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Mitsubishi Unveils Lancer Evolution IX UK Line-Up
Text & Photos courtesy Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
edited 05-06-2005

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX : Summary

· Latest generation of Mitsubishi's award-winning supercar on sale 1st June.

· Prices carried over from Lancer Evolution VIII MR. Start at £27,999 for Lancer Evolution IX FQ-300.

· Development of special edition Lancer Evolution VIII MR range.

· Revised front grille and bumper incorporates circular cooling ducts.

· New rear bumper features a diffuser to smooth airflow under the car.

· Recaro front seats and Momo steering wheel fitted as standard.

· Spacious five seater with 530litre boot offering everyday practicality.

· Introduction of MIVEC valve timing technology combines increased top-end power and improved response with better fuel economy and exhaust emissions.

· Models available with 305 (FQ-300), 326 (FQ-320) and 345bhp (FQ-340).

· Flagship FQ-340 sprints from 0-62mph in 4.3 sec (est).

· High-density dash silencer and extra sealing improves refinement.

· Bilstein suspension system, introduced on the VIII MR range, further enhanced for use in the Evolution IX.

· New rear springs reduce the height of the car, improving rear end stability and enabling the Super AYC* system to work more effectively.

· Advanced four-wheel drive system incorporates ACD* (Active Centre Differential), Super AYC* (Active Yaw Control) and Sport ABS*.

· All Lancer Evolutions supported by comprehensive 3-year unlimited mileage warranty.

Model range

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX FQ-300
£27,999

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX FQ-320
£29,999

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX FQ-340
£32,999

*see glossary
 

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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX :Introduction



The ninth generation of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution goes on sale 1st June. A subtle but significant development of the special edition Evolution VIII MR, the IX boasts a plethora of detail improvements that enhance the ‘Evo’s’ reputation as the everyday supercar. This car is also significant as the ultimate iteration of the third generation Lancer, which began life in 2001 as the Evolution VII. In 2007, Mitsubishi will launch an all-new and radically different ‘Evo’.



Mitsubishi’s engineers realised long ago that it was no longer appropriate simply to pursue absolute speed. If the Lancer legend was to progress, they needed to develop a new concept of "overall driving quality", which would make the performance more accessible. In other words, they would engineer cars that would flatter and entertain the expert, without intimidating the novice.



The new Lancer Evolution IX embraces this philosophy with the introduction of MIVEC** variable valve timing technology, which constantly matches the inlet valve timing to the engine speed and load. This has the dual effect of improving the engine’s breathing at high revs, while stabilising the combustion process and improving the engine’s efficiency and throttle response at low engine speeds. MIVEC achieves a 3% improvement in fuel economy and a consequent reduction in harmful exhaust emissions.



And the engine’s response is further improved by revisions to the design of the turbo diffuser. Exploiting knowledge garnered in the ultra-competitive World Rally Championship, the diffuser has been lengthened, which has the dual effect of boosting low-end torque and achieving a 10% improvement in the engine’s response throughout the rev range. Such changes are at the heart of Mitsubishi’s desire to maximise the car’s "overall driving quality".



The sophisticated Bilstein suspension system, which was introduced to widespread acclaim on the Evolution VIII MR, is carried over onto the IX with the exception of the rear springs, which are shorter than before. This lowers the body height and allows the Super AYC* system to function more effectively, further enhancing the Lancer’s cornering stability. Mitsubishi’s electronically-controlled four-wheel drive system (4WD), which incorporates Super AYC* (Active Yaw Control), ACD* (Active Centre Differential) and Sport ABS* (anti-lock brakes), is carried over unchanged.



Complementing the mechanical and electronic changes are discreet modifications to the car’s aesthetics. The restyled front bumper frames the Mitsubishi diamond emblem and incorporates a mesh grille that improves the engine cooling. Discreet circular intakes located in the front air dam also feed a supply of fresh air to the intercooler pipes, which can reach 100 degrees Celsius during hard driving. The high quality, metallic grey detail styling of the headlamps is also reflected in the restyled tail lamps.



The rear bumper now incorporates a diffuser that controls the flow of air underneath the car, improving the aerodynamics. Measures have also been taken to further reduce the Evolution’s mass. The carbon fibre wing now boasts a hollow construction and new-design lightweight five-spoke Enkei alloy wheels are fitted as standard.



