Entering production in 1999, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI followed on from the previous five generations of Evos in being a homologation special for Group A spec rally cars. It was planned to build at least 2500 Evolution VIs to get the FIA homologation and these were to be mainly sold in Japan. Two variants were built: the RS model, which was intended for competition use; and the GSR, which was a more civilised road car.
Vehicles were built on the Lancer CP9A platform featuring aluminium front wings, bonnet & boot lid, a new fibreglass front clip with the spotlights moved to the outer corners, a hot air extractor for oil cooler on the drivers side & the front license plate offset to allow better cooling access. The rear spoiler was a double deck adjustable fibreglass and aluminium set-up with larger side wickers.
The front and rear suspension arms were now aluminium alloy and the rear suspension had a lower roll centre, allowing greater cornering speeds. More rigid Brembo four-pot calipers were fitted to the front axle and fixed two-pot calipers at the rear, covered with OZRacing wheels. The RS model had a limited slip differential, whereas the GSR featured the AYC (Active Yaw Control) torque vectoring differential first seen on the Evo IV. The remainder of the driveline was carried over from the Evo V.
The 1997cc 4G63 Mitsubishi engine had pistons and conrods, a bigger oil cooler and a new water duct layout in the block to provide additional piston cooling. The RS model featured a titanium-aluminide turbine wheel for the RS model, which was a first in a production car. Output was rated at 280PS (276bhp; 206 kW) at 6500rpm and maximum torque of 373Nm (275lbft) at 3000rpm
My car (T45 JSS) is an original JDM GSR in Satellite Silver. It is as it left the factory apart from some subtle accessorisation – overmats, RalliArt gearknob, a leather wrapped original steering wheel rim, clear side repeaters, Enkei Tarmac Evo wheels & a Fujitsubo Giken cat-back exhaust system. The car has covered almost 58,000 miles in 21 years and has a full service history since it was imported into the UK in 2013.
I’d always wanted an Evo VI ever since they came out in 1999 – I remember watching their exploits in WRC on the TV, but at the time they were well out of my league. I followed the prices of them over the years, watching as they gradually declined until in 2011 they seemed to reach the bottom of their depreciation. At this point I started to look for one in the UK, but all off the ones I saw had been heavily used and were quite rusty (Evos did not get underseal from the factory). Eventually I came to SVA Imports in Dover who were able to source a low mileage unmolested Evo VI in Japan & ship it over to the UK for me.
It has been a fun car to own – quick enough to be entertaining and with great handling in any weather. It has been very reliable but is quite costly to run – servicing every six months and an appetite for fuel see to that. To drive in it can feel a little underwhelming – the interior is quite basic in places and it is a little harsh & unrefined, but on a driver’s road in slippery conditions it’s brilliant, and it looks very purposeful.