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GTA IV Top Gear Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI By Davis Auto Reviews

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Published on Mar 10, 2013

Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI

In a world where bigger is often confused with better, cult cars sometimes begin to lose the plot as manufacturers fiddle with the formula.

The latter-day Subaru WRXs and Mitsubishi Lancer Evos are vastly different to the cars that created the legend back in the 1990s; both now weigh more and occupy more real estate than the svelte originals.

In the case of Mitsubishi, the latest version of the Evo, the Evo X, has even swapped its clutch pedal for a clutchless manual gearbox in the hero version, a move that should tell you a lot about where Mitsubishi is taking the car in a marketing sense.

Which leaves the earlier Evos as the cars that are likely to become collectables and those which still fire the imagination of the faithful as opposed to the trend-watchers.

The Lancer Evo VI of 2001 is a perfect example. It was from the old school of cars that not only felt fast but were fast. And attitude? The Evo VI had that in spades.

The super-responsive 2.0-litre turbocharged engine drove all four wheels in what has become a classic driveline layout when it comes to covering ground quickly. Of course in those days, the Evo model formed the basis of Mitsubishi's World Rally Championship contenders, so the road-going versions were the real thing.

It's a crazy car to drive, with ferocious acceleration, tenacious cornering and a ride so firm that it could shake a monkey out of a tree. It's noisy, too, and with the short gearing in the five-speed manual gearbox, the Evo VI is no interstate cruiser.

Some of the detail stuff is strange, too. The stereo, for instance, is operated by buttons the size of micro-dots and the body kit might well do its bit in a rally car at speed but it's a crazy collection of plastic on the street.

Narrow, focused and sharp are all words that apply to the Evo VI. If that's your agenda, then there's not much else around that will hit the same notes.

Most mechanics who knew their Evos recommend a diet of semi-synthetic oil, changed at 5000-kilometre intervals. The service book should tell all. During the test drive, listen for a whistling noise as the turbocharger spins up under load.

All turbos make some sort of whistling but it shouldn't be loud enough to be heard above all else. If it is, the turbo is probably on the way out.
The other thing we'd be truly wary of is an Evo VI with a lot of modifications.
Bigger wheels and tyres and a louder exhaust might be OK (although they probably won't make the car any better) but a tuned engine with lots more power would make us look elsewhere.

And besides at that point, it's not an original TME any more, is it? Originally launching at a mighty $80,000, lower prices for subsequent versions of the Evo pulled prices down quickly.

These days, finding one of the original 100 is possible but may take a while, while grey im ports are much more common and easier to get hold of.

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