The simple, driver-focussed cabin of the Lancer Evolution IX is familiar. The carbon fibre detailing introduced on the outgoing MR range, is carried over into the IX and so are the Recaro front seats and exquisite Momo steering wheel. The Evo remains the consummate everyday supercar and the spacious cabin features air-conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, remote central locking and CAT 1 alarm. High speed refinement has been improved with the introduction of a high-density dashboard silencer and improved cabin sealing.



The Evolution IX plans to build on the success of the Evolution VIII and VIII MR, of which 2400 examples were sold through official Ralliart dealers between May 2003 and June 2005. Three versions of the IX will be available in the UK. The entry-level FQ300 boasts 305bhp and costs £27,999; the mid-range FQ320 (326bhp) retails for £29,999 and the flagship FQ340 (345bhp) is priced at £32,999. The latter also boasts an enhanced luxury specification including leather and Alcantara Recaro seats and a SmartNav satellite navigation system.



As you’d expect from Mitsubishi, all Lancer Evolutions sold through the official Ralliart network are covered by a 3-year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, a 3-year Pan European Recovery Service and a 6-year Anti-Corrosion Perforation Warranty.



Lancer Evolution IX Specification
Max output

bhp at rpm
Max torque

lb.ft at rpm
0-62 (est)

FQ-300
305 / 6950
297 / 4400
4.7

FQ-320
326 / 6700
305 / 4300
4.5

FQ-340
345 / 6800
321 / 4600
4.3


* see glossary

** Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control System (MIVEC)





Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX : Design



Exterior



· Revised front grille and bumper incorporates circular cooling ducts

· Distinctive rear bumper features diffuser for enhanced aerodynamics

· Benefits from Evolution VIII MR’s program of weight loss, including aluminium roof, side impact bars and bonnet

· Carbon fibre rear spoiler is now of a hollow construction to reduce the car’s mass and lower its centre of gravity

· Redesigned front and rear light clusters enhance contemporary appeal

· New design Enkei five spoke alloy wheels

· Colour range now comprises solid red, white and yellow plus metallic silver, black and blue.



There are few more dramatic sights on the road than the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Despite its origins as a conservative four-door saloon, the Evo’s dramatic body kit and rally-bred detailing leaves onlookers in no doubt about its purpose. Every last element of this car has been carefully honed to maximise its performance and to deliver the ultimate in driving pleasure. Few cars, anywhere and at any price, are more focussed.



The revisions for the Evolution IX are subtle but significant. The redesigned grille is integral to the front bumper and feeds extra air to the radiator, while echoing the style of Mitsubishi’s World Rally Car. Discreet circular intakes located in the front air dam also contribute to enhanced cooling and supply fresh air to the intercooler pipes, which can reach 100 degrees Celsius during hard driving. Keen Evo spotters will also note the restyled head and tail lamps, which now boast a stylish grey finish.



Complementing the new rear lights is a redesigned bumper that incorporates a diffuser. The diffuser controls the flow of air past the underbody and stops exhaust gas residues collecting on the rear bumper. The new bodywork also enhances the Evolution IX’s purposeful, aggressive stance.



The IX benefits from the mass-saving measures introduced for the special edition Evolution VIII MR (‘Mitsubishi Racing’). Mitsubishi’s engineers were able to save 7.5kg with the introduction of an aluminium roof and side impact bars, to complement the aluminium bonnet that featured on the standard VIII.



The introduction of an aluminium roof was a particularly tough challenge. To maintain the structural rigidity of the steel monocoque while introducing a lightweight roof the engineers reinforced key areas, such as the roof bow, with steel braces. They also used a novel combination of Self Piercing Rivets (SPR) and special adhesive to bond the aluminium to the steel.



The process reduced the mass of the roof by 4kg but more significant than the outright figure, is the effect on the centre of gravity or roll movement. The aluminium panel has the same effect on the centre of gravity as lowering the roof by 50mm, resulting in a car that is more responsive to driver input.



For the introduction of the IX, this weight saving obsession has been taken to new extremes. A carbon fibre rear wing was introduced on the Evo VIII, but it now boasts a hollow construction to save a few more precious ounces and further improve the centre of gravity; an example of the extraordinary attention to detail that’s prevalent throughout this car.

