Remember when the World Rallying Championship and sideways excitement became synonymous with Mitsubishi? This was because of the dominance of the Lancer Evolution rallycars that brought home numerous world championship titles for Mitsubishi. After ceasing its factory WRC efforts in 2005, the Lancer Evolution road car has continued to win the hearts of performance-oriented enthusiasts. But after having been perfected for ten generations, Mitsubishi has finally decided to discontinue the revered model as they shift their efforts towards crossovers and PHEVs. Here are our favorite generations as a tribute to the great Lancer Evolution:
Lancer Evolution III CE9A (Feb ’95 – Aug ’96)Boasting of more aggressive styling, it had better brakes, and 270 horsepower due to the improvements made on the turbo and higher compression ratios. It won its first WRC victory in the second round of the 1995 season, the Swedish Rally, steered by Kenneth Erikson. The following year Tommi Makinen piloted his Lancer Evolution to the 1996 WRC drivers’ title.
Lancer Evolution V CP9A (Jan ’98 – Jan ’99)
It featured Recaro seats, blistered front fenders and flared rear fenders to bring its width up to the maximum WRC regulations. Other changes included wider tracks as well as inverted shock absorbers and aluminum lower control arms. If it were based on looks alone, it would have to be the most badass looking among the bunch. Power was also up to 276 hp.
Lancer Evolution VI CP9A Tommi Mäkinen Edition (Dec. ’99)
4-Time WRC Rally Champ, Tommi Mäkinen’s special edition Lancer Evo VI came with unique red paint and decals, special Recaro seats, 17-inch Enkei wheels and performance tweaks like the lowered stance or a quicker steering ratio. Apart from that, it was basically the same 276-horsepower (gentlemen’s agreement) with 275 lb-ft of torque at tap.
Lancer Evolution VII CT9A (Mar. ’01 – Jan ’03)
Derived from the larger Lancer Cedia, the Evo VII went up in size and weight, but the biggest change was the addition of an active center differential and a more effective limited-slip differential. Torque was up to 284 lb·ft with engine tweaks that allowed greater airflow, and horsepower officially remained at 280 PS.
Lancer Evolution X Final Edition (FE) CZ4A (Oct ’07 – May ’16)
Based on the current Evolution X GSR, the hood, front fenders, and roof are aluminum, and the 2.0-liter 4B11 turbocharged four now puts out 303 hp. The suspension features Eibach springs Bilstein shocks, those big Brembo brakes behind 18-inch Enkei wheels. Only 1,600 units were made for the U.S.