Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI (1999) history and technical infos

The Lancer Evolution VI was announced in late 1998 and went in production by early 1999. Mitsubishi apparently insisted on producing GroupA spec cars for the greatest satisfaction of its buyer base. At least 2500 Evolution VIs had to be produced to get the FIA homologation and most mainly sold in Japan. Unfortunately this new version is the last of its breed. Mitsubishi officially announced on September the 21st 2000 that starting from 2001 they will only produce WRC class cars for competition purposes. This statement means that no more street legal versions will be available to potential buyers since they are no longer required for homologation. The new Mitsubishi WRC car is said to appear by October 2000 and its first WRC rally will be the Catalunya 2001. It will NOT be another Lancer Evolution. The Lancer Evolution series will still be produced but will not be the base of the competition models.

The Lancer Evolution VI is the most accomplished road going version of any homologation special car ever produced. Its technical specs are extremely impressive as are its road holding abilities and handling. There has never been, and will most probably never will be, a mass production car able to overtake the Lancer in its realm i.e. twisty mountain roads, gravel or snow. The Lancer has not only a most capable engine but also an extremely rigid and torsion-free chassis combined to a moderate weight. These advantages over similar cars make it feel out of this world in comparison.

It seems that, unlike the previous Lancer versions, the Evolution VI will be easier to purchase (until proof of the contrary) in countries other than Japan, especially in Europe where independent companies and official Mitsubishi subsidiaries import samples and get the necessary paperwork done in order to render the cars street legal. The new evolution’s specification is strictly the same as the Lancer’s Evolution V on the blueprint and can be found here. Below are the details that make the Evolution VI different to the Evolution V.

Lancer Evolution VI

The Lancer Evolution VI in its RS version. Picture : Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in Japan

The Lancer EvolutionVI in its RS version

Not many major changes occur when examining the latest evolution of this already legendary car. Minor aerodynamic modifications in the engine bay include a hot air extractor (pictured below) placed at the front right wing and reminding those of the Ford Escort RS Cosworth and the Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione of old. Additional cooling is provided in the engine bay by ducting and having placed the license plate in a more appropriate location.

Other aerodynamic changes include a slightly modified front end, reminding the Evolution IV, and a totally different rear, double-deck, adjustable wing, pictured below.

The latest evolution of the Lancer now sports a unique, titanium turbine wheel in its turbocharger while the compressr wheel is still made of a, more classic, aluminum alloy. The new device is reported to be much more keen to endure high mechanical strains and provide a very high flow rate even at extremely high rotational speeds. The titanium turbocharger is only mounted in the RS version which is destined to racing only (i.e. otherwise stripped down). New pistons and conrods have also made their way into the 4G63 Mitsubishi engine. Add some more refined electronic engine management and you get more than 52Kgm of torque in rallying spec and 38Kgm in street spec, amazing! Engine output is still reported at 300Bhp for the rallying version but remember that this is the theoretical limit the FIA has fixed so all manufacturers report the same engine output. The street version is reported to have an output of 280Bhp but this time it’s the Japanese authorities limit for street legal cars so the real output might be well above the one officially announced. The engine now uses a bigger oil cooler and a new water duct layout in its block to provide additional piston cooling Just like its predecessor the EvolutionVI uses an aluminum engine hood.

The suspension went through some finishing touches, when compared to that of the Evolution V. The front and rear arms are now made out of aluminum alloy and the rear suspension’s roll center has been lowered. These modifications allow for greater cornering speeds as compared to those on the Evolution V. The Evolution VI inherited the previous version’s main drawback its lack of sufficient suspension travel at the rear wheels. This disadvantage, when compared to the WRC class cars, makes the car handle nervously and inefficiently on gravel.

The new car still uses Brembo calipers but this time more rigid models are used. Brake calipers use a fixed 4 pot design in the front and a fixed 2 pot design at the rear.

No changes occur in the transmission layout and design. The RS version now uses a double plate clutch. The competition version started using a third hydro-electronic differential at the rear as of the rally of San Remo in 1999.

Finally Mitsubishi now offers the Evolution VI in a variety of attractive colors and the interior and dashboard use a more appealing design. A new design of OZRacing wheels is used in the Evolution VI but maintains the dimensions used on the previous model.

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The fully furbished GSR version of the Lancer EvolutionVI

For the 1999 season the Lancers were driven by the 1998 World Rally Champion Tommi Mäkinen and ex-TTE driver Freddie Loix. Although new contenders were now in the race for the WRC title like Ford with the Focus WRC car and Peugeot with the 206 WRC, Mitsubishi had more than a chance of winning a new World title. A proof of this statement was brought by the Evolution VI winning its first ever official rally entry, the 1999 Monte Carlo rally. Although the Lancer Evolution VI is but a small step away from its predecessor, technically speaking, the fact it won in the first two events it took part in (Monte Carlo and the Rally of Sweden 1999) did more than imply that the quality of its engineering and accomplishment had matured. Well done for both Mitsubishi and RalliArt.

It was only in the 2000 season that the Lancer started showing signs of its age. All of Mäkinen‘s talent was insufficient to produce significant results, it was definitely time for Mitsubishi to start blueprinting a new World Class contender…

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI (1999): Learn more about this car

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