Five exterior body colours are available: red solid, cool silver, black mica, blue pearl, yellow solid and white solid (the traditional colour for competition models).



Interior



· Recaro front seats and Momo steering wheel standard across the range.

· Simple, functional and robust fascia design.

· Ample room for five adults and 530litre boot capacity.

· High density dash silencer and double-sealing weatherstrips introduced to improve refinement.



The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution range has always been hailed as the ultimate everyday supercar. Here is a car that can reach 62mph from rest in under 5 seconds and top 157mph, but can nevertheless accommodate five adults and their holiday luggage. It is this combination of virtues that is at the heart of the Evo legend.



The Evolution IX retains the functional and driver-orientated fascia of its predecessor. The simple wave design is highlighted with some carbon fibre detailing and the switchgear has been ergonomically optimised so that it falls within easy reach of the driver. Nothing should detract from the purity of the driving experience.
 

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Some of the detailing shows the hallmarks of Mitsubishi’s rally experience. All the critical "touch points", such as the steering wheel, seats and gearstick, will delight the enthusiast. The steering wheel is a small leather three-spoke, made by Momo, the company responsible for the wheel found in a Ferrari Formula One Car. The seats are by Recaro, the company that supplies the Mitsubishi World Rally Team. They combine exceptional support during hard cornering with supreme long distance comfort.



Rear passengers are not forgotten and benefit from a sculptured rear bench. Head and legroom is generous and the boot has a maximum capacity of 530litres. The specification of every Evolution IX includes climate control, all-round electric windows and electrically adjustable mirrors, a category 1 alarm and four airbags, proving that performance and comfort can go hand-in-hand.



The flagship Lancer Evolution IX FQ-340 enjoys an enhanced specification. The Recaro seats come clothed in a mixture of high-grade leather and Alcantara, which highlights the Lancer’s premium appeal while still offering excellent support. It also features SmartNav, the innovative route and traffic guidance system operated by Trafficmaster®.



Every variant also benefits from detail improvements that improve the car’s refinement without compromising its sporting focus. The dashboard pad between the engine compartment and cockpit is now made of a denser material to reduce unwanted noise, while the doors use double-sealing weatherstrips. The result is less high frequency noise and greater long distance comfort.
 

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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX : Engine

· MIVEC variable valve timing technology introduced to combine improved performance at high engine speeds with better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions.

· Redesigned turbocharger diffuser boosts low-end torque and improves the engine's response by 10% across the rev range.

· FQ-320 features upgraded breathing apparatus developed by Mitsubishi Motors UK's Ralliart division in conjunction with HKS.

· FQ-340 includes FQ-320 breathing apparatus and adds a supplementary ECU, which controls the ignition timing and air/fuel mixture.

· Detail refinements further enhance the 4G63 engine's legendary reputation for durability and reliability.

The Evolution IX continues to use Mitsubishi's world-renowned 1997cc 4-cylinder 4G63 twin scroll turbo engine, which originally made its debut in the Galant VR-4 of 1987. Since then the engine, like the car, has progressed through a series of evolutions and has been refined once more for its application in the Evolution IX. With more torque at low speeds coupled with improved throttle response and top-end power, it is the ideal tool for both road and track use.

The most significant development for this model is the introduction of Mitsubishi MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control System). MIVEC is a variable valve timing system that constantly matches the inlet valve timing to the engine speed and load. At higher engine speeds, the system improves the engine's air-supply to ensure that it doesn't run out of breath. At lower engine speeds, it helps to stabilise the combustion process, reducing both fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The end result is an engine that combines improved top-end performance with a three per cent improvement in fuel consumption.

As a by-product of the reduced emissions, Mitsubishi's engineers were able to revise the catalytic converter flow capacity and reduce the back pressure, resulting in improved throttle response at low engine speeds.

And the engine's response is further improved by revisions to the design of the turbo diffuser. Exploiting knowledge garnered in the ultra-competitive World Rally Championship, the diffuser has been lengthened, which has the dual effect of boosting low-end torque and achieving a 10% improvement in the engine's response throughout the rev range. Such changes are at the heart of Mitsubishi's desire to maximise the car's "overall driving quality".

