The Mighty Evo VI

Published on October 1st, 2009

Mitsubishi’s rally-bred, four-door, sedan, supercar drives like a rocket and still manages to thrill and provoke an adrenaline rush, says Azdee Amir.

About two months ago, an unused performance part that was sitting idle in the storeroom was put up for sale in a popular buy and sell website. An adamant, interested, prospective buyer answered to the posted advertisement and a meeting was set up for the transaction to take place at CaRreta Cafe in SS1, Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

At CaRreta Café, the adamant, interested, prospective buyer was met, and after much discussion, the transaction for the unused performance part was a done deal. Inquisitively, the unavoidable and inevitable question was posed, “So Bro, what car do you drive?” A smile and a nod in the direction of menacing flat-black Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI parked right outside CaRreta Café answered the question.

It had been quite a while since a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI was last spotted on the road and it was delightful to see such a fine example of one on the road. The adamant, interested, prospective buyer, who was now a newly satisfied owner, had bought the unused performance part to be installed in his head-turning flat-black Evo VI.

He had purchased the Evo VI about two and a half years ago in stock form and trim, and has been proudly using and driving the car to wherever he needs to be or go ever since.

He decided that his daily ride and commute would be none other than the Evo VI because he liked the shape, reputation and performance heritage that the Evo VI possessed.

In his own words, “I like the Evo VI from before because physically, it just looks wide and aggressive, a testament to its power and performance.” Another reason that made him part with a substantial amount of money in order to be a proud owner of an Evo VI was because it was easier and cheaper to source for spare parts and accessories for such a car when compared to a few other Japanese high-performance imports such as the Honda NSX and the Toyota Supra for example.

When Mitsubishi Motors first released the Evo VI exactly ten years ago back in 1999, it was hailed by many as the quasi-rally car that had helped define a generation of performance car culture both in Japan and other parts of the world where Japanese high performance imports were admired and much sought after. At the time of its introduction and release, many performance car enthusiasts fell in love with the Evo VI because it was an image building car with pulse-quickening abilities, including a Porsche 911 beating century sprint timing of just 4.4seconds. It was torquey, light, had gripping Brembo brakes and it had a brawny Mitsubishi-designed titanium turbo that lent to its impressive performance figures. To be put simply, it was one of the quickest and fastest cars of its time.

A decade ago back in its day, the Evo VI had pretty much everything going for it. Tommi Makkinen was winning the World Rally Championship in an Evo VI, giving it street credibility as a sportscar for the real world. It was regarded as a sophisticated and state-of-the-art four door sportscar back then because of three key technical features; an advanced rally derived four-wheel drive system, a powerful and potent 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed transmission and an electronic active Yaw control system that was designed to, get this, virtually eliminate the possibility of the car sliding. In other words, the engineers who built and designed the Evo VI were not in favour of the car having the ability to slide, go sideways, or to be put simply, drift. Imagine had the electronic active Yaw control system not be included in the Evo VI, it could have become not only an iconic rallying machine, but a drifting one too, perhaps.

Back to the flat-black Evo VI in focus, apart from being used on the road for daily commutes and a couple of outstation trips, excursions and leisurely drives to nowhere, it has also been taken on the racetrack at the Sepang International Circuit during track days because temptation was to hard to resist for the owner, with the car’s performance heritage and reputation and all. He was more than satisfied and happy though with his car’s performance during those forays onto the scorching racing tarmac of Sepang.

It has to be mentioned though that this Evo VI is not exactly stock. Over the past two and a half years of owning such a car, the owner has enhanced its performance even further with the installation of a couple of performance parts and accessories. For a more stiffer ride that suits fast driving and maneuvering, a Titan adjustable suspension system was installed. The standard 17inch OZ Racing rims that came with the car just did not appeal to the owner’s taste, so in came a set of 17inch Kosei Direzza sports rims wrapped with 235/45 R17 Goodyear RevSpec II tires.

The quiet, stock exhaust system too did not cut it for the owner as he wanted an exhaust system the sounded raspier which would do justice to the car’s reputation and heritage for speed and performance, so a Blitz Nur Spec exhaust system with 3inch stainless steel piping was installed which also allowed for better response and performance as it allowed the engine to emit exhaust gases at a more optimized rate.

Where the exterior was concerned, the owner was always of the opinion that the Evo VI was an attractively aggressive styled four-door sportscar that was both appealing and head-turning. Nevertheless, the exterior was not left alone as a couple of coats of flat-black paint gave the car an even more aggressive stance. Other exterior enhancements carried out were the installation of a lightweight Monster carbon fibre bonnet, Voltex front lip and Voltex rear diffuser.

Many performance car enthusiasts were of the opinion that the Evo VI’s cabin was rather plain and simple even though it sported Recaro seats together with a Momo steering and gearknob when compared to the muscular and eye-catching exterior. To spruce up the cabin, the owner decided to replace the Recaro seats with a pair of Sparco reclinable bucket seats, the OEM Momo steering was jettisoned in favour of a MOMO Corse steering wheel, and the MOMO gearknob was replaced with a Ralliart gearknob. The stock pedal set also made way for a more ‘pleasing for the feet’ Ralliart pedal set.

