Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution: Easy to Control, Fun to Drive and High Performance


The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (mostly referred to as EVO) is a car Manufactured by the automotive manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors from 1992 to 2016. The EVO is based on the Mitsubishi Lancer, a car famous for its rally achievements. All EVOs are all-wheel drive and come with a turbocharged 4-cylinder inline engine. From 1992 to 2016 there were 10 versions of the EVO released with roman one to ten numerals denotation.


Mitsubishi Evo I

The Mitsubishi Evo I produced from 1992 to 1994 came with a turbocharged 2.0 L 4G63 DOHC VR-4 engine originally used on the Mitsubishi Galant. The engine produced an output power of 184 KW (250 HP) at 6000 rpm and was mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. The Evo I is available in two trims, the RS (Rally Sport) and GSR (Gran Sport Racing), with the RS having lesser features such as not having power windows, rear wiper, power seats, anti-lock brakes, and alloy wheels, while the GSR had all the missing features on the RS plus a digital climate control system, tuning capabilities, racing and street car specs.


Mitsubishi Evo II

The Mitsubishi Evo II was produced from 1994 to 1995, not much changed body-wise compared to Evo I only the spoiler was enlarged, tires were much wider, and the wheelbase was increased by 10mm. The Evo II came with larger and lighter sway-bars connected to the front struts via sway-bar link improving the stability and suspension of the car which improved the overall car handling. The engine remained the same but tweaked a bit improving its output power to 191 KW (260 HP) at 6000 rpm. 


Mitsubishi Evo III

In 1995 the Mitsubishi Evo III was released. The Evo III looked more aggressive with several new improvements that were in place to improve the car’s performance, such as the new nose that is designed to allow more air to the brakes, radiator, and intercooler. Due to the lift force issues of the previous models, the Evo III came with an increased rear wing to reduce the effect and addition of side skirts and corners. The engine received some improvements with the addition of a new turbocharger resulting in a power output of 198 KW (270 HP) at 6250 rpm and the same 5-speed manual transmission from the Evo I.


Mitsubishi Evo IV

1996 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Evo IV

The Mitsubishi Evo IV was released in 1996 as a completely changed car. It was built on the new Mitsubishi Lancer platform, making this transformation a second-generation of the Evo series. Like the previous models, the Evo IV was available in two trims, the RS which is based on the rally machine and the GSR which was built to give drivers the feel of sports driving enjoyment.

With the new developments, the Evo IV came with newly designed multi-link suspensions at the rear. The Evo IV came with an intercooled 2.0L 4G63 turbo engine, that was modified with a higher speed camshaft profile, twin-scroll turbochargers, and forged pistons. With these upgrades, the Evo IV produced a power of 206 KW (280 HP) at 6500 rpm.

The Evo IV came with two large fog lights on its front bumper that distinguished it from the previous models and it also had new tail-lights at the rear. These lights became standard in future Evo models.

The Evo IV came with some new technological innovations such as the Mitsubishi electronically controlled differential which is known as the Active Yaw Control (AYC). This technology controls the cars driving and braking forces on the left and right wheels by judging the driving conditions and precisely controlling the car’s yaw moment, enhancing cornering performance, and braking stability.


Mitsubishi Evo V

1998 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V 2.0 GSR

In 1998 the Mitsubishi Evo V was released. It came with several changes, from looks to performance due to the newly introduced WRC regulations. The Mitsubishi’s Active Yaw Control (AYC) firstly introduced on the Evo IV was upgraded on the Evo V. A helical limited-slip differential was added on the front to increase optimum torque distribution, enhancing braking stability and cornering performance even further. 

The engine was also upgraded. The Evo V engine came with lighter pistons, a much larger turbocharger nozzle, and some other changes that increased its torque to 38.0 kg-m. With the powerful engine output that the Evo V has it needed better brakes, hence Mitsubishi installed Brembo calipers improving the Evo 5 braking. With the Brembo (large) brakes the need for larger tires came calling, hence the Evo 5 was equipped with 225/45ZR17 tires. 

