I aboriginal laid my eyes on a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII back I was apparently nine or 10 years old.
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Struck by the architecture of the cool auto out of Japan, I entered a architecture antagonism run by Mitsubishi at that year’s Melbourne Motor Show. The brief, from what I recall, was to architecture article to reflect the approaching of the brand. A few weeks later, I acquaint off by hand-drawn architecture and waited.
A few weeks later, I accustomed a bindle from Mitsubishi in the post. It included a letter from the company, my aboriginal architecture drawing, and a alcohol bottle. In the letter, I was abreast that my account was a acceptable try – but not abundant to win. I still accept that drawing. It shows the Mitsubishi logo, has some stars in the background, and includes the byword ‘Zoom-Zoom’ above the background. Sadly, I had anticipation ‘Zoom-Zoom’ was the byword acclimated by Mitsubishi back instead it was acclimated by Mazda. An honest aberration yet… damn!
A adolescence dream comes true
Fast avant-garde a blow over a decade, and one of my acceptable accompany purchased a 2004 Lancer Evolution VIII MR and handed me the keys. They say you should never accommodated your heroes, but I did.
The Lancer Evolution launched at what I accede to be the end of the aureate age for Japanese sports cars. From the aboriginal 1990s through to the mid-2000s, best above car companies from the Land of the Rising Sun were architecture high-performance sports cars the cast of which the apple had never apparent before.
You had Nissan with the Silvia and the acclaimed R32, R33, and R34 ancestors of the Skyline Toyota was architecture the MKIV Supra and MR2. Mazda’s rotary-powered RX-7 was ambience hearts on fire. Honda was architecture hardcore drivers’ cars like the S2000 and Integra Blazon R. And again you had Subaru and Mitsubishi architecture assemblage cars for the artery in the anatomy of the WRX STi and Lancer Evolution. Mind you, we accept the FIA to acknowledge for that, as its regulations for Group A racers allowable that a assembly adaptation had to be congenital in assertive numbers in adjustment to be acceptable for the series.
Mitsubishi at its complete finest
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Production of the first-gen Lancer Evolution started in backward 1992 and, over the abutting 15 years, no below than nine ancestors launched culminating in the X. To the Evo faithful, however, the 10-generation was somewhat of a letdown, due to it actuality absolutely softer than its predecessors and ditching the 4G63 agent that powered all antecedent iterations.
My friend’s Evo VIII is the adorable MR variant, which wasn’t awash new in Australia but was alien from Japan in 2015. Key differences amid an MR and a ‘regular’ Evo accommodate new Bilstein shocks as standard, BBS wheels, a rear amphitheater generator, an aluminium roof, alive centermost differential, new cams, a six-speed chiral manual (instead of a five-speed one) and a few added performance-oriented parts. The approved Evo VIII is an aberrant car in its own right. The MR is alike better.
The technology begin below the bark is absolutely article to behold. It includes an Alive Centermost Cogwheel with its own ECU, which controls the hydraulic burden that is directed to the claws to bind or alleviate the differential, convalescent administration acutely depending on the alive book and alley surface.
The Evo additionally pioneered torque vectoring with its Alive Yaw Ascendancy arrangement that was in its sixth abundance back the VIII launched. This ambush allotment of tech operates a computer-controlled rear cogwheel that actively splits torque amid the auto acknowledgment to accelerometers that admeasurement aggregate from council and braking to burke inputs and g forces.
Technology way avant-garde of its day
Powering the Evo VIII MR is Mitsubishi’s 4G63 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produced a claimed 280 hp (206 kW) at 6500 rpm from the branch and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque at 3500 rpm. The Evo, like so abounding added achievement cars out of Japan in the 1990s and 2000s, however, is anticipation to accept hardly added balance than claimed by the factory, but Japanese regulations at the time meant that no calm car could accept an achievement above that cardinal (or a acceleration advertence added than 180 km/h, for that matter).
This accurate archetype has absolutely a bit added ability than stock. It has been adapted with the (improved) turbocharger from an Evo IX, an HKS intake, Tomei dump with a custom downpipe, Fujitsubo Legalis R exhaust, new Bilstein PSS9 coilovers, Toyota Yaris agitation coils (yes, a Yaris – and they’re good), a custom ROM in the ECU to acquiesce for assorted ability maps, and custom-mapped cyberbanking differentials.
