Every automaker has that one model which stands out from the rest. For Mitsubishi, it was definitely the Evo; and there is a lot most people are about to forgot about this legendary car.
The Lancer Evolution, or simply “Evo,” was a sports sedan manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors, and it was in production from 1992 to 2016. The Evo was actually based on the original Mitsubishi Lancer sedan, except for many additional sporty features.
The original Lancer car was a humble sedan that appealed to family-oriented buyers on a budget. Mitsubishi then decided to energize its brand image, thus releasing the Evolution version, which was fitted with a larger engine and taken to the rallying world.
All of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo generations were equipped with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and they were only available in all-wheel-drive. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo was an iconic car and a popular choice amongst performance car enthusiasts around the world. It is still admired by many even more than 5 years of being out of production.
Although Mitsubishi went into financial troubles and was acquired by Nissan in 2016, and the company later announced to remain focused on smaller fuel efficient vehicles only. We still wish they’d bring the Lancer Evo back before people forget what a truly awesome machine it was. Below are some key facts you may have forgotten about the great Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
24 Years, 10 Generations
Since its launch in 1992, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo went through 10 different generations during the 24 years it was in production. Although the Evo was based on the Lancer sedan which itself saw only 4 generations during this period. Not every Evo generation marked huge changes though. Often, it was just minor upgrades separating two, or even three generations.
The first Evo ran from October 1992 until January 1994. The last generation called the Evo X, was launched in 2007 and stayed in production until the Evo’s retirement in April 2016.
There Was a Limited Tommi Mäkinen Edition
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI received a limited Tommi Mäkinen Edition in the year 2000. This special edition was launched to celebrate Tommi Mäkinen’s incredible achievement of winning his 4th consecutive Drivers’ Championship in the 1999 World Rally Championship. A total of 2,500 special edition units were made for sale. Due to the differences between it and the “standard” Evo, the Mäkinen Edition is often referred to as the Evo 6.5.
World’s Fastest-ever Evo did 356.3 km/h
The world’s fastest known Mitsubishi Lancer Evo belonged to Mike Reichen who customized his 1994 Evo-II to such a degree that the car would outperform most, if not all, supercars of the time. He managed to hit 356.3 km/h in his Evo, setting a Lancer Evo world record in the process.
Tremendous Room for Tuning & Modifications
During its era, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo was one of the most sought-after cars due to its incredible tuning potential. Several people have claimed to achieve more than 500 horsepower from its 2.0L engine while keeping it useable for everyday driving. And there are also plenty of other performance enhancements available to make it a perfect choice for acts such as drifting etc.
The Evo VI Extreme Was the Most Rare of Them All
The Evo VI Extreme is the rarest Evo of them all, with only 29 being built, which makes it one of the most collectible too. It was built by Ralliart UK and was launched in 1999. The Evo VI Extreme was based on a tuned RSII model that produced an incredible 350 hp and did 0-100 km/h in just 4 seconds and thus was widely acclaimed by the automotive press.
The True Hill Climber
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo wasn’t just about rallying, it’s also known for its incredible hill-climbing capabilities, which brought in plenty of accolades. The Evo has won the European Hill Climb Championship 10 times since 2007. Additionally, it was triumphed the FIA International Hill Climb Cup for a total of 9 times.
The Illustrious Pikes Peak Crash
And who can forget the video of the Evo flying off the Pikes Peak? The driver Jeremy Foley and his co-driver Yuri Kouznetsov walked away from the epic crash at the Devil’s Playground section of the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. They were driving a silver Lancer Evo VIII.
The infamous turn at the beginning Devil’s Playground section took the Evolution Dynamics race team’s Evo VIII barreling over 1,000 feet down the side of the Colorado Springs cliff. The above video documents the miraculous survival of this death defying drop, and the drivers’ understandable appreciation for the safety equipment provided in their race car. There is no question that it saved both of their lives that day!
Was Also Called as Carisma GT
In some European markets, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was sold as the Mitsubishi Carisma GT. This European name for the Evo was also the name entered into records when the World Rally Championship racers Richard Burns and Freddy Loix drove the Evo cars in the competition during the late ’90s.
The Final Edition
After Mitsubishi announced to stop the production of the Lancer Evolution, they released the Final Edition trim. Only around 1,600 examples were built and the cars featured a black roof, “Final Edition” emblems, darker Enkei wheels and a power upgrade from 291 hp to 303 hp.
Rumors of a Comeback
Not too long ago, rumors emerged of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution making a comeback with an 11th generation model. Mitsubishi also indicated that it might re-introduce Lancer as an electric crossover, but that hasn’t materialized yet.
However many believe it’s better if the Evo doesn’t return at all; understandably nobody wants to get its unbeatable compelling impression as a revamped electric crossover.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com