Three versions of the engine are available in the Evolution IX. The entry-level variant - if such an expression is appropriate - is the FQ-300, which boasts 305bhp at 6950rpm and 297lb ft of torque at a lowly 4400 rpm. The combination of generous low rev pull and explosive top-end power - the FQ-300 will sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.7 sec (est) - is the key to this car's personality. The performance is now much more accessible, not just to the novice but also to the experts - Mitsubishi's test drivers found that the Evolution IX FQ-300 was able to lap the famous 20.4km long Nurburgring Nordschleife several seconds faster than its predecessor.

The mid-range FQ-320 model is fitted with an upgrade kit developed by Mitsubishi Motors UK's Ralliart division in conjunction with the tuning specialists HKS. This upgrade concentrates on the engine's breathing apparatus and includes an induction pipe, revised intercooler piping and a new exhaust and down pipe. The result is a hike in power to 326bhp at 6700rpm and torque to 305 lb ft at 4300rpm. The FQ-320 will sprint from 0-62mph in 4.5 sec (est) and achieve a 157mph top speed. Gas discharge headlamps are also fitted as standard to the FQ-320.

Customers demanding the ultimate Evolution IX are offered the FQ-340. The FQ-340 builds on the FQ-320's specification with a supplementary ECU, which is hard-wired to the car's existing engine management system and controls the ignition timing and air/fuel mixture. It produces 345bhp at 6800rpm and 321 lb ft of torque at 4600rpm. From rest, the FQ-340 will reach 62mph in 4.3 sec (est). This is a genuine supercar - the Porsche 911, which is almost twice as expensive, requires 5.0 sec to sprint from 0-60mph.

Detail improvements to the engine have also sought to enhance the 4G63's reputation for durability and reliability. The addition of temperature and pressure sensors in the intake manifold has improved the precision of both the air/fuel charge flow and the ignition timing. Enlarging the cylinder head water galleries and switching to long reach spark plugs has reduced the wall surface temperatures in the combustion chamber. The change from three- to two-piece piston rings has reduced oil consumption by around 10% and the cylinder head cover is now made of a more heat resistant material. The FQ-320 and FQ-340 are covered by the same warranty package as the rest of the Mitsubishi range.
 

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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX : Dynamics



Suspension



· Bilstein suspension system, introduced on the VIII MR range, further enhanced for use in the Evolution IX.

· MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension.

· New rear springs improve rear-end stability and allow the Super AYC* system to operate more effectively.



For the introduction of the Evolution VIII MR in 2004, Mitsubishi’s engineers comprehensively overhauled the Lancer’s suspension system with the introduction of Bilstein shock absorbers, which were honed at the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife racing circuit in Germany. The basics of this suspension set-up have been retained for the Evolution IX, but it has been further refined with the introduction of shorter springs at the rear.



The effect of these shorter springs is to lower the body slightly, which enhances rear-end stability by increasing the grip available to the rear tyres. The revision also allows the Super AYC* system to operate more effectively. The improvement is so marked that it feels as if the Super AYC’s torque transfer facility has been increased.



The revisions are true to Mitsubishi’s philosophy of delivering "overall driving quality." This concept, which began with the Evolution VII, has been further developed by Mitsubishi Ralliart and Bilstein engineers for the VIII MR and now for the IX.

The use of different damping rates for the single-tube front and rear shocks, together with the shape optimisation of the rear bump stop, has led to significant improvements in traction and roadholding. Vehicle stability is enhanced during cornering or braking manoeuvres, and the Bilstein system has also had a beneficial effect on the ride quality. Put simply, the Evolution is now more ‘driveable’ than ever before.



Electronically-Controlled 4WD System



Mitsubishi’s electronically-controlled 4WD system was comprehensively retuned for its application in the Lancer Evolution VIII MR and the system is retained for the IX.



In developing the Mitsubishi Racing (MR) range, the Ralliart engineers retuned the 4WD in response to feedback from competition drivers. Their revisions made the system even more pro-active. On the original Evo VIII, the All-Wheel Control (AWC) unit had given priority to the Super ABS* system in order to stabilise the car under heavy braking. The Active Centre Differential (ACD)* and Super Active Yaw Control* (AYC) modules were effectively disengaged.



