This squeaky-clean Tommi Makinen edition Evo VI gives us serious rally fever
Mitsubishi was a dominant force in World Rally Championship (WRC) racing throughout the late ’90s. Battling the likes of Subaru and Colin McRae, Mitsubishi team driver Tommi Makinen took home four consecutive WRC driver’s championships from 1996 to 1999 in the venerable Lancer Evolution. For the year 2000, Mitsubishi commemorated his achievements with a Tommi Makinen edition Lancer Evolution IV RS. A lot of us probably remember ripping around circuits with it in Grand Turismo 2, and this extremely clean example recently up for auction on Collecting Cars in the U.K brings all of those virtual memories to the surface.
At its core, the Tommi Makinen edition is a standard, road-going 2000 Evo VI RS with some well-thought-out tweaks. The most apparent change is the special body kit, which replicates the one used on the actual competition rally cars. Seventeen-inch, white Enkei wheels completed the rally stance. Paint schemes could be had in Scotia White, Canal Blue, Satellite Silver, Pyrenees Black Pearl, or the highly desired Passion Red with the optional decal package to emulate Makinen’s real rally machines. Changes to the interior included Recaro seats embossed with “T. Makinen Edition” on GSR models and a sporty Momo steering wheel.
Upgrades were not purely cosmetic, though. Plenty of mechanical improvements help make to make this the ultimate Evo VI: 10-mm lower suspension, quicker steering ratio, strut tower bracing, special fuel tank baffling, and a quicker-spooling turbo. Mitsubishi built 4092 examples of the Tommi Makinen Evo in total, according to GTR-Registry.com, with the majority destined for the Japanese Domestic Market.
The car that was featured on Collecting Cars, before the vehicle was withdrawn from auction, is a near-flawless, 26,386-kilometer (18,259 miles) RS model in Scotia White. The RS was Mitsubishi’s stripped-down variant, so the more loaded GSR is the one to have, but the quality of this car’s condition should outweigh that disparity.
Anyone who follows Evos already knows that these cars are almost always driven hard and have been upgraded at one point or another. While 276 horsepower is nothing to scoff at (remember, this figure was the “limit” according to a gentleman’s agreement between Japanese manufacturers), the Evo’s 4G63 engine is incredibly responsive to upgrades and can crack 500 hp without much effort.
Bidding got up to £35,250 ($47,490) at the end of last week, before the sale abruptly ended. The top auction result for a Tommi Makinen Evo currently stands at $61,000. Those of us in the United States will need to wait until 2024 at the earliest until we can import one of these JDM beauties. Who knows what values will look like when that day comes, although these will most certainly a hot commodity when it’s eligible for import under the 25-year rule. If this is any indication of the money it will take to turn your Gran Turismo dreams into a reality, the time to start start saving is now.