The trend has changed again in 2003, this time sporting 17 "Gray Enkei wheels, Brembo brakes and BILSTEIN shocks to handle traction and a 5-speed manual gearbox with 280 hp (271 kW hp/206). Originally were a model, the sales were so successful in the U.S. in 2005 was available in four seats, standard on the GSR model in Japan, the Republic of Serbia, with a roof of steel wheels and standard 5-speed (which lack of excess components, such as interior map lights, power windows / doors, and radio), SSL (with a sunroof, trunk-mounted subwoofer, and leather seats) and the MR, which is revised version with a limited slip front differential, aluminum MR shift knob, handbrake handle with carbon fiber, 17-inch BBS wheels, aluminum roof, and a 6-speed manual gearbox. The new Evolution also sport chrome housing tail lights.
The Lancer Evolution VIII MR uses slick-response Bilstein shocks for improved handling. The aluminum roof panel and other reductions in body weight has lowered the center of gravity to produce more natural roll characteristics. Detail improvements have also been made to Mitsubishi's own electronic all-wheel drive, the 5 ACD + Super AYC 6 traction control and ABS systems to Sports. The Lancer Evolution VIII is shown in the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show took the MR designation traditionally reserved for Mitsubishi Motors high-performance model (first used for the Galant GTO). Other parts of the RM include BBS alloy wheels, Bilstein this crisis, and an aluminum roof. In the United Kingdom, many special Evolutions were introduced, including the FQ300, FQ320, FQ340, and FQ400 variants. They came with 305, 320, 340 and 400 hp (227, 239, 254 and 298 kW), respectively. It is rumored that the 'FQ' stands for 'Fucking Quick'.
The FQ400, sold through Ralliart UK, produces 302.13 kW (405.2 hp) from its 2.0 L 4G63 engine, the result of special modifications to fit the United Kingdom companies Rampage Tuning, Owen evolution and race engines flow. At 202.9 hp (151.3 kW) per liter, is one of the highest specific outputs of any roadcar liter engine. With a curb weight of 3.200 lbs (1450 kg), reaching 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.1 seconds, 1 / 4 mile in 12.1 seconds at 118 mph (190 kph), and one of the main speed of 176 mph (283 kph) as it costs 47,000 pounds sterling. The BBC television series Top Gear has shown that people FQ-400 could surprisingly keep a Lamborghini Murcielago around a test track. The Stig recorded a Top Gear power lap times of 1 minutes and 24.8 seconds, 1.1 seconds slower than the Murcielago time of 1 minute 23.7 seconds. In a similar test conducted by UK supercar magazine evo, evolution was able to return to the Bedford Autodrome faster than an Audi RS4 and a Porsche Carrera 4S.
The Lancer Evolution VIII was also the first development to be sold in the United States , driven by the success of the Subaru Impreza WRX, which had been released there just three years earlier. The Evolution VIII found its true competition in the Subaru Impreza WRX STI model the same year that the evolution of the Eighth U.S. introduction. However, the internal components of the American versions were largely stripped-versions of the specifications for the Japanese Lancer Evolution VIII. United States not model changes in the specifications before the Evo X is the active control of orientation, including the 2006 Evolution IX. The American 2003 and 2004 without the GSRs helical limited-slip front differential and 6-speed manual transmission. In 2004, U.S. specifications RS models, however, have a front helical limited-slip differential. All 2003, 2004 and 2005 the RS and GSR models have the Japanese Evolution VII's 5-speed transmission. MR edition was introduced to the U.S. in 2005, with the ACD and the only model with a 6-speed transmission. In 2005, U.S. specifications RS and GSR have the ACD standard, and the front helical limited-slip differential is now standard on all models. The momentum, timing, and adjustment are also significantly lower than its Japanese counterpart, allowing it to adhere to the strict emissions regulations of the United States. Since 2005, the U.S. EVO model is also equipped with an upper limit on the launch of 5000rpm in 1st place to protect the drivetrain. Even with the limiter in place, US-EVO VIII of the specification are capable of running sub 5 seconds to 60 and quarter mile times as low as 13.0 in the standard RS and VIII, and some of the RM have been 12 seconds of high-quarter mile races.
VIIIs developments have a rear spoiler with carbon fiber body color matching endplates. In addition, the U.S. versions of the Lancer Evolution VIII 2003-2005 were bulky rear bumpers that their Japanese counterparts USA to accommodate security laws in the shape of the rear shock from metal bars. All Evos have lightweight aluminum front fenders and hoods. MR and RS editions have an aluminum roof. Additionally, MR Editions come equipped with a 6-speed transmission, Bilstein shocks, and factory optional BBS wheels.
The basic RS Edition does not come with power windows, locks and mirrors, an audio system, rear spoiler, deading material sound, lights or a map of anti-lock brake system. Evo VIII RS all models sold in the U.S. have an air conditioning system. Power windows, locks, audio systems and can be had in the RS model through the addition of the "Urban Jungle" comfort package .