Mitsubishi Punctuated Equilibrium

Anybody drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution? If so, you’re aiding and abetting the forces of Satan, as Arnold Zwicky patiently explains:

The Lancer Evolution is, according to the Wikipedia page, “Mitsubishi’s flagship sports car”, in production since 1992 and now up to 2007 model X (that’s a Roman numeral, not an unknown quantity). The name “Evolution” was probably chosen to suggest progress, but it occurred to Swarthmore biologist Colin Purrington a little while back to wonder whether the name might be a drawback in parts of the U.S. where creationist, rather than Darwinian evolutionist, ideas have considerable currency — places where, you might say, “evolution” is a dirty word. Being a scientist, Purrington collected some data (from Mitsubishi) and assembled a nifty graph, headed “‘Evolution’ car dissed by Red States”:

Colin Purrington: Evolution units per million citizens

According to its Flickr page, Purrington has released this graph under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. He comments:

The quote is from the official marketing web site. There are no plans to release a “Lancer Creation” version, as far as I know. Las Vegas is probably driving the odd sales data for Nevada (it was a filming location for the Evolution-featurin’ flick, “Too Fast Too Furious”, I think). Not sure what is up for Maine. I probably need to rerun the statistics using “18-44 males” to get a more accurate estimate of the underlying car-buying population that favors Rally and NASCAR models. And, to be fair, I should include a control car (e.g., Galant) from Mitsubishi, just in case the red states have a tendency of “buying American”, which probably plays a part in these data.

Zwicky corrects, “Ah, not “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2003), which was set in Miami and filmed in various Floridian locations, but “Redline” (2007); both movies destroyed a lot of cars and were not well received by critics, so it would be easy to confuse them.” One should probably also run a comparison to control for general economic well-being, which I’m sure affects car-buying habits. According to the manufacturer’s horrendously Flash-drenched wobsite, the 2006 Lancer Evolution will dent your wallet to a depth varying from $29,774 (“Rally Special” trim) to $36,924 (“the ultimate”). Comparing to other cars, foreign and domestic, in the same price range would be necessary in order to lock down all the variables.

Still, it’s a funny graph.

And when you’re tooling out in your MR Lancer Evolution to pick up your sultry atheist babe, be sure to give her a bottle of DNA perfume, in its spunky triple-helix bottle officially approved by the Ig Nobel Prize Committee.

IN OTHER NEWS: John Armstrong, whose taste in music is quite respectable, has said positive things about William Shatner. Cue the Four Horsemen and the Seven Seals.

3 thoughts on “Mitsubishi Punctuated Equilibrium”

  1. Ooo, I want that car just for the name. Do they have a high fuel efficiency hybrid model with a high safety rating and enough passenger space for a family of five? How about with a trailer hitch?

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