When Mitsubishi ruled Rally World

History

In the history of motorsport, there have been countless periods of success that manufacturers or teams have enjoyed. This happens repeatedly in the discipline, where victories flow easily. Although uncommonly rare is cross-discipline dominance, where a creator is at the top in various aspects of the game.

In the late 1990’s, Rally traveled the world as Mitsubishi king.

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From the snow-capped mountain trails outside Monte Carlo to the ravines of the Sahara Desert, three-pointed diamond machines proved untouchable. World Rally Championship? Easy. Four driver titles from 1996 to 1999, as well as the title of sole manufacturer in 1998.

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But what about the terrible challenges of Rally Raid and Dakar Rally? Twelve wins speak for themselves in the world’s toughest event from 1985 to 2007, but 11 wins in 16 years from 1992 are just as impressive as yours. The times were good for Mitsubishi, and the success of the competition spread to the world of their production cars.

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But go to a Mitsubishi dealership today, and it would not be unexpected to feel complete frustration with the current lineup. That is, you can even find a Mitsubishi dealership. No one in the UK and Ireland. In Japan and the United States, you have the option of an Eclipse-badged crossover, an Outlander SUV or a Mirage compact. That’s it.

To make things even more frustrating, if you were to tour a Mitsubishi showroom in the late 90’s, you would love a Mirage, FTO, an eclipse, a wild looking gallant, a reliable Lancer or a Pajero /. Show off for some off-roading. The GTO also had a really good sports car, while the whole range was filled with performance models like the Mirage Cyborg, FTO GPX and Galant VR-4.

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Even typing the last paragraph melts the mind, the depth of the Mitsubishi model range was so much 25 years ago now.

But there are two Hello models that existed in the 1998 lineup that were truly exceptional machines and are incredible to stand by this pair today.

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1998/1999 was a special time for Mitsubishi, as already explained, with unprecedented success in the WRC and Dakar. It flowed directly to consumers when a pair of amazing homosexuality features were revealed to the world.

Lancer

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The evolutionary name has been around since 1992, along with the Lancer, it was the Evo VI which is rightly acclaimed as the model’s top. Offensive from almost every angle, it was a pure function designed to win at special levels. The wings, vents, and openings are Evo’s top, and when comparing the styling with that of the Impress of the same era, it’s clear that Mitsubishi has improved on what was once a four-door sedan.

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The Evo we see today is a JDM car that was exported to Canada in 2016 where it was purchased by its current owner Glenn. When Glenn had the opportunity to return to Ireland in 2021, the Lancer was loaded into a shipping container to begin another chapter of his life.

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Walking around the incredibly well-preserved original paintwork, it is clear that the car has been cared for over the years. Externally, a set of Yokohama Advance Racing RG wheels in a 17 × 8.5-inch fitment really sets things up; The contrast between black and gold is completely timeless. Michelin Pilot Sport 4 Wrapped in rubber and perched on Tein coilovers, the Evo quickly descends the countless alleys that surround its new home in the Irish countryside.

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While Mitsubishi initially changed the amount of space available for the Evo VI, most of the original equipment could be retained or improved in some way. In Glenn’s car, the brakes are factory brambos, but now benefit from the Goodridge Braided Line and the Winmax W3 Pads.

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Leaving the foot inside, it’s a celebration of black plastic in the mid-90s, but it’s a notable feature of many homosexual specialties. From the driver’s point of view, things didn’t move very much from the base model, although the recaro seat from the factory and the addition of a Momo wheel give a few clues to Ivor’s underpinnings. The only additions to the cabin are AEM air / fuel ratio and boost gauge, both integrated into the factory cluster.

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Although many of the touches that Glenn had in his possession were subtle, it was somewhat different under the bonnet. The original 2.0L 4G63T engine remains, but is now fed by a Tomei M7960 Turbo, FIC 750cc injector and a Walbro fuel pump. A pair of billet GSC’s Stage 1 ′ cam helps in quick turbo spooling while adding a little glitch while idle.

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The front also has a GReddy LS Spec intercooler and a C-Tec 3-inch split waste gate, a turbo elbow and a drain-down exhaust pipe combined with a Fujitsubo Legalis R cat-back system.

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ECU stock remains, but it has been custom-mapped. English Racing of Portland, Oregon is a well-known manufacturer of wild and fast things, but specializes in Mitsubishi Evo builds for events like Texas 2K. An Evo VI is not yet legally approved in the United States, so I’d like to imagine that its journey across the Canadian border has attracted a lot of attention from JDM fans. In their in-house dynamo, the English racing team unleashed 334whp and 328lb / ft from the setup.

Shake off

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Following Glen’s Evo VI was a treat in itself, but doing it from her Others Mitsubishi was something else. Enter the Pajero Evolution.

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As you can see, the Canadian climate can be quite snowy and cold all year long, and when you own an incredibly well-built Evo VI that you like to maintain perfectly, it makes sense to keep it away and use something. A little more laborious for daily crushing. This JDM unicorn has been in Glenn’s possession since its purchase in 2019.

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Earlier I talked about the complete dominance of Mitsubishi at the Dakar Rally in the late 90’s and for the 1998 event they decided to mix things up. The call trend for the T1 Unlimited Class was moving towards the purpose-built buggy – as evidenced by the 1999 and 2000 victories for Schleswer – so Mitsubishi’s attention shifted to the Class T2, the state of production-oriented vehicles.

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Learning from their knowledge of the World Rally Championship, the Pajero Evolution was born in late 1997. Although some similarities mimic the relative appearance of special competition, Pajero was exposed to the world – whether to run the school or not. A casual full-speed explosion through the desert. Everything turns up to 11.

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Below the obscene wide arch is a suspension setup that is completely unique from the 2,500 Pajero Evos built. Double wishbone and extremely long-traveling coilover shocks precede, while the multi-link independent suspension with coilover replaces the old Coil-Sprung Live Excel of the regular Pajero model.

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Bulbs bonnet hides a 6G74 3.5L 24-valve V6 with MIVEC and dual plenum variable receivers. This is a completely unique application, including many accessory items used only in this model. Most of the Pajero Evos produced by Mitsubishi between 1997 and 1999 – including this one – received a 5-speed automatic transmission, similar to the ones used on call machines, but there are a few factory manuals in the wild.

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Being alone in the presence of the Pajero Evolution was special, but throwing out the keys was an unexpected bonus. Shipwrecked and snug inside the beautiful Recaro, the gauge and carbon fiber-look trim bits give clues to the animal’s potential.

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The wild nature of the Pajero evolution is present from every angle. Save for the rallyart exhaust, Glenn retains his originality, until the first day’s toolkit.

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And what about the 1998 Dakar and the decision to enter the T2 production class? Well, the Pajero Evolution, by itself pushing the absolute boundaries of a production vehicle, not only won directly, but also came second and third.

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Mitsubishi may have become a faded version of their once influential people, but this Evo pair has found a new life on the third continent. Although the Lancer is now complete, the Pajero is ready for a major recovery after years of proper driving and exploration.

Sean Donnelly
Instagram: Seandon
Facebook: CianDonPhotography

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