A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £46,688
By mid-1996, Mitsubishi’s rallying success began to really reflect in Lancer Evolution sales. The 1996 WRC season brought Mitsubishi, together with a blisteringly quick Finn named Tommi Makinen, its first World Rally Championship drivers’ title. The fiercely competitive Makinen borrowed the phrase ‘maximum attack’ and used it to devastating effect. By 1997, rallying had captured the imagination of petrol-heads all over the world and Mitsubishi sold 6,000 Evolution IVs in the first three days of its launch! In quick succession, the Lancer Evolution VI came to be and in the latter-half of 1999, Mitsubishi unleashed a special edition to celebrate its favourite son’s four consecutive WRC drivers’ titles from 1996-1999 – the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI ‘Tommi Makinen Edition’ (TME). The Evolution VI was already a technological tour de force, but the TME had a more responsive titanium turbocharger, uprated and lowered suspension (‘tuned to give improved initial response on tarmac surfaces’), quicker steering, a different exhaust, a new ECU, beefed-up transfer case internals, a redesigned front bumper for even better cooling and authentic 17-inch WRC Enkei alloy wheels. Plus there was a special interior, featuring embossed Recaro seats, a MOMO steering wheel and red stitching. The performance upgrades saw the 0-60mph sprint obliterated in 4.4 seconds and a maximum top speed of 150 mph. Power was rumoured to be over 300bhp, rather than the 276bhp ‘agreement’. Widely regarded as the finest Lancer to wear the Evolution badge, it was now available in five colours, with Passion Red and Canal Blue joining Scotia White, Pyrenean Black and Satellite Silver. Only 250 TMEs (across the five colours) were officially imported into the UK, with 100 examples going to Australia, and the rest sold domestically in the Japanese Market. Official figures show that of the UK’s allocation, only 50 examples were in Passion Red. According to Mitsubishi, it was these Passion Red cars that automatically received the renowned racing decals, known as a ‘Special Colour Package’ (SCP), meaning these cars were factory-fitted with black door handles (so as to not break the line of the long profile decal). In the world of Mitsubishi aficionados, the consensus is that there were just 212 official factory SCP examples of the TME produced. The car presented here then is very special indeed. Not only is it a genuine Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition (CP9A / SNGF2) SCP car (i.e. one of 212), but it is also an official UK-market example. This means it was officially imported by Mitsubishi-affiliated ‘Ralliart UK’, hence it would have been professionally SVA’d and is supplied with UK service books, a calibrated speedometer, an unleaded-spec fuel restrictor, cold-climate battery and an alternator, plus it is individually number on a plaque in the cabin (number 017). The car was originally sold to its first owner through Marshall Mitsubishi of Cambridge. It has an impressive servicing history, which combined with MOT data helps verify its mileage of just 30,000. Our car-enthusiast vendor bought the car in 2010 and has maintained/serviced it thoroughly as part of a collection. There are quite a few ex-Japan ‘grey (personal) import’ TME cars in the UK, in the variety of the five available colours, often with high mileages, dubious modifications and no history. The only really credible comparison, with this car is the TME SCP car owned by Mitsubishi Heritage ‘Y851 GHW’, which is used by Mitsubishi in the UK for press/marque events. ‘Y851 GHW’ is number 006 and was first registered in the UK on the 14.06.01, whilst number 017 was first registered on the 16.07.01. ‘Y851 GHW’ has covered almost 10,000 miles, has Tommi Makinen’s signature on its bonnet and is supposedly insured for a three figure amount! The Evolution VI TME as a genuine SCP car and a UK-edition has real credibility, being both hugely capable and rare; it is no surprise that they are rightly touted as an appreciating modern-classic, with all the ingredients to be a shrewd investment.