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A car congenital for those that adulation driving
Driving the Evo VIII MR is an acclaimed acoustic experience. The Recaro brazier seats deeply hug you and it’s accessible to acquisition a adequate alive position in the car. Push bottomward the clutch, about-face the key and that acclaimed four fires into life, bearing the affectionate of complete that sends tingles bottomward your spine.
Mitsubishi’s engineers accept altogether calibrated the weighting and chaw point of the clamp so it is actual accessible to get off the line. Approaching a bend for the aboriginal time in the car, I am anon taken ashamed by how ablaze the council is. In fact, it feels added agnate to the council of a avant-garde sports car than the added ones you’d acquisition on best added cars of this blazon from the mid-2000s.
Light council sometimes after-effects in vagueness and a abridgement of advice amid the disciplinarian and what the avant-garde auto are doing. Not the case in the Evo. Why? Because, while it is light, it is additionally actual absolute and alike baby inputs acquiesce you to altogether position the car back entering a bend – and corners are area the Evo feels best at home.
All of Mitsubishi’s efforts in developing arguably the best avant-garde all-wheel drive arrangement of its day aftereffect in a car that bites into the pavement and never lets go. Jeremy Clarkson abundantly showed how the all-conquering Evo VIII FQ-400 could accumulate up with a Lamborghini Murcielago on the Top Gear Test Track and I’ve got no agnosticism that, up a arced abundance road, alike bottom Evos would leave a Murcielago for dead. Aiding in the amazing levels of anchor are adhesive Bridgestone RE003 tyres. There are additionally Tarmac, Gravel, and Snow modes to accept from, so all those able arrangement behave altogether on anniversary surface.
The car’s alive differentials assignment in such a way that you’re never afraid by some affectionate of abrupt action if you’ve overcooked it into a corner. There’s annihilation but seamless absorption and the seamless alive of ability amid the wheels.
Also Watch: 2001 Lancer Evo VII Will Leave You Wondering What The Heck Happened To Mitsubishi
Then there’s the engine. Tuning companies accept been alive with the 4G63 for decades, beefcake on massive turbochargers and extracting aberrant levels of reliable power. It shows.
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Depress the burke alike hardly and you are accustomed by the exhilarant ball of the turbocharger axis hot bankrupt gases into power. Push it to the attic and the car sprints through time and amplitude abundant added rapidly than the ability and torque abstracts may suggest. Launching Evos off the band is awfully difficult afterwards antibacterial the alteration case (if you do it too abounding times), but this one can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in a beard over 4 abnormal acknowledgment in allotment to a two-step ‘launch control.’
What is conceivably alike added arresting than the absolute balance is aloof how berserk it propels you avant-garde back you hit aiguille boost. The surging ability continues through all the apparatus and never shows any signs of absolution up.
A attending at the tachometer shows that the car redlines at 7,000 rpm, but alike as you hit that figure, the agent feels like it has a lot added to give. It isn’t aberrant for some agent builders to adapt the turbo-four to rev to 9,000 rpm and beyond, but for artery use, the branch ambience is aloof about right. The absolute amalgamation is appreciably bland during approved alive and absolutely doesn’t feel 15 years old. This is decidedly axiomatic back you let off the burke afterwards a full-throttle cull as there is around no burke jerking acknowledgment in allotment to the Yaris coils and the car’s present tune. The Bilstein coilovers additionally do a near-perfect job of assimilation up bumps.
A car that will be affectionately remembered for decades to come
Used car buyers accept started to bolt on with how acceptable the Evo VIII MR is. In contempo years, prices accept jumped by at atomic 25 per cent for acceptable examples as enthusiasts attending to acquirement a allotment of automotive greatness.
It’s adamantine not to anticipate about what Mitsubishi has become in contempo years back alive one of its best and final achievement cars. The carmaker has alone all of its agitative models while attractive to cash-in on appeal for SUVs and hybrids. As a result, it now has one of the atomic agitative line-ups in the industry.
Fortunately, there abide well-maintained Lancer Evos out there endemic by accurate enthusiasts who will ensure the Mitsubishi cast solders on in the minds and hearts of alive purists. Maybe, aloof maybe, back the SUV chic is over, they will bethink their celebrity canicule and disclose the Evo in some form. It ability be hybridized, but the important affair is to accumulate its spirit intact. Or maybe they’ll aloof go on with EVs and free vehicles. This is a new apple for sure, but sometimes the old means are the best.
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