When thinking of the Mitsubishi Lancer, most car enthusiasts envision the turbocharged Evolution X tearing up circuits or canyon roads. The ’08 Lancer ES we tested is considered the middle trim level of the front-wheel-drive Lancers, slotting between the basic DE and the more sporty 2.4L GTS model, which has greatly improved from past generations, in both styling cues and handling.
Although the Lancer sports similarities with its EVO X sibling, including aggressive styling features like a “shark nose” fascia, these vehicles were built on two entirely different levels of performance. The underpowered 2.0L Lancer ES engine produces plenty of growl but has little bite and makes this vehicle not particularly entertaining to drive. We seized the opportunity to power test three bolt-on products with the goal of creating additional power.
The ’08-10 Lancer DE and ES models are powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0L MIVEC 4B11 engine producing 153 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, except for California models which have been detuned to 148 hp and 143 lb-ft of torque for Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) certification. Our baseline dyno figures were unexpectedly high—we’re assuming that this Lancer is a non-California model, equipped with the more power-friendly 4B11.
Exhaust, instructions, sticker
12 and 14mm sockets, 12 and 14mm open-end wrenches, ratchet, extension, crescent wrench, WD-40
The Borla axle-back muffler uses a patented multi-core, straight-through muffler design to increase exhaust flow while delivering a smooth and deep sound. The individually handcrafted stainless-steel T-304 exhaust system is finished with a 4-inch polished tip and is backed by Borla’s million-mile warranty. A quick weight-in comparison revealed that the stock exhaust scaled at 40 pounds, while the Borla exhaust weighed only 10 pounds.
Installing the Borla muffler using the factory OE spring-loaded exhaust bolts required us to use additional washers to ensure a tighter fitment and leak-free seal.
Dyno testing the exhaust revealed an increase in power and torque throughout the powerband, with a healthy gain in the midrange and top end from 4,200 rpm to redline. Keep in mind that this exhaust system still uses the factory mid-pipe and catalytic converter to keep the vehicle smog legal.
Takeda Retain Short-Ram Intake
Intake, filter, heat shield, hose clamps, hoses, mounting hardware, license plate frame, stickers
10, 12, and 14mm sockets, 10, 12, and 14mm open-end wrenches, ratchet, extension, screwdriver, pliers
The Takeda air intake system is designed to use the Lancer’s factory air duct to provide cooler outside air to the air filter. Takeda also supplies a protective heat shield to deflect hot air from entering the air filter. The Pro Dry S filter uses a progressive synthetic media, requiring no oil when servicing for maximum convenience and filtration.
Installing the new intake required us to fiddle around with the Takeda-supplied 90-degree silicone hose to correctly position the intake tube between the throttle body and air filter. The silicone hose slipped off the throttle body on numerous occasions, requiring some tight-fisted clamping to keep it in place.
Dyno testing revealed a peak gain of 5.0 hp and 1.3 lb-ft torque over our previous run. The new air intake system increased both horsepower and torque throughout the powerband, as the Lancer saw a consistent gain of 5 hp and 7 lb-ft of torque from 5,200 rpm to redline.