Dream Car: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 4
When someone mentions a Mitsubishi Evolution, there are two images that appear in one’s head:
A stanced Mitsubishi
A rally car
When someone mentions it to me, what I think of are the show-offs who drive them, the high Mitsubishi mileage, and the time a bunch of bogans chased my Subaru down the highway to throw bottles at my car from their Evo.
And then I think of my friends who own them - a fvckboy and a criminal - and then I think of a video game I played 15 years ago called V-Rally.
Aside from the last one, those aren’t good things to think of when someone mentions Evolution. In fact that is sort of the opposite of the meaning of evolution. However, you literally can’t beat a Mitsubishi Evolution when it comes to speed on the cheap.
Because they are so cheap, Mitsubishi Evolutions are often the car-of-choice for the same demographic that likes to lower cars an angle-grinder to the springs, and roll the guards with a baseball bat to cover the 20” chrome wheels that were cool 20 years ago.
A few months ago, one of my friends was selling his Evo 1 GSR - I tried to lowball him unsuccessfully and it sold right before I had a chance to save up.
Today I searched for some cheap speed and found something that fits my tight criteria.
The listing expired so I can’t get pictures of the actual car, but it was a factory-original Evolution 4 in white like the images above.
It had roughly 210,000Km on the odometer, which is reasonably high, but still half of what you find on a Legnum, and it had the same owner for the past decade.
What is extremely unusual for New Zealand is that there were no boost gauges drilled into the dashboard, and there appeared to be no half-empty boxes of Woodstock or Cody’s Bourbon lying on the passenger seats in between KFC and McDonald’s bags. In fact, there were no fast-food bags left anywhere inside.
The owner’s original plan was to make a rally-car out of her, so the only mods were underbody protection and an aftermarket stereo.
I case you didn’t know, the Lancer Evolution is powered by a 4-cylinder DOHC turbo 4G63 that makes 206kW or 280HP from factory, which is connected to a 4WD drivetrain.
I don’t plan on trying to drift or do donuts anytime soon, so 4WD would be very useful in helping me tackle corners at high speed and accelerate out of them quickly, which is something I am highly interested in. The only drawback is the fuel-consumption, however I mostly use the bike to get around so this will most likely be a weekend toy.
The wheels are made by OZ-Racing which are synonymous with rally cars from the 80’s up until today, and proudly bear stickers to show them off to passersby (unlike Speedline).
All this was to be had for a mere $5,000 - in that price range you’d be hard pressed to find any turbo car that has done under 300,000Km, let alone a manual turbo.
Look at that rear - it must be time for a sentimental story.
Way back in the days of old, me and my brother used to play V-Rally on the Nintendo 64. Our family owned a Subaru Legacy and the mechanic’s garage that services Subarus proudly displayed photos and memorabilia of local rally legend Possum Bourne.
Because my brother is older he always chose the 555 Impreza that Possum Bourne raced in, leaving me to choose from the various other cars which included Proton, Seat and Hyundai.
My favourite car to oppose the Subaru was always the Mitsubishi, despite me not knowing their rivalry at that age. As such I would spend many hours trying to catch up to him while staring at the triangular tail-lights of the Evolution 4, which to this day are still my favourite part of the car.