News - Mitsubishi

Evo: let your hair hang down

Powerhouse: The Mitsubishi RalliArt Evolution 6 promises Porsche-rivalling performance.

A hundred lucky buyers will soon be able to get their hands on one of the fastest sedans on the planet

Mitsubishi logo5 Jun 2000

THE low-volume Subaru Impreza WRX STi could be about to lose its title of "bang for buck" king.

Mitsubishi's motorsport division - RalliArt - has confirmed it plans to import 100 examples of the Lancer Evolution 6 Tommi Makinen Edition around October.

The limited edition road rocket will be sold here independent of Mitsubishi Australia, owing to the Federal Office of Road Safety's low-volume import regulations.

It will be distributed through RalliArt's Australian network and serviced by designated "Evo specialists" around the country.

RalliArt sales manager Mr Stephen Bell says pricing is yet to be finalised, but suggests it will be around $80,000.

This represents a premium of nearly $20,000 over the WRX STi sedan, bur Mr Bell says the Mitsubishi will be better equipped.

It will be marketed as the Mitsubishi RalliArt Evolution 6 - no Lancer badging will appear on the car - to enable it to comply with the low-volume import regulations.

The limited edition model was launched in Japan in January to commemorate Tommi Makinen's victory in the world rally championship for the fourth year in succession.

At its heart is a super potent, 2.0-litre, turbocharged engine that develops 206kW at 6500rpm and 373Nm at 2750rpm - compared with the Subaru Impreza WRX STi's outputs of 206kW at 6500rpm and 353Nm at 4000rpm.

Complementing the high-tech engine is a state of the art four-wheel drive system that uses a centre viscous coupling.

Torque is split 50/50 between front and rear wheels in normal conditions but this can vary depending on how slippery the road surface is.

Keeping the car in contact with the tarmac are chunky 225/45ZR17tyres wrapped around 10-spoke alloy wheels.

Stopping power comes from massive ventilated discs - 17-inch diameter at the front and 16-inch at the rear.

The Evo 6 tips the scales at 1360kg - about 90kg more than the super Sube - but respected British publication Autocar recently rated the Mitsubishi a dynamically superior car.

Autocar went as far as to say "it handles like no other road car".

The 100 examples to be sold here will be offered in four colours - red, white, silver and black.

Only a handful of black cars were to have been brought in originally but this decision seems certain to be revised.

"Black is the colour of the month - everyone wants a black one," Mr Bell said.

Inside, the Evo 6 features Recaro bucket seats trimmed in red fabric/suede upholstery. The dashboard is finished in black with red lettering.

A Momo steering wheel and gearknob continue the sporting theme and the gearshift boot is trimmed in red stitched leather.

Dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, remote central locking and power windows will be standard equipment.

Each car will be individually numbered by RalliArt, so its collector status seems assured.

It will be the first turbocharged, all-wheel drive Mitsubishi sedan sold here since the Lancer GSR was discontinued in July, 1996.

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