The exterior of the Evo V was also upgraded, it came with a new aluminum rear deck spoiler with a variable angle attack which made the Evo 5 cut through the air quicker, also new aluminum fender blisters were installed at the front and over fenders at the rear. The bonnet came with larger vents improving the radiator airflow, and broad cooling vents in the bumper.

The Evo V came in two trims, the RS and GSR. Their difference in features are:

RS – had minimum interior and was fitted with rally suspensions, 1.5 way LSD and optional features are Enkei Wheels, Recaro bucket seats, power windows, Brembo brakes, and auto air conditioner.

GSR – came with Recaro front bucket and rear seats, AYC (Active Yaw Control), gauge pack, Anti-Lock Braking System, Brembo brakes, power windows, double-din audio, and auto air-conditioner.


Mitsubishi Evo VI

2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI 2.0 GSR Tommy Makinen Edition

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI was released in January 1999. It came with some new technology developed for the world rally championship (WRC) with regards to the 1999 WRC regulations. Some of the new features were a revamped exterior, aero features, interior design, cooling, and much-improved handling.

On the exterior, the Evo VI came with reduced fog lights compared with Evo V, the license plate was offset on the front bumper, and twin-wicker spoilers with an adjustable angle at the rear. These changes improved the cars aerodynamics and engine cooling.

The Evo 6 was powered by a 2.0L DOHC turbocharged-intercooler engine with air to oil cooler. The focus on the Evo 6 was engine cooling, and Mitsubishi improved cooling in a number of ways such as adding cooling channels on pistons and the installation of a high-volume oil cooler.

On the Evo 6, the Brembo brake system was equipped with more rigid callipers to improve braking, the front suspension of the roll center was lowered to improve cornering and the rebound stroke was lengthened at the rear suspension.

In early 2000, the Evo 6 Tommi Makinen special edition was released. This release was styled on the car Makinen drove to victory. It came with 17” alloy wheels that featured the same design and color.

Mitsubishi Evo VII

2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII 2.0 GSR 4WD

In 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII was released. It was based on the larger Lancer Cedia (CT9A) platform and this made the car larger and heavier than the previous models. To cover the weight gain resulting from the new platform, Mitsubishi installed three differentials to optimally distribute torque which eventually increased to 385 N.m. Other upgrades included parallel bonnet air grille and other engine tweaks that improved airflow for better cooling. For the first time on the Evo lineup, an automatic transmission was introduced with a new trim level called the GT-A.


Mitsubishi Evo VIII

2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII 2.0 GSR

In 2003 the Evo lineup received a new member, the Evo VIII. The redesigned Evo VIII was available in three trims (RS, GSR, and MR), with a new MR trim. The engine remained the same, but there is a new option on the transmission part as Mitsubishi added a new 6-speed manual transmission for the Evo VIII. Another option that was added on the Evo VIII is the Bilstein suspension system that improved the Evo VIII traction.

The MR trim had a lot of tweaks/features to differentiate it from the other trims such as Bilstein shocks, a new AWD system, sporty anti-lock brakes, alloy rims, and an aluminum roof.


Mitsubishi Evo IX

2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 2.0 GSR MR 4WD

In early 2005 Mitsubishi released the Evo IX. The car received some new enhancements and improvements internally and externally. It came with the same 2.0L 4G63 engine with variable valve timing (MIVEC) and a new turbocharger which improved power to 211 kW (287 HP). 


Mitsubishi Evo X

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 2.0 GSR 4WD

In 2008 Mitsubishi released the Lancer Evo X that came with a new turbocharged 2.0L 4B11T engine. This engine produces at least 209 KW (280 HP) of power depending on the targeted market. The engine was mated with a 5-speed manual or 6-speed sequential semi-automatic transmission. 

The Evo X featured a new trapezoidal wide grille, the wheelbase increased eventually increasing the interior space offering more room for passengers.






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