The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

1992

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution History

The Lancer Evolution, more often known as the Mitsubishi Evo, was launched in October 1992. As the name suggests the Evo was the next step in the progression of the Lancer, a car already with nearly 20 years of heritage. The Evolution added to this heritage, cementing a name for itself in the world rally scene.

Mitsubishi Evo Body and Engine

The lightweight and compact Lancer body was taken and evolved. Rigidity was increased. Weight was reduced. Aerodynamics were improved and the suspension was optimised. All these tweaks made the Evolution tough competition on the track. Available with Recaro sports seats and a Momo race track steering wheel, the Evo was a car built for racing inside and out.

To give it a real boost the lightweight Lancer was taken and powered using the 4G63-type intercooler turbo engine delivering torque through the full-time 4WD system. The engine was modified to produce 250 PS, an extra 10 PS. These additions gave the Lancer Evolution its competitive edge.

Mitsubishi Evo Rally Wins

World Rally Championship (WRC) events at the time were mostly contested by modified production model cars (FIA Group A). To be able to be officially categorized the model of car required an annual production volume of at least 2,500 units. The initial production run of the Lancer Evolution was just 2,500 units in Japan. These sold out within just three days.

The Evo proved to be every bit as fast on the track as it had been in sales. The 1996 WRC season brought Mitsubishi its first World Rally Championship drivers’ title, thanks to a speedy Finn named Tommi Makinen. Makinen went on to win four consecutive WRC drivers’ titles driving the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution from 1996-1999. And in 1999, Mitsubishi produced a special edition Evo, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition to celebrate Makinen's wins.

Mitsubishi Evo Legacy

Over its life the Lancer Evolution had many iterations. All of them featured great innovations and progressions for Mitsubishi. The Evo 4 (the Mitsubishi Evolution IV) was the first car ever to feature Active Yaw Control (AYC). We were one of the first manufacturers to develop this system, controlling the driving and braking forces between the left and right wheels. These sophisticated differentials can direct the vehicle's torque to any wheel in any amount at any moment.