The Lancer Evolution was a high performance sports car manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors and based on the standard Lancer. There have been ten official versions to date, with a Roman numeral designating each model. All use two-litre turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive systems.
The Evolution was originally intended only for Japanese markets, but demand on the “grey import” market led the Evolution series to be offered through Ralliart dealer networks in the United Kingdom and in various European markets from around 1998. Japanese-spec cars were limited by a gentlemen’s agreement to advertise no more than 276hp, a mark already reached by Evolution IV. Therefore, each subsequent version has unofficially evolved above the advertised power figures, with the Japanese-spec Evolution IX reaching an alleged output of around 317hp.
The Evolution VI was produced from January 1999 until March 2001. The improvements over its predecessor mainly focused on cooling and engine durability. It received a larger intercooler, larger oil cooler, and new pistons. The Evolution VI received new bodywork yet again, with the most easily noticeable change being within the front bumper where the huge fog lights were reduced in size and moved to the corners for better airflow. The body structure also gained torsional stiffness and strength, by way of 130 additional spot welds, structural adhesive and slightly thicker materials in key areas.
The Tommi Makinen Edition was released in 1999, named after Finnish rally driver Tommi Mäkinen who had won Mitsubishi four WRC drivers championships. It featured a different front bumper, Red/Black Recaro seats (with embossed T. Makinen logo), 17″ Enkei white wheels, a leather Momo steering wheel and shift knob, a titanium turbine that spooled up more quickly, front upper strut brace, lowered ride height (with tarmac stages in mind), and a quicker steering ratio. Amongst other colours, the Evo VI came in either red (Tommi Makinen Edition only), white, blue, black or silver with optional special decals, replicating Tommi Makinen’s rally car’s colour scheme. This car is also sometimes referred to as an Evolution 6.5, or TME for short.
RHD, White Enkei 17inch alloys, Tommi Makinen Edition Recaro seats in black with red inserts, Leather Momo steering wheel and shift knob, 4WD with Centre Coupling unit and Active Yaw control, Front upper strut brace, Factory 10mm lowered suspension, RS steering rack.
If any car could typify World Rally Championship cars at the turn of the century, the Evo VI Tommy Makinen is most certainly it. The addition of shock-and-awe aerodynamic enhancements elevate the plain and boxy Lancer saloon into a steroidal tarmac road-and-rally-stage weapon.
The TME bought in many important changes over and above the standard GSR and RS, including a new front bumper with an asymmetric aerodynamic design, eschewing fog lights to allow for larger cooling ducts, not only aiding cooling but also aerodynamics. The rear spoiler shared the additional extra aero-element of the Evo VI, creating a bi-plane design, allowing for greater downforce, compensating for new WRC regulations which decreased the size and effectiveness of aerodynamic enhancements.
With such.championship winning heritage, pleasingly, this example appears to have never seen a rally stage. The bodywork presents beautifully with very few, if any stone chips.
Upon opening the door of the TME you are greeted by a high-backed Recaro seat finished in black with red inserts. With ‘T.Makinen Edition’ stitched into the backrest, one is in no doubt as to how special this car is. Driver focused and with no-thrills to speak of, the interior of the Evo TME is a place of work, the seats offering excellent support for hard cornering and the Momo steering wheel the perfect size to hustle the Evo around.
Having had only one owner for the majority of its life the interior presents in near perfect condition. The seats show no wear on the bolsters and all the controls work as they should.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Already an amazingly aggressive road car engine, the 4G63 forced aspiration, inline 4 cylinder engine with 4 valves per cylinder had various modifications to elevate it above the standard GSR and hyperactive RS.
The official results appeared similar to the GSR and RS, at 276 bhp and 275 lb ft of torque, but these figures were stated to simply meet the strict domestic tax rules rules in Japan. In reality, the TME was a hyperactive road destroyer with tangible differences to its lesser brethren.
The engine bay in this example is clean and tidy with bright red details matching the bodywork. The engine bay has a whole presents very well, as expected with the limited mileage.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
A champion needs of course the best wheels and Enkei supplied the alloys on the Evo TME VI. Finished in white they have the correct Enkei and Rallysport decals on each wheel completing the rallying aesthetic and further enhanced by the red Brembo brake calipers showing through. The tyres are a matching set of 225/45/17 Bridgestone Potenzas, all showing excellent tread having been replaced just last year.
This Evo VI TME was first registered on the 01/02/2000 and covered nearly all its mileage in Japan (98k km) with its first owner who meticulously looked after it and serviced it solely at the Mitsubishi main dealer. All Japanese invoicing, paperwork and owners manuals are present.
In 2017 New Era Imports in the UK were tasked with finding a pristine example of a TME for a UK client and after 4 months of searching came across this example in Japan.
On arrival the car was under-sealed, 4 new tyres fitted, UK registered and the speedo set to MPH. New discs and pads all round have been fitted recently and the MOT renewed. An absolutely stunning example of a an iconic Rally special edition.
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