But a competition driver does not just use the brakes to slow the vehicle – they will also employ brake power to alter the balance of a car and to prepare it for a change of trajectory. With this in mind, the AWC system has been revised so that the driving force is still controlled actively, even when the Sports ABS is operational. Through a series of high-speed bends, for example, the system will continue to control the yaw moment of the car, even if the driver is applying braking force. The car’s agility and stability are both improved, and the car responds more accurately to steering input on the entry to a corner.



The Lancer Evolution remains one of the few cars on the road in which the four-wheel drive system is employed to improve the handling, rather than simply as a means of increasing traction. Super AYC* acts like a limited slip differential to optimise the Lancer’s handling during hard driving. This is the only electronic system anywhere that enhances cornering performance by transferring torque between the rear wheels. It also works harmoniously with the Active Centre Differential (ACD*), which was introduced on the Evolution VII.
 

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Steering and Brakes



· Rack-and-pinion steering system

· Brembo braking system front and rear.

· Sports ABS and EBD systems fitted as standard.

· Steering and brake pedal feel optimised for sports driving.



The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system is carried over unchanged from the Evolution VIII MR. Critically acclaimed as one of the world’s finest systems, it has been tuned to combine linear response with excellent driver feedback. The system allows the driver to place the car accurately on the road.



The Evolution IX’s brakes are a development of the Brembo system that debuted on the Evolution V; 17in ventilated discs with four piston callipers at the front and 16in ventilated discs with two-piston callipers at the rear. Mitsubishi’s Sports ABS system is employed to enhance the steering control during hard driving, while the Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) function automatically regulates the front and rear braking force to match the vehicle load and driving conditions.



Mitsubishi’s engineers have also worked hard to optimise the ‘feel’ of the pedal and to ensure that its response remains consistent at all times.



Wheels and Tyres



· New design five-spoke Enkei alloys

· ADVAN AO46 235/45ZR17 tyres fitted as standard.

· Space saver rear tyre replaced by tyre inflation kit



The Evolution IX rides on specially developed Enkei 17 x 8J five-spoke alloys wheels that minimise the unsprung mass of the car while remaining strong enough to withstand the massive cornering loads it generates.



ADVAN AO46 235/45ZR17 tyres are fitted as standard and combine a stiff carcass construction with a high-grip compound. They have been tailored to the unique demands of the Lancer Evolution IX and have been tuned to perform well in both wet and dry conditions.



The space saver spare wheel fitted to the Evolution VIII MR has been deleted in favour of a tyre inflation kit, which saves weight and liberates additional luggage space.

* See glossary



Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX : Warranty



· Full warranty and highly-trained network of dealers

· 3-year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, 3-year Pan European Recovery Service and 6-year Anti-Corrosion Perforation Warranty

· 4,500 mile/12 month service intervals



In 2003, Ralliart, Mitsubishi’s motorsport and performance car division, became a premium sub-brand of the Mitsubishi Motors UK operation. As a result, pricing is now extremely competitive and customers are reassured that the product is supported by product liability cover, a full warranty and a highly-trained network of Mitsubishi Ralliart dealers. Mitsubishi Motors is the UK’s sole importer and supplier of official Ralliart products and accessories.



Mitsubishi has a tradition of providing exceptional after-sales support, and the Lancer Evolution models are no exception. The Evolution is supplied with a 3-year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, a 3-year Pan European Recovery Service and a 6-year Anti-Corrosion Perforation warranty.



Glossary



Active Centre Differential (ACD) – incorporates an electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch. The ECU regulates the differential’s operation according to the conditions, and can function in a free or locked state where torque is split 50:50 front/rear.



ACD works to improve steering response and traction and automatically switches between three modes – tarmac/gravel/snow – to optimise the car’s performance on varying surfaces. The driver is also able to select these modes manually using a fascia-mounted switch.



Super Active Yaw Control (Super AYC) – uses a torque-transfer mechanism in the rear differential. Controlled by the ECU, Super AYC adjusts the torque transfer between the rear wheels in order to control the yaw moment acting on the car body. This reduces understeer and extends the car’s cornering limits.



Compared with the standard AYC system, Super AYC uses a bevel- instead of a planetary-gear differential, which allows more torque to be transferred between the rear wheels. Both Super AYC and the ACD are controlled by a single ECU, which harmonises their operation.



Sport Anti-lock braking system (Sport ABS) – the Sport ABS ECU uses inputs from steering angle, lateral G and vehicle speed sensors to individually apportion braking pressure to each of the four wheels. This results in improved steering response under braking.



