The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was originally developed in the early 1990s to compete in the World Rally Championship (WRC) racing series and abide by homologation rules. Packing a powerful turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, the Lancer Evolution quickly became a successful rally car. Early road-going versions of the Evo were originally just meant for the Japanese home market, but this didn’t stop the car from developing a cultlike following around the world. Finally, for the 2003 model year, Mitsubishi started importing official road-going Lancer Evolutions to the North American market.
The Evolution (or “Evo”) is based on the Lancer compact sedan. The two cars don’t have much in common beyond their body and interior design, however. Whereas the regular Lancer is a rather mundane economy car despite its edgy styling, the pumped-up, flared-fendered Evo is turbocharged, boisterous and ready to lay down rubber on a racetrack.
Despite its humble beginnings as an average economy car, the Evo can accelerate and corner with all but the fastest production cars on the market. Finding a well-kept used example may be tough, but is certainly worth the effort. If you’re interested in a new Evo, then you’d better act quickly, because its days are likely numbered.