The Evolution process from 1992 to 2001

Lancer Evolution I (1)
Lancer Evolution II (2)
Lancer Evolution III (3)
Lancer Evolution IV (4)
Lancer Evolution V (5)
Lancer Evolution VI (6)
Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition (6.5)

Lancer Evolution I (1)

The Evolution Process (1992/93/94)

- The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is born! :oD
- The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was developed specifically for WRC (World Rally Championship) competition .
- It went on sale in 1992, replacing the Galant VR-4 as Mitsubishi's WRC contender from the season opener in 1993.
- Competition in WRC's Group A required the homologation of 2,500 production models.
- Buyers were given the choice of GSR and RS models - 5,000 were sold.
- The RS was created in order to create a platform for the club-level rally cars, with 'throw-away' parts.
- The GSR was created with the street car buyer in mind.
- It had been 10 years since a Lancer, in the form of the EX2000 Turbo, had taken part in the WRC.
- The Evo was one size smaller than the Galant VR-4 and the 2500mm wheelbase was considered ideal for a rally car.
- Life for the Evo began, based on motivation provided by the VR-4's stout iron-blocked turbocharged 2.0-litre DOHC 4G63 engine.
- Evo I got a lighter crankshaft, higher compression pistons, new connecting rods, plus a new port geometry.
- Output was 228 lb-ft at 3000 rpm and 247 hp at 6000 rpm; 10 more than the VR-4.
- The VR-4's AWD drivetrain and 5-speed W5M33 gearbox, with a double-cone synchro added to 2nd gear, were carried over to the Evo I.
- As a result the compact car had superior turning characteristics with improved cornering performance.
- The Evo was a full second per kilometre faster, with its' Type 4G63 power plant.

Rivals

Ford Escort Cosworth
Subaru Legacy

Competitions & Results

1993

Monte-Carlo(WRC) 4th
Acropolis(WRC) 3rd
Indonesia(APRC) 2nd
Malaysia(APRC) 3rd
Australia(WRC/APRC) 4th
RAC(WRC) 2nd
Thailand(APRC) 3rd
Asia Pacific Rally Championship(APRC) 2nd in Manufacturers' Championship

1994

Safari(WRC) 2nd

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Lancer Evolution II (2)

The Evolution Process (1994/95)

- After various reviews, the clearly focused development programme resulted in the Lancer Evolution II.
- Modifications included a larger rear spoiler, mounted at a greater angle and a front chin spoiler to provide stability at high speed.
- Boost pressure was increased, higher-lift cams were fitted, and detail changes to the exhaust reduced backpressure.
- Power of the 4G63 was now up to 256 hp, while torque remained unchanged at 228 lb-ft.
- The GSR weighed in at 2,750 pounds, and the RS 2,600 pounds.
- Evo II had a 10mm increase in the wheelbase, accomplished by moving the front wheels forward.
- Vehicle track was increased at both ends to accommodate larger tires (now 205/60-15; up from 195/55-15).
- Longer control arms in front, and a revised swaybar mounting arrangement, enhanced steering response.
- Mitsubishi was putting much of its effort into winning the manufacturers' title in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, resulting in limited participation in the WRC.
- In the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, the Evo II finished 2nd in the Manufacturers' Championship in its 1st season, but failed to win the WRC.
- The Evo IIs were equipped with electronically controlled active 4WD systems, giving the Evo more control in extreme conditions.
- The modifications gained Mitsubishi a 1-2 finish in the WRC, that they deserved.
- The Evo II was to be the beginning of a successful run in the WRC, with the development of future Evo's, based on technology inherited from the Lancer Evolution II.

Rivals

Subaru Legacy

Competitions & Results

1994

Acropolis(WRC) 2rd
Indonesia(APRC) 1st
New Zealand(WRC/APRC) 3rd
Malaysia(APRC) 3rd
Australia(WRC/APRC) 3rd
Thailand(APRC) 1st
Asia Pacific Rally Championship(APRC) 2nd in Manufacturers' Championship
Asia Pacific Rally Championship(APRC) 2nd in Drivers' Championship (K.Eriksson)

1995

Monte-Carlo(WRC) 4th
Swedish Rally (WRC) 1st


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Lancer Evolution III (3)

The Evolution Process (1995/96)