The Sport ABS system also incorporates Mitsubishi’s Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) system, which optimises the allocation of braking force between the front and rear wheels. By increasing the braking pressure applied to the rear wheels during heavy braking, EBD reduces the load acting on the front wheels and so maximises the anti-fade performance of the brakes. The system also compensates for changes in surface and vehicle load conditions to provide predictable and consistent stopping performance at all times.
 

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Brief History of the Lancer Evolution

Lancer Evolution I Launched October 1992

· Road Car Power 247bhp @ 6000rpm

· Torque 228lb ft @ 3000rpm

The Lancer Evolution I used the 4G63 2.0-litre DOHC turbocharged engine and 4WD system that had been developed for the larger Galant VR-4. But with the design optimised to place the larger water-cooled intercooler at the front of the vehicle, the Lancer developed 30PS more than the Galant.

The car was built to satisfy the FIA Group A rally regulations, which dictated that 2500 units of the homologation or base production model had to built each year. But such was the demand for the car that all 2500 units were sold within three days of its launch.

Rally Car 1 win

The Group A Lancer Evolution I made its debut in the 1993 Monte Carlo Rally and went on to contest eight WRC events. It best results were second in the 1993 RAC Rally with Kenneth Eriksson, and second in the 1994 Safari Rally, when Kenjiro Shinozuka was behind the wheel.

Lancer Evolution II Launched January 1994

· Road Car Power 256bhp (260PS) @ 6000rpm

· Torque 228lb ft @ 3000rpm

Buoyed by the success of the Evolution I, Mitsubishi unveiled the second edition in January 1994. A 10PS hike in power was accompanied by increases to the wheelbase and the front and rear track. The addition of a rear wing featuring an attack angle and an air dam under the front bumper was to prove hugely beneficial to the rally car.

Rally Car 1 win

Armin Schwarz roared to second place on the Lancer Evolution II's debut at the Acropolis Rally in 1994. Later in the year, Mitsubishi introduced the first electronically controlled active differential and Kenneth Eriksson drove it to victory on its competition debut in the Thailand Rally, which was part of the competitive Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). On the 1995 Swedish Rally, the active Evo's powered Eriksson and new teammate Tommi Makkinen to a 1-2 finish and Mitsubishi's first overall victory in the WRC.

Lancer Evolution III Launched February 1995

· Road Car Power 266bhp @ 6250rpm

· Torque 228lb ft @ 3000rpm

The Group A rally regulations dictated that the aerodynamics of the rally car must replicate those of its road going derivative. Mitsubishi therefore introduced the Evolution III with a radical aerodynamic body kit. There were larger front bumper openings with an uprated intercooler, a larger air dam under the front bumper and an oversize rear wing. These changes had a dramatic effect on the rally car.

Rally Car 8 wins

The Group A Evolution III made its debut on the Tour de Corse, the fourth round of the 1995 WRC calendar. Kenneth Eriksson scored one overall victory in Australia that year and also won the Asia Pacific Championship, but it was in 1996 that the Lancer really came alive. Tommi Makinen secured five victories on the way to his, and Mitsubishi's, first World Driver's Championship. Mitsubishi Motors was now at the pinnacle of world rallying.

Lancer Evolution IV Launched August 1996

· Road Car Power 276bhp @ 6500rpm

· Torque 260lb ft @ 3000rpm

The IV was the first of the Generation 2 Evolutions, based on an entirely new Lancer model. Major changes included the introduction of double-wishbone type multi-link rear suspension. The 4G63 engine employed a twin scroll turbocharger for the first time, which improved the low- and mid-range torque and the throttle response.

Rally Car 6 wins

The Group A rally car adopted the changes introduced for the road car and also became the first works car to feature a sequential gearbox. Tommi Makinen drove his Evolution IV to four WRC victories in the 1997 season, including the Rallye Catalunya, which was Mitsubishi's first tarmac victory. Makinen also claimed his second world title.

Lancer Evolution V Launched January 1998

· Road Car Power 276bhp+ @ 6500rpm

· Torque 275lb ft @ 3000rpm

The era of the heavily modified World Rally (WR) Cars had begun in 1997, but Mitsubishi persisted in building a rally car to the Group A production-based regulations. The road-going Evolution V was therefore designed to the maximum width permitted in the regulations: 1770mm or 80mm wider than its predecessor. The wider front and rear track gave the car greater high speed stability. A hugely aggressive aero specification included a rear wing with an adjustable angle of attack.