Other accessories installed in the cabin were a Pivot speedometer for speed reading in access of 180km/h and to eliminate the 180km/h speed cut enforced by the engine’s ECU as well as a Turbosmart boost controller that functions by allowing  control over the boost level produced in the intake manifold of this turbocharged engine by influencing the air pressure delivered to the pneumatic and mechanical wastegate actuator, and a SARD Racing boost meter to monitor the 4G63T’s turbo boost levels.

Under the Monster carbon fibre bonnet lay the engine bay that housed the force-fed induction 4G63T powerplant, that produces approximately 276hp in stock form according to Mitsubishi. One of the first steps taken by the owner to enhance his car’s engine performance was to install a HKS cold air intake kit which would allow the engine to breathe better by sucking in more cold air. A SARD Racing adjustable fuel regulator together with a 255litre Walbro fuel pump ensured that the engine would receive more fossil fuel for better performance. A GReddy oil catch tank was installed to collect engine oil, moisture and blow-by gas that causes carbon and sludge build-up in the intake system and engine to keep them clean even under the hardest drive while a Pivot Voltage Stabilizer was also added to deliver relatively constant output voltage while input voltage and load current changes over time.

With Malaysia’s hot and humid tropical weather, the owner decided that it was in the best interest of the car and the engine’s well-being that the stock radiator be replaced by a three core aluminum radiator for better engine cooling. The stock rubber hoses were also discarded in favour of a full set of silicone hoses. A GReddy blow-off valve and a 38mm Tial wastegate ensure that this flat-black Evo VI sounds as menacing as it looks and goes. According to the owner, with all the performance enhancing parts and accessories that he had installed, the stock ECU needed a piggyback for total optimized performance. His choice was none other than a GReddy E-Manage piggyback unit, and when dyno-tuned, allows the car to produce roughly in access of 300hp.

According to the owner, although he loves the car and he has spent quite a fair bit of time, effort and money maintaining, upgrading and modifying it, he is willing to part with it if someone comes by and offers him ‘the right price’ for it. If he does part with the car, he plans to get himself either a Subaru Impreza S202, or a Subaru Impreza WRX STi Version 6 as his next car. If he keeps this flat-black Evo VI, he revealed to Trafficmagonline that he would continue to upgrade and enhance the car’s performance by installing an engine stroker kit, high performance camshafts, and a bigger, more responsive turbocharger.

Driving the Evo VI will reveal not only a boyish thrill, fun and excitement, but also difficulty in keeping it within the stipulated speed limits as the car just begs to be driven fast on straight stretches and quick through the corners and bends. Performance is likened to that of rocket or so to speak, with a massive urge from down low and through the mid-range, building to the engine’s 7,000rpm redline.

Although it is not a limited edition racing special, the Evo VI is nonetheless a thoroughly pleasant, safe and somewhat refined performance car to drive. The gear changes of the five-speed manual transmission is fast, and the driving position is good. At low or normal speed the ride is firm, but the suspension stiffness in our humble opinion is welcome given the car’s performance. Handling and cornering are surprisingly secure, given the enormous grip provided by the four-wheel drive system and the chunky 235/45R17 tires.

But better than that is the sharply responsive and driver oriented steering, powerful Brembo brakes and overall liveliness of the car that make it such a balanced package. Our take, or verdict on this magnificent piece of automotive machinery is that it is an iconic, legendary four-door supercar that will have few competitors in terms of outright thrills per Ringgit spent.

Half of the Trafficmagonline crew had never driven or even sat in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI before, so coming up close and personal with this Japanese legend was something of a special occasion and experience for the Trafficmagonline crew.

words: Azdee Amir  pix: Dinesh Appavu

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Specifications:

Engine:

4G63T 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four, GReddy E-Manage piggyback unit, Turbosmart boost controller, GReddy blow-off valve, HKS cold air intake kit, GReddy oil catch tank, SARD Racing adjustable fuel regulator with gauge, custom-made 3-core aluminum radiator, Pivot volt stabilizer, complete set of silicone hoses, Walbro 255-Litre fuel pump, Tial 38mm wastegate, MINE’S strut stabilizer bar, slightly above 300hp

Transmission:

Stock five speed manual transmission with Ralliart Super Single clutch kit

Suspension:

Titan Adjustable suspension kit

Rolling Stock:

17inch Kosei Direzza rims wrapped with 235/45 R17 Goodyear Rev Spec II tyres

Exhaust System:

Blitz NuR Spec exhaust with 3inch stainless-steel piping

Interior:

Pivot speedometer, SARD Racing boost meter, Ralliart gearknob & pedal set, MOMO Corse steering, SPARCO reclineable bucket seats

Exterior:

Custom flat-black paint job, Monster carbon fibre bonnet, Voltex front lip, Voltex rear diffuser

Tuners:

APD, JC Racing Asia, N1 Racing

Comments

  1. Posted by Mak Uia on October 1st, 2009, 10:58

    Haih Evo………………….Always want one………

  2. Posted by Iman on October 1st, 2009, 15:41

    wow…a relevation…

  3. Posted by ZaidGSR on October 2nd, 2009, 09:25

    a legend too…

  4. Posted by Crunchy Ahcock on October 3rd, 2009, 15:30

    …and it’s proudly mine….. not!

  5. Posted by shalie on October 5th, 2009, 18:58

    truly a monster… 😀

  6. Posted by hondas for sale on February 6th, 2010, 21:41

    Just discovered your blog and IT ROCKS! I absolutely love your style – it’s very authentic.

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