- The Lancer Evolution III 1st appeared in 1995.
- Reducing lift and improving cooling performance became priorities.
- The new Evo proved to be superior to its' rivals, with its unsubtle larger rear wing, and front airdam with brake cooling vents, helping it along.
- With the larger rear wing, down force was increased, without increasing the drag.
- These improvements were rendering the turbo, a TD05H-16G-7, as a liability.
- Compressor efficiency was taking a dump at higher engine speeds, adversely impacting volumetric efficiency.
- Mitsubishi swapped the old 60mm 16G compressor wheel for a more suitably sized 68mm 16G6 wheel.
- The exhaust was redesigned again for less backpressure.
- With these improvements and another bump in compression ratio to 9.0:1, power increased to 266 hp at 6250 rpm, while torque stayed at 228 lb-ft.
- Engine response was improved by the further development of the Type 4G63 engine 1st used in the Lancer EX2000, with the Post Combustion Control System in particular.
- This develpment helped to make up for the loss of top end power, brought on by the regulation air restrictor.
- Mitsubishi still had it's mind focused on the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), with the WRC taking a backseat.
- The new Evo III was thrown into competition from the 1st round, the Rally of Indonesia, rather than on a WRC event.
- Mitsubishi collected both the Manufacturers and Drivers Championships, after a successful run in the Rally of Malaysia Rally, concluding with the last round in Thailand Rally.
- The Evo III won on its 3rd outing, the Rally Australia.
- With the introduction of Tommi Makinen to the Mitsubishi fold, the partnership between man and car was to prove formidable.
- Makinen won his 1st WRC title and brought Mitsubishi a well deserved World Championship.

Rivals (based on the top 5 for each competition)

Ford Escort
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Celica
Proton Wira

Competitions & Results

1995

Safari 2nd
Tour de Corse(WRC) 3rd
Indonesia(APRC) 2nd
Malaysia(APRC) 1st
1000 Lakes 1st
Australia(WRC/APRC) 1st
Hong Kong-Beijing(APRC) 1st
Thailand(APRC) 1st
World Rally Championship(WRC) 2nd in Manufacturers' Championship
World Rally Championship(WRC) 3rd in Drivers' Championship (K.Eriksson)
Asia Pacific Rally Championship(APRC) Manufacturers' Champion
Asia Pacific Rally Championship(APRC) Drivers' Champion (K.Eriksson)

1996

Swedish(WRC) 1st
Safari(WRC) 1st
Acropolis(WRC) 2nd
Malaysia(APRC) 2nd
Argentina(WRC) 1st
New Zealand(APRC) 1st
1000 Lakes(WRC) 1st
Australia(WRC/APRC) 1st
Hong Kong-Beijing(APRC) 1st
World Rally Championship(WRC) 2nd in Manufacturers' Championship
World Rally Championship(WRC) Drivers' Champion (T.Makinen)
Asia Pacific Rally Championship(APRC) Manufacturers' Champion
Asia Pacific Rally Championship(APRC) 2nd in Drivers' Championship (R.Burns)


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Lancer Evolution IV (4)

The Evolution Process (1997/98)

- Mitsubishi produced their 4th car, in 5 years, the Lancer Evolution IV.
- Alot was invested in producing cars at that rate, but the WRC rewards made it worthwhile.
- A new category was introduced in 1997: World Rally Cars.
- Subaru and Ford created Rally Cars specifically for this category.
- The Lancer Evolution, based strictly on a production model modified for Group A, was still capable of beating them.
- Modifications included turning the engine 180 degrees and fitting a sequential gearbox.
- A new twin-scroll turbo kept exhaust pulse energy high all the way to the turbine wheel, improving boost response so effectively that the size of the turbine housing was stepped up (from 7 cm2 to 9 cm2).
- Coupled with a new cam grind, the larger turbine housing promoted better volumetric efficiency at higher engine speeds.
- The twin-scroll took care of the low end.
- To homologate a new anti-lag system, all production models were sold with the anti-lag air injection hardware on the exhaust manifold. With no software to control it, however, street drivers were prevented from turning their exhaust pipe into a flamethrower, during gear changes (spoilsports!).
- Compression ratio was back down to 8.8:1, due to new, lighter pistons.
- A new metal head gasket kept combustion pressures at the required level.
- Output was now 276 hp at 6500 rpm, while peak torque leaped to 260 lb-ft at 3000 rpm.
- Active Yaw Control (AYC), which adjusted rear torque split to minimize understeer and improve turn-in, was introduced.
- On RS models, a torque-sensing helical limited-slip front differential.
- Buyers were offered a super-close ratio gearbox in addition to the standard 5-speed, plus a choice of final drive ratios.
- One downside of the new, stiffer chassis and drivetrain goodies was a vehicle weight increase of nearly 200 pounds, with the car now weighing in at 2,970 pounds.
- Speed and reliability, essential to rally cars, were possessed by the Evo IV.
- Tommi Makinen won his 2nd WRC title.
- The Evo IV is the car infront.

