By January 1999, the Lancer legend was already well established. The outgoing Evo V had proved its might, providing immense attitude, performance and tuning potential. The Evo VI used the same four- door bodyshell, four-wheel-drive chassis and fantastic turbocharged powerplant packing a 276bhp punch.
But now the Evolution was at last officially available in the UK, priced £25,940 through Ralliart dealers in GSR trim. It offered supercar-slaying statistics of 155mph top speed and sub-five-second 0-60mph sprint. At its heart was the familiar 4G63 engine, now improved for durability and including new pistons with oil cooling channels, bigger oil cooler and intercooler.
Likewise the Lancer’s basic underpinnings remained, with trick AYC (Active Yaw Control), 320mm Brembo four-pot front brakes (300mm rear) with new 7.5x17in OZ wheels. The suspension was revised, with forged front arms and knuckles to reduce unsprung weight. Even the bodyshell was stiffened, with thicker steel and extra spot welds.
Love or loathe the styling, you can’t deny an Evo VI looks purposeful. Its massive motorsport- spec front bumper now housed a wider mouth, with revised spotlamps and offset number plate. Regular Evo side skirts remained, but a new twin-blade rear wing was used to meet WRC regulations. Meanwhile, the GSR interior included black Recaro seats, climate control and blue gauges.
A series of ultra-hot, ultra-rare Evos were also available, including several Ralliart-built UK cars like the 320bhp RS Sprint, 340bhp Extreme, RSX (RS spec plus some GSR trim) and 380bhp RS450 (0-60mph in 3.8 seconds).
Best known of all Evo VI specials was the 2000 Tommi Mäkinen Edition (TME), boasting TD05HRA-15GK2-10.5T titanium turbo, new exhaust, reworked front bumper, WRC-style Enkei 17in alloys, tarmac suspension settings, quick rack and optional Special Colour package with unique decals.
Despite all the high-performance specials, don’t be under any illusions: any Evo VI is a car that even today can comfortably cover ground faster than almost anything else on the road. It’s a legendary beast and a great based for tuning.
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO VI 1999-2001
Engine: 2ltr 4-cylinder turbo
0-60mph: 4.8 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Which Evo VI do you want? A regular UK-spec GSR is more than enough, but grey imports are less valuable than genuine UK cars. Double-check history. Dodgy paintwork (especially on grey imports) and misaligned panels are common.
Engines are tough but extensive upgrades can take their toll – check for exhaust smoke, excessive top end noise, misfires, oil leaks and contaminated coolant.
Listen for transmission clonks and groans, which could be a costly gearbox or diff issue. Check for clutch slip, make sure the dashboard warning lights are in order and look out for uneven tyre wear. Oh, and join a club for tips before you buy.
TUNING AN EVO VI
Where do we start? Where do we stop? The Evo VI’s 4G63 engine is capable of obscene power but even a remap, induction kit, decat and sports exhaust will make your Lancer phenomenally fast, with around 330bhp. For more you’ll need an uprated fuel pump and electronic boost controller.
Over 400bhp is achievable from an uprated turbo and bigger but you’ll probably require a rebuilt bottom end to cope; stronger pistons and rods are available, as are stroker kits offering 2.4-litre torque.
For more, figures of 1,000bhp are achievable, but you’ll need to brace your wallet for impact.