Every so often a car is launched that will forever live in petrolhead lore. Cars like the Mercedes-McLaren SLR and the Subaru WRX. And here we have another one of these, the Lancer Evolution from Mitsubishi. There were many variants over the years, but my favourite has always been the Evo 6.
Launched in January 1999, this car was aimed squarely at winning the World Rally Championship and in fact it was WRC regulation changes that necessitated the update to the Evo 5. New aerodynamic aids such as the distinctive double adjustable rear spoilers helped the car to stand out (and handle better), while moving the front licence plate to the side allowed for a big air intake to be slapped in the middle of the front bumper, helping both with cooling the powerplant and assisting with aero downforce. Also as an aid towards cooling, the huge foglights that were a feature of the Evo 5 were replaced with smaller units and moved to the extreme edges of the car.
The theme of this variant was keeping the engine cool in the Evo 6 – to further achieve this along with the internal changes to the engine mechanics, Mitsubishi added an air to oil cooler, a larger intercooler, a high volume oil cooler and created additional channels around the pistons to keep them cool too. All this helped the 2.0 litre turbocharged engine maintain high power delivery. Reliability and durability are important in rally cars that operate at the extreme…
Obviously, if the car goes faster, then it needs to have improved handling and a better braking system. Brembo delivered more rigidity in the calipers while the front suspension was redesigned to offer a lower roll centre and the rear suspension offered a longer rebound stroke.
Tommi Makinen Special Edition
Having won four WRC world championships for Mitsubishi and in recognition of both his guidance in developing the Evolution Lancer models and his fame as an amazing driver, Mitsubishi created a Tommi Makinen Special Edition that was launched in 2000. These versions included different paint schemes, a titanium turbine, a different front bumper, different wheels and Recaro seats. This is the version I’d love to have!
What to look out for on a Mitsubishi Evo VI
As per usual, there are a few things to watch out for
- Ensure all the electrics are operational
- Test the car by starting with a cold engine. Look out for smoke – any colour other than white is bad news.
- Check the service history – the interval is every 4,500 miles and it needs fully synthetic oil.
- Check that the cambelt was changed every 40,000 miles.
- Gearbox oil needs to changed every 25,000 miles. Gearboxes tend to last 40,000 miles …
- Ensure the Active Yaw Control (AYC) light illuminates for a short time on startup, and listen for AYC squawks while cornering.
- Check for signs of corrosion around the fuel filler cap, rear chassis legs and all wheel arches.
- The fuel indicator on these cars is known to be hit and miss, so ignore that!
Mitsubishi Evo VI – Vital Statistics
|Power||206 kW (276 bhp) @ 6500rpm|
|Torque||373 Nm (275 lb/ft) @ 3000rpm|
|0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)||5.0 seconds|
|Maximum speed||243 km/h (151 mph) limited|
|Fuel consumption (average)||9.7 l/100km (27.4 mpg)|
|Fuel type, tank capacity||Petrol, 50 litres|
|Engine||Mitsubishi Sirius 4G63,|
Multi-point indirect fuel injection,
|Cylinders and valves||Inline 4, 16v|
|Transmission||5 speed manual transmission|
|Drivetrain||All wheel drive|