Rivals (based on the top 5 for each competition)

Peugeout 306 Maxi
Proton Wira 4WD
Ford Escort
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Celica
Mitsubishi Carisma GT
Seat Ibiza

Competitions & Results

1997

Monte-Carlo(WRC) 3rd
Swedish(WRC) 3rd
Safari(WRC) 2nd
Portugal(WRC) 1st
Catalunya(WRC) 1st
Argentina(WRC) 1st
Acropolis(WRC) 3rd
New Zealand(WRC/APRC) 4th
Finland(WRC) 1st
Indonesia(WRC) 4th
Sanremo(WRC) 3rd
Australia(WRC/APRC) 2nd
RAC(WRC) 4th
World Rally Championship(WRC) 3rd in Manufacturers' Championship
World Rally Championship(WRC) Drivers' Champion (T.Makinen)

1998

Swedish(WRC) 1st
Safari(WRC) 1st
Portugal(WRC) 4th


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Lancer Evolution V (5)

The Evolution Process (1998)

- 1998 produced the 5th Lancer Evolution.
- Mitsubishi won the Manufacturers' Championship with the Evo V.
- Subaru and Toyota all participated with heavily modified World Rally Cars.
- Mitsubishi still used the Group A car based on production models.
- A wider track was created, improving on the Evo IV, and allowing Mitsubishi to keep level with the competition.
- The Type 4G63 engine with its superb low- to mid-range torque was retained.
- The Active Four Wheel Drive System, was controlled by an electronic clutch.
- Mitsubishi had 2 types of suspension, with wide or narrow tracks, making it possible to adapt the Evo V ideally for both tarmac and gravel.
- The Evo V's 1st appearance was on the 5th round, the Catalonia Rally.
- Evo V's 1st win was the Rally of Argentina.
- The Rally Finland was where Tommi Makinen obtained a 5th straight victory.
- The Evo V remained unbeaten for the rest of the season, winning 4 events in a row.
- Mitsubishi had won 7 of the 13 rounds held.
- Makinen won his 3rd consecutive WRC title.
- Mitsubishi was the Manufacturers' Champion.
- Mitsubishi was the car to beat.

Rivals (based on the top 5 for each competition)

Toyota Corolla
Subaru Impreza
Mitsubishi Carisma GT
Citroen Xsara
Ford Escort
Peugeot 306 Maxi

Competitions & Results

1998

Catalunya(WRC) 3rd
Argentina(WRC) 1st
New Zealand(WRC/APRC) 3rd
Finland(WRC) 1st
Sanremo(WRC) 1st
Australia(WRC/APRC) 1st
Great Britain(WRC) 1st
World Rally Championship(WRC) Manufacturers' Champion
World Rally Championship(WRC) Drivers' Champion (T.Makinen)


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Lancer Evolution VI (6)

The Evolution Process (1999)

- In it's bright new Marlboro colours, the Lancer Evolution VI resembled a packet of fags, but was more like the Cuban Cigar of its' generation.
- Its 1st appearance was in the Monte Carlo Rally.
- The Evo VI won the 1st round of the WRC, making a good start to the season.
- The Evo VI was the only pure Group A car in the 1999 season. This meant that it was not allowed to mount the "VI" engine further back, or to modify the suspension to increase travel, in contrast to the World Rally Cars.
- The limited range of modifications put the Group A car at a disadvantage to the WRC cars.
- The Group A design still proved too competitive, so the FIA restricted its' rear wing.
- Mitsubishi responded by a victory in the Swedish Rally.
- Continued development made the Evo VI even faster.
- The engine underwent an extensive development programme.
- The new, twin-scroll turbocharger was exceptionally durable at high temperatures.
- The titanium/aluminium alloy turbines were used for improved pick-up.
- A lighter engine was developed for Catalonia, with the compression ratio raised late in the season.
- The type 4G63 had evolved to a point where the drivers reckoned it had the most power and response.
- Mitsubishi's electronic multi-plate clutch-activated 4WD system had also been greatly improved.
- The hydraulic/active differentials used by its opponents made no difference to the competition - the Evo's response speed was still superior to them.
- The new active system played a significant part in the Lancer Evolution VI's success.
- The long-awaited active rear differential was used from the Sanremo Rally, improving cornering stability.
- The highly developed rear suspension meant the Evo VI could outpace and out-manouver the competition in the championship battle.
- Tommi Makinen became the drivers' champion for the 4th consecutive year.

