The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was a high performance sports car manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors and based on the standard Lancer. There have been ten official versions to date, and the designation of each model is most commonly a Roman numeral. All use two-litre, turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive systems.
The Evolution was originally intended only for Japanese markets, but demand on the "grey import" market led the Evolution series to be offered through Ralliart dealer networks in the United Kingdom and in various European markets from around 1998. Japanese-spec cars were limited by a gentlemen's agreement to advertise no more than 276hp, a mark already reached by Evolution IV. Therefore, each subsequent version has unofficially evolved above the advertised power figures, with the Japanese-spec Evolution IX reaching an alleged output of around 317hp.
The Evolution VI was produced from January 1999 until March 2001. The improvements over its predecessor mainly focused on cooling and engine durability. It received a larger intercooler, larger oil cooler, and new pistons. The Evolution VI received new bodywork yet again, with the most easily noticeable change being within the front bumper where the huge fog lights were reduced in size and moved to the corners for better airflow.
Great rally success was achieved in the WRC Rallies from 1996-1999 thanks to the legendry Finn Tommi Makinen for clinching the drivers titles in this period and help from team mate Richard Burns for clinching the constructors championship for the first, and thus far only time in 1998.
In 1999 the Tommi Makinen Edition was released. It featured a different front bumper, red and black Recaro seats embossed with the Tommi Makinen logo, 17-inch white Enkei wheels, a red-stitched leather Momo steering wheel and shift knob, a titanium turbine that spooled up more quickly, front upper strut brace, lowered ride height (with tarmac stages in mind), and a quicker steering ratio, among other things. The car is sometimes referred to as an Evolution 6.5, or TME for short.
The Tommi Makinen Edition was only available in Scotia White, Satellite Silver, Pyrenees Black, Canal Blue, and Passion Red (the only colour scheme available with the Works stripes and decals kit). Out of all the colours, the red is considered to be most collectable; certainly the used car market favours it as values are seen to be increasing year on year. In total there were 2,021 GSR and just 678 RS lightweight variants.