Lancer Evolution is a rally-inspired car and has been
appearing in Asia and Europe for more than a decade, and the Evo VIII
made her debut at LA auto show on Jan 3, 2003. In those years before her
debut, Americans only saw Lancer Evolutions from the Speed Channel or
on Sony Playstation's Grand Turismo.
In 1992, the Mitsubishi Ralliart works team decided to develop a car on
the compact and lighter weighted Lancer sedan. It was the born of Lancer
Evolution I was powered by a 2-liter intercooler-turbocharged engine
with a high-performance 4-wheel drive system and it weighted 1,170 kg/2,574
lb. With the 250 horsepower (hp).
In 1993, Evo II was launched with 260 hp and better handling. The modifications
to the engine included an increase in turbo boost pressure, and increased
valve life. The changes for better handling included larger wheels and
tires, longer wheelbase, a wider track, longer struts and greater camber
adjustment. Those changes made for a quicker steering response and a higher
Evo III was launched in 1995, with 270 hp@6250rpm. A new turbocharger
compressor and a higher compression ratio from 8.5:1 to 9:1 were put into
the new engine. Plus, a second intercooler was equipped for stabilizing
power and torque at high engine speeds. In order to achieve better aerodynamic
performance, the front bumper openings were enlarged, a larger airdam,
and a larger rear wing (rear spoiler).
In 1996, Lancer was redesigned, which gave Evolution a new look. The engine
was the same 4G63. A twin-scroll turbocharger improved supercharging performance
that generated more torque in the low and medium range. Also a secondary
air induction system improved turbo on-off response by feeding pressurized
air above the turbine and reducing negative pressure.
Active Yaw Control (AYC) was installed and allows the car to trace the
line chosen by the driver more precisely through a high g-force corner.
AYC is an electronically controlled system that control the movement of
the car through a curve by regulating the torque split between the right
and left rear wheels.
Evo V was launched in 1998. Evo V was equipped with wider tracked, 17-inch
wheels with wide 225/45R17 tire as standard. Braking system was upgraded
with Brembo 17-inch ventilated disc at the front and 16-inch at the rear.
Cooling performance was enhanced with larger grille openings to match
the uprated radiator. An aluminum wing (rear spoiler) with adjustable
angle was used.
Evo VI was introduced in 1999. A twinwing rear spoiler design made up
for the reduction in downforce resulting its smaller size. Cooling performance
was enhanced more by using smaller fog lamps to enlarge the bumper openings.
A titanium-alloy turbocharger was used. The new oil cooler stabilized
oil temperature at high engine loads. A special "Tommi Makinen"
Edition of Evo VI was introduced in January, 2000.
In 2001, Mitsubishi launched Evo VII. Evolution VII was especially designed
for achieving weight savings. Aluminum was used instead of steel. Active
Center Differential (ACD) took the 4WD drivetrain improvement even further.
The ACD allows the driver to distribute the torque equally between the
front and rear tires, improving both steering response and traction control.
Lancer Evolution VIII is based on the design of Evo VII to meet the collusion
standard of the U.S. So Mitsubishi designs the Evo VIII with 178.5 inches
in length, and that is 3.11 inches longer than the Evo VII. In the U.K.,
there are two version of Evolution: Base and FQ-300. The base model has
the maximum output of 276hp@6500rpm and the maximum torque 289 lb-ft@3500rpm
.The FQ-300 version even reaches to 301hp@6200rpm and 300 lb-ft@4500rpm.
The Evolution VIII released in the U.S. has 271hp@6500rpm and 273lb-ft@3500rpm.