The Mitsubishi Evo is Celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Such an Iconic awesome Motorsport & Rallying Legend!!
I have to admit and be able to hopefully share my passion for cars with you more often here in the Motoring section within Dad Stuff here at Yorkie not just for Dads. Now the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution if you have never heard of this japanese performance car… Where have you been, such a top hitter in the world of Motorsport, especially Rallying and Hill Climb events.
I was surprised to see a news update while paroosing Facebook and the title hooked me. 20th Anniversary of the UK Launch of the Rally-Bred Super Saloon – The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. I just had to share a piece of my own on it, even if I am slightly late to the party.
Now for me I loved the rallying when I was a teen, more so when the likes of youtube became ever so popular. Watching videos of various worldwide rallies and rally championships.
The 2 main competitors that I have always been big fans of (especially 1 of the 2 as it is my all time dream car) was the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, or ‘Evo’ as it was nicknamed and the Subaru Impreza Sti or ‘Scooby’ as that was nicknamed, two iconic Japanese Performance Cars. They even still are popular today with Car Enthusiasts around the UK.
I will be honest and open and admit that in fact it is the… Scooby (Subaru Impreza Sti) that is my dream car. Just love it, the shape of the classic Impreza, the handling and performance capabilities were for me just staggering. But I am here to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of a Rallying Legend that is the Evo (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution).
The History behind the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
As of the 20th of July this year 2020 (always be remembered as the covid year) was the day that the Evo celebrated 20 years since the Official UK Launch of this Iconic rallying legend.
Check out this Video of the History of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Did you know that the first ever!! Model registered here in the UK was in fact a Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Special Edition. Now we are delving into it.
The Tommi Makinen Special Edition came to fruition from the amazing achievement of Tommi Makinen, Renowned WRC (World Rally Championship) Rally Driver following his 4th Consecutive win of the Drivers’ Championship.
The Tommi Makinen Special Edition featured styling upgrades to pay homage to the design of the Champions Car. Including the following additions over the standard Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution:
- Similar design 17 inch alloy wheels to the championship winning car.
- WRC stripe
- Ralliart Decals
- Mitsubishi’s 3 Diamond Decals
- The upper section of the rear wing/spoiler was white
- Rear Panel Garnish
- Door Sashes
- Amber front Indicator Lenses
- Black Door Handles
The champion himself Tommi Makinen quoted himself:
“To have a car named after yourself. That’s something else”.”Tommi Makinen
Why did the UK miss out on the first 5 Generations of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution?
Simple really, legislations that is why. Simply they were unavailable to purchase in the UK through official channels due to them not been homoligated for sale in Europe. In 1998, the UK legislation changed which then allowed small batches of cars such like this to be imported under the New Single Vehicle Approval Rules. You can read more into the legislation and gain a better understanding of the Single Vehicle Approval Rules over on the Gov.uk Website.
With the Performance car Market quickly taking off in the UK with cars such like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, the Subaru Impreza WRX/Sti, BMW’S M sport range and other leading performance cars of that era, more so popular the ones with a following from their popularity and pedigree within Motorsport.
UK Rallying enthusuiasts and Car enthusiasts were sourcing Japanese Performance cars such as the Evo from Japan through grey Importers but with this new UK legislation of Single Vehicle Approval now in place. Mitsubishi Motors leapt in and Launched the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI in the UK to offer those Evo fans the ability to buy the official vehicles with the Manufacturer back and support there if it was required.
Why was the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution so Popular?
Do we have to answer that? Well how cool is it driving around in what is basically a road going rally car. A definite head turner and the sort of car that would put a smile on any petrol heads face.
With it’s Rally-Inspired all-wheel drive system and the performance from the 4G63-T 4 cylinder Turbo-charged powerplant and as with all Japanese performance cars the performance tune-ability is staggering. I think this is what made them so popular with Japanese Car Enthusiasts.
The ability with tuning upgrades for the suspension and chassis of the Evo you could massively improve the already incredible handling along with the potential of hiking the engine performance from the already mighty 260 BHP (Brake Horsepower) to 400+ BHP.
With various upgrades you could have yourself a full blown race car for the road. Some Models of the Evo were given a bad reputation due to the Yobbo’s and Boy Racers as some may call them. The sorts of idiots that would have no common sense and treat the Evo like a race car on the road, disregarding safety of other road users.
I mean I am not not guilty of having a bit of fun and letting the car steam on a bit, have some fun on the twisty B roads we have here in the UK. But these idiots did it with complete disregard of other road users which gave such Motorsport inspired Performance Cars bad press.
Want to read more about the Iconic Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI and it’s motorsport heritage and pedigree, check out this page over at Mitsubishi Motors UK.
If you are a new reader of the blog and possibly an avid Car Enthusiast I hope I have paid good Homage to this Motorsport and Rallying Icon. Make sure to keep checking back to the blog for more Motoring related posts.
Lastly lets find out how many car enthusiasts we have reading Yorkie not just for Dads. Let me know in the comments below and get a discussion going. What Motorsport is your favourite and that you follow often? and what was your Dream Car growing up?