Mitsubishi introduced the Lancer Evolution IX in Japan on March 3, 2005, and exhibited the car at the Geneva Motor Show for the European market the same day. The North American markets saw the model exhibited at the New York International Auto Show the following month. The 2.0 L 4G63 engine now gets MIVEC technology (variable valve timing), boosting official power output to 286 hp (213 kW) and torque to 289 ftÂ·lbf (392 NÂ·m). The Evolution VIII first offered in 2003 would produce dynamometer readings of approximately 225 WHP and 225 ftÂ·lbf. WTQ with a flywheel power rating of 271/273 respectively. The Evolution IX typically pulls 255 WHP and 250 WTQ on a dynamometer, a difference of 30 horsepower.
The USDM Lancer Evolution IX models (RS, SE, MR) vary in their performance capabilities. Subtleties unique to each model account for variations in acceleration, handling and top speed. The RS excludes options standard on the IX & MR (power windows and locks, rear wiper, rear spoilers, trunk interior and trunk insulation). These weight savings of over 60 lb give the RS a subtly sharper handling responsiveness that helps it shave fractions of a second off the lap times of the IX on an identical course.  However, the top-end MR does not lose significant performance, as the MR’s 6th forward gear allows it to reach 165 mph at 7,000 rpm compared to 157 mph at 7,000 rpm in 5th for the RS and middle-positioned IX models. (Note: Data relevant to U.S. model specifications)
The IX MR retains the features of the Evolution VIII MR like Bilstein shocks, a 6-speed manual transmission, a rooftop vortex generator, BBS forged wheels, HID xenon headlights, foglights, accessory gauge package, “zero lift” kit, special badging and an aluminum roof. All models still sport Recaro bucket seats, Brembo brakes and MOMO steering wheels. Additional revisions from 2005 include a closer gear ratio for the 5-speed transmission, new lighter Enkei wheels on non-MR models, a redesigned front end with a more efficient air dam (the most noticeable feature are the two small oval ducts to cool the intercooler pipes), and a new rear bumper with a diffuser undersurface to smooth out the airflow coming out of the car for non-US models. In an effort to reduce the price increase on the Evo IX model, HID headlights are no longer standard on the base IX (nor on the 2005 VIII neither), and are available only in the SSL package (Sun, Sound, and Leather), SE (Special Edition) and MR trims.
Three trims are available for Japan, Asia and Europe. Although all models use the same 286 hp (213 kW) engine, the torque differs from one model to another. The GSR produces 295 ftÂ·lbf (400 NÂ·m) of torque while the RS and GT produce 300 ftÂ·lbf (407 NÂ·m).
* RS – revised 5-speed, aluminium roof, gauge pack, minimal interior, LSD and a titanium-magnesium turbine, left-hand drive option available
* GT – revised 5-speed, this is basically the RS mechanically, but with some of the GSR’s features (mainly interior pieces).
* GSR – 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, aluminium roof, gauge pack, SAYC (Super Active Yaw Control), and double-din radio (this is roughly equivalent to the USDM MR)
In the United Kingdom, the Evolution IX uses a different model scheme based on the cars horsepower. There were initially three models available: the FQ-300, FQ-320 and FQ-340 each with around 300, 320 and 340 bhp respectively. An FQ-360 model has subsequently been released as a successor to the Evolution VIII FQ-400. While the new FQ-360 produces less horsepower than its predecessor, it has more torque at 363lb ft at 3200 rpm – 8lb ft more than the FQ-400. All four models are designed to run on super unleaded petrol only.
* FQ-300 – 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, AYC (Active Yaw Control), super unleaded petrol only
* FQ-320 – 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, AYC (Active Yaw Control), super unleaded petrol only
* FQ-340 – 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, AYC (Active Yaw Control), super unleaded petrol only
* FQ-360 – 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, AYC (Active Yaw Control), Ralliart Sports Meter Kit, carbon front splitter, Speedline alloy wheels, super unleaded petrol only
All four models are available in the US. All models use the same 286 hp (213 kW) engine. All models use a front and rear Limited Slip Differential, and an Active Center Differential.
* Standard – revised 5-speed, standard model
* RS – revised 5-speed, aluminum roof, gauge pack, minimal interior
* SE – Special Edition, aluminum roof/hood, 10-spoke forged aluminum BBS wheels, HID headlights with integrated fog lights, red-stitched Recaro seats
* MR – 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, 10-spoke forged aluminum BBS wheels, aluminum roof, gauge pack, HID headlights with integrated fog lights, vortex generator, and custom MR badging.
To the standard (or “GSR”) model, the Sun, Sound and Leather package adds a power sunroof, HID xenon headlamps with integrated fog lights, slightly upgraded speakers, a powered, trunk-mounted Infinity subwoofer, black leather seating surfaces, slightly revised center armrests front and rear, and separate rear headrests. This model deletes the GSR’s headliner-mounted sunglass holder to make room for the sunroof.
A 2,500-piece, limited edition Evolution IX station wagon will be released in Japan soon after the sedan’s debut. It uses the back end of the Lancer Sportback wagon grafted onto the sedan. Two trim models will be introduced: the GT with a six-speed manual transmission and the GT-A with a 5-speed automatic. Other than the station wagon rear end, redesigned seats and some chromed trims, the car’s interior is the same as the sedan.
Mitsubishi also developed the Evolution MIEV, based on the Evolutions IX’s chassis but with four electric motors connected to the wheels as a test bed for the Mitsubishi In-wheel Electric Vehicle (MIEV) next-generation electric vehicle. The in-wheel engines use a hollow doughnut construction to locate the rotor outside the stator, unlike other electric motors where the rotor turns inside the stator. The result of this is a lighter engine which translates into lower unsprung weight in a system where the engines are mounted in the wheels. Each in-wheel engine produces a power output of 68 hp, thus giving a combined output of 272 hp, comparable to that of regular, gas powered Lancer Evolutions. The car subsequently competed in the Shikoku EV (Electric Vehicle) Rally 2005.