, too) wearing pillows on his hands as he gets into the ring with Manny Pacquiao (the Lynx), wearing his favorite lightweight gloves. With regulation gloves on both, it would've been a closer match... (Panalo pa rin si Pacquaio!)
    Last edited by niky; October 22nd, 2006 at 06:59 PM.

    Ang pagbalik ng comeback...

  9. Join Date
    Apr 2004
    the owner of that red Lynx is very happy heheheh.

  10. #10
    one of the sulit cars na nilabas ang lynx rs CE!

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Old School: Lancer 2.0 GT versus Lynx RS 2.0