Rivals (based on the top 5 for each competition)

Subaru Impreza
Ford Focus
Toyota Corolla
Ford Escort
Mitsubishi Carisma GT
Citroen Xsara
Seat Cordoba
Peugeot 206
Skoda Octavia

Competitions & Results

1999

Monte-Carlo(WRC) 1st
Swedish(WRC) 1st
Portugal(WRC) 5th
Catalunya(WRC) 3rd
Tour de Corse(WRC) 6th
Argentina(WRC) 4th
Acropolis(WRC) 3rd
New Zealand(WRC/APRC) 1st
Sanremo(WRC) 1st
Australia(WRC/APRC) 3rd
Great Britain(WRC) 5th
World Rally Championship(WRC) 3rd in Manufacturers' Championship
World Rally Championship(WRC) Drivers' Champion (T.Makinen)


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Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition (6.5)

The Evolution Process (2000/01)

- The Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition was introduced, named after the 4 times Drivers Champion.
- The TME is also known as a Lancer Evolution 6.5
- In the UK 250 TMEs were officially imported - 50 of each colour (Passion Red, Canal Blue, Pyrenees Black, Satellite Silver and Scotia White).
- The option of side stripes, decals and rear wing painted white was only available with the Passion Red body colour.
- Each Tommi was individually numbered eg. #155.
- The stricter limits, for modifiying WRC cars, put Group A cars at a disadvantage.
- Mitsubishi still kept faith with production-based Group A cars.
- The engineers claimed that the specification of the engine changed at every round.
- The lightweight engine, with an improved ECU gave better throttle response.
- On the Rally Finland, the front suspension was developed. The cross member was lighter and more rigid, with changes in the geometry.
- There was a review of the aerodynamics.
- Suspension defined the limits of a Group A car.
- Improved suspension, differentials and mapping helped the Evo VI TME to a win.
- Bad news! The turbocharger was found to not comply with the regulations, and the win was taken away, along with all the points.
- The 5th consecutive championship remained a dream.
- The Group A Evolution model was developed over the next season.
- It looked like the 2000 model, but rear suspension travel was extended by 30mm, greatly improving the handling.
- The flywheel was lightened to improve throttle response.
- The 2001 season was to hold 3 wins for Mitsubishi.
- Now Mitsubishi were ready for a new challenge - the Lancer World Rally Car.

Rivals (based on the top 5 for each competition)

Ford Focus
Subaru Impreza
Seat Cordoba
Toyota Corolla
Peugeot 206
Skoda Octavia
Hyundai Accent
Mitsubishi Carisma GT
Citroen Xsara

Competitions & Results

2000

Monte-Carlo(WRC) 1st
Swedish(WRC) 2nd
Portugal(WRC) 6th
Catalunya(WRC) 4th
Argentina(WRC) 3rd
Finland(WRC) 4th
Cyprus(WRC) 5th
Sanremo(WRC) 3rd
Great Britain(WRC) 3rd
World Rally Championship(WRC) 4th in Manufacturers' Championship
World Rally Championship(WRC) 5th in Drivers' Championship (T.Makinen)

2001

Monte-Carlo(WRC) 1st
Swedish(WRC) 2nd
Portugal(WRC) 1st
Catalunya(WRC) 3rd
Argentina(WRC) 4th
Cyprus(WRC) 5th
Acropolis(WRC) 4th
Safari(WRC) 1st
World Rally Championship(WRC) 3rd in Manufacturers' Championship
World Rally Championship(WRC) 3rd in Drivers' Championship (T.Makinen)


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Can I just apologise to any Evo owners after the Tommi! This webpage just set out to cover the evolution up to, and including, the Tommi - I'm not being snobby about it ;o)