﹒Only 61k miles from new ﹒Comprehensive history file with invoices,MOTs and 18 service stamps! ﹒Great condition inside and out ﹒Recently serviced and fresh MOT
How did what is considered by many to be the ‘ultimate’ version of Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution end up with such a long model name? Well it’s all down to the furious rate of development that the Japanese manufacturers applied to their rally-bred specials during their heyday and beyond. The truth is that by 2007, the glory years for the Evo were behind it in the World Rally Championship. But it continued successfully in other disciplines and the naming developed to distinguish each iteration from the last. Let’s unpick it.
The Lancer Evolution series started out as a model exclusively for the Japanese market but its success in motorsport and an increasing flow of grey imports to other markets led to it being offered officially outside Japan from around 1998. The ‘Lancer Evolution’ moniker was quickly shortened to ‘Evo’ with each major update to the Lancer platform being reflected in the increasing Roman Numerals. The Lancer platform, together with a turbocharged 2 litre inline 4 engine and 4 wheel drive have been a consistent theme throughout. From the Evo IV, a distinguishing feature was the ‘Active Yaw Control’ (AYC). This was an active rear differential which used a sequence of increasingly sophisticated electronics over subsequent versions to counter understeer and provide a handling balance which differentiated it from its also ever-evolving competition, largely from Subaru. In 2001, the Evo VII added an active centre differential and a limited slip front differential.
The Evo VIII introduced the ‘MR’ designation for ‘Mitsubishi Racing’ to demonstrate the involvement of the firm’s motorsport division in the development of the car, and a number of increasingly powerful special editions were launched with the FQ and the bhp (FQ300, FQ320, FQ340, FQ400) with some mythology around the expansion of the FQ, the polite version being “Flippin’ Quick”.
By 2005 we had arrived at the Evo IX version, and the recipe had been iterated to its ultimate version with the 4G63 engine. Here it was tuned to 360bhp – less than the Evo VIII top dog, but with a more road-friendly, torquier delivery. For a final last hurrah, Mitsubishi UK announced a limited run of 200 cars tuned by HKS, the renowned Japanese tuner. Changes included shorter Eibach springs which lowered the car by 10mm at the front and 5mm at the back, Bilstein dampers, Speedline Turini alloys and a set of dials under the radio for battery voltage, oil temperature and turbo boost. The engine featured a titanium turbo impeller, HKS hard pipes, a high flow fuel pump and HKS ECU. An HKS exhaust completed the upgrades which made the car good for 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. The rave reviews reflected the accessible performance on offer as well as its general usability.
The seller acquired this car as part of a private collection of which it has been a part for the last 10 years. Prior to that it shows 3 owners. After serious consideration as to whether to hold on to it, the familiar-to-many problem of too many cars means that it needs to go to owner.
During the serious considerations, the car was treated to a full service and refresh, including new disks and pads all round, rebuilt front Brembo brake callipers, fully refurbed wheels and an AYC pump service. The clutch was changed in 2018. With a fresh MOT, the car is ready to go.
This UK supplied car comes with a full history showing 19 stamps backed in most cases by invoices. 13 of the stamps are main dealers, with the rest from specialist independents. All the manuals are present, together with copies of all the past MOTs, a sure sign of enthusiast owners.
If not for outright luxury, there are many reasons to admire the interior of this FQ360. Prime amongst them is the centre console, in which there is a plaque which marks this car as one of the last few off the production line: it’s number 195 of 200.
The presence of a pair of original Ralliart seat covers goes some way to explaining the condition of the front seats, showing as they do only a minor amount of wear on the driver’s offside bolster. But aside from a worn gear knob, the rest of the interior is also in tip top condition with no evidence of the rear seats seeing any use and both the original radio and an original set of Ralliart floor mats in place.
All of the switchgear works including the all-important active centre diff selector and the tool kit and tyre repair kit are as-new. Both keys are present.
Finished in desirable dark grey with fully refurbed Speedline Corse wheels and original Ralliart mud flaps, the exterior condition mirrors the interior in being a credit to its former keepers. The bodywork is all straight with no dents or major scratches and the Hankook tyres have around 5mm tread remaining. The only blemish of note is a couple of small blisters on the carbon of the top deck of the rear wing. The exhaust and the underside are both in great condition. With its carbon fibre splitter and the vortex-generator above the rear window, it certainly looks like it means business.
The car’s extensive history points to it being in fine fettle and it proves to be so. It drives exactly as it should which is to say ballistic performance, smooth gear change and no smoke on start up or under acceleration. There are no untoward noises and the trick chassis behaves as expected in the different (Tarmac, Gravel and Snow) settings.
In the words of Joni Mitchell “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” and although she certainly didn’t have in mind the passing of the Mitsubishi Evo, it’s clear that the market now realises that we won’t see the like of the Evo again and, in part due to the limited numbers in which they sold when they were new, values are rising quickly.
Although the Evo is not quite in the same bracket for messing with as, say the Nissan GT-R, many are no strangers to the lure of further tuning. However in terms of value, what really matters is originality. Here we have a completely standard late example in prime condition which means that, left unmolested, it should prove a good investment.
But do we really want to see cars like this treated as ‘investable assets’, stored away in museums? Shouldn’t they be out there, being used as they were designed and enjoyed to the full? After all, this is an example of one of the most capable point to point cars out there. Ultimately, that will be a decision for the next owner and in our opinion they would be on to a winner either way. But if you want to get to choose, then get bidding now as there’s sure to be a great deal of competition!
Notice to bidders
Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.
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