Rally Car 5 wins

The Evolution V rally car won five of the nine events it entered. Tommi Makinen achieved an unprecedented five consecutive wins of his way to his third straight driver's title. His British teammate, Richard Burns, also scored two victories as Mitsubishi finally claimed the manufacturer's title that it had coveted for so long.

Lancer Evolution VI Launched January 1999

· Road Car Power 276bhp+ @ 6500rpm

· Torque 228lb ft @ 3000rpm

This was the first Mitsubishi Evolution to be officially imported into the UK and 535 examples were sold between February 1999 and March 2001. This number included 250 special edition Tommi Makinen models, which were built to celebrate Makinen's fourth successive World Driver's Championship. The final variant of the second generation Lancer Evolution, the VI is arguably the most extreme of all the Evo's and was the last to be built to satisfy the World Rally Championship regulations.

Rally Car 5 wins

The Evolution VI led Mitsubishi's rally challenge from January 1999 to September 2001, during which time it morphed from a Group A car into a World Rally Car. In 1999, Makinen chalked up another four wins to claim an unprecedented fourth successive world driver's championship. In total, the Evo VI achieved five wins in its Group A specification, before achieving three more as a World Rally Car.

Lancer Evolution VII Launched January 2001

· Road Car Power 276bhp @ 6500rpm

· Torque 228lb ft @ 3000rpm

The Lancer Evolution VII was the first of the third generation Lancer Evolutions. Based on the all-new Lancer, which had been launched in 2000, the VII heralded the birth of Mitsubishi's All-Wheel control technology. AYC* had been introduced on the Evo IV, but it now featured alongside Mitsubishi's Active Centre Differential (ACD*) and Sport ABS*. A total of 210 Evo VII's were sold in the UK from March 2001 to April 2003.

Rally Car

Although Mitsubishi was now developing a dedicated World Rally Car, the Evolution VII enjoyed considerable success in the production class. Of the 18 entrants in the inaugural Production World Rally Championship, 16 drove Evolution VII's and Kristian Solberg finished second in the 2002 driver's championship.

Lancer Evolution VIII Launched January 2003

· Road Car Power 276bhp @ 6500rpm

· Torque 289lb ft @ 3500rpm

The introduction of the Evolution VIII saw a dramatic increase in the engine's torque to and a development of Mitsubishi's All-Wheel Control system. Super AYC* was introduced, which replaced the AYC's bevel gear differential for a planetary gear type, which doubled the torque transfer between the rear wheels, further improving the handling. A carbon fibre rear wing was introduced for the first time.

The launch of the special edition Evolution VIII MR in February 2004 saw the introduction of a Bilstein suspension system, which further enhanced the Evo's legendary handling. Measures taken to reduce the mass of the car included an aluminium roof, which also succeeded in lowering the car's centre of gravity. This range culminated in the UK-only MR FQ-400, which produced 405bhp.

The Evolution VIII (including MR specification) has proved to be the most popular version in the UK, with over 2400 sold through official Ralliart dealers between May 2003 and June 2005.

Mitsubishi Lancer World Rally Car

Mitsubishi unveiled its first car built to the World Rally Car regulations at the San Remo rally in 2001 and this was followed by the Lancer Evolution WRC2 at the Rally Finland in 2002. But the rally world had made dramatic progress since the late '90s and neither car was able to repeat the success of the Group A era.

The team sat out the 2003 season, before returning with a development car in 2004. This proved to be a useful test bed for the Lancer WRC05, which was developed in time for the start of the 2005 season. This car marked a welcome return to form when Gilles Panizzi secured third place in the Monte Carlo rally on the car's debut. Mitsubishi is committed to contesting all 16 rounds of the 2005 World Rally Championship with lead driver Harri Rovampera.
 

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Informative post- thanks. looks very nice, am I the only one who things the black area on the rear underneath would look better coloured to match the car?
 

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It looks nearly the same as my 7 but with a couple of gun turrits fitted in the grill,
:ara:
Could come in handy when the flat cap club are holding everyone up BOOOOM out the way coming through :crackup:
 
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