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Story of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution the end of a Japanese icon

In 1992, a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution arrived in Mitsubishi dealerships. It was a fish out of water in a busy public traffic jam, but it’s a deer through the woods on a rally course. 19 years and ten versions later Mitsubishi has decided to stop production of its Rally Champion.


The Mitsubishi Evolution was a small four door sedan. On the outside it was a boring sedan with a funny looking radiator and a nice set of rims. But if you look closely or know what you’re looking at, you’ll see those “nice rims” are five spoke high performance Enkei rims hiding a set of very nice Brembo calipers that stops this sedan very quickly. The brakes aren’t the only thing helping stop this little puppy, a set of McPherson Struts at all four corners do the job pretty well. The suspension allows this car to do a lot including, stopping, cornering immensely and even taking a couple of jumps. They might be up to the specs of the WRC status but it’ll take a few and then some.

Also helping Mitsubishi Evolution is the AWD System. A center differential controls the torque delivered to each wheel. Then come the options, 5 speed or 6 speed based on which model you buy is which transmission you get. Then, one of these transmissions is bolted to a finely crafted turbocharged 4 cylinder coded 4G63. The 4G63 and these transmissions were directly removed from the WRC victor Gallant VR-4. This motor is puts out 244HP and 228 FT-LBS TQ. This is where the deer gets its legs.

The “EVO” has one of the world’s largest enthusiast scenes in the world today; all Ten versions. Minor changes were made over the first three editions. Then in 1996 Evo got a facelift. New fog lights, spoilers and rims. In 1998 Mitsubishi allowed Ralliart dealers in Europe to get the Evoluiton. 1999 models received yet another face lift; the fog lights were reduced in size and moved over slightly. In 2001 the FIA mandated that WRC racers follow WRC rules for building cars and not the Group A class rules; and so the EVO seven was born. The Evo seven was created based on the new larger Lancer Cedia platform. Mitsubishi beefed up the suspension and added an active center differential as well as new front and rear differentials. They also increased the torque. New shocks, brakes and rims are the highlight of this next facelift in 2003. However, the big news was that the USA was to be receiving the Evolution. Minor facelift in ’05 but the big thing is the addition of the MI-VEC to the 4G63. Finally in 2007 brought the Mitsubishi Evolution X; a completely new EVO.

It would stay this way till 2011 when Mitsubishi decided to step in and interfere with Evolution.


Anonymous (not verified)    May 23, 2011 - 5:57PM

This is such old news. Mitsubishi has already come out and said that they are not ending production on the Evo... that at most, the car would take a different direction, but it is not being cancelled.

Anonymous (not verified)    May 24, 2011 - 2:47PM

The USDM Evo 8 in 2003 and 2004 actually had a viscous coupling unit where as in 2005 the evo 8 received the ACD (active center differential). This is where the tarmac/gravel/snow setting comes from. Also there was no facelift in 2005...the evo 9, which was only made in 2006, received a facelift and mivec. Also, the evo X ranges from 2008-2011. The evo X got a new aluminum 4b11 engine which was nice but the car was a pig at that point. evo 8/9 weighed 3200lbs which was already a huge gain from the 2600lb evo 1. The evo X weighs 3600+lbs and amenities like navigation, leather, cruise control, etc fattened the evo x up and made it heavier. This made the car appeal to a greater market but the hardedge everything you need nothing you dont street racer was gone. Evo drivers are the most aggressive IMO. Evo > STi all day everyday