Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, colloquially known as the Lancer Evo or Evo, is a high-performance sedan manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors. 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 four-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. Mitsubishi decided to export the eighth generation Evolution to the United States in 2003 after witnessing the success Subaru had in that market with their Impreza WRX, a direct competitor in other global regions.
Japanese-spec cars were limited by a gentlemen's agreement to advertise no more than 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp), 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 321 PS (236 kW; 317 hp). Various versions available in other markets, particularly the UK, have official power outputs up to 411 PS (302 kW; 405 hp). The tenth generation of the Lancer Evolution was launched in Japan 2007, and overseas markets in 2008.
The original Lancer Evolution was to compete in the World Rally Championship. It used the 2.0 L turbocharged DOHC engine and 4WD drivetrain from the original Galant VR-4 in a Lancer chassis, and was sold in GSR and RS models. The latter was a stripped-down club racing version that lacked power windows and seats, anti-lock brakes, a rear wiper, and had steel wheels to weigh approximately 70 kg (154 lb) less than the 1,238 kg (2,729 lb) GSR, while the former came with all of the conveniences of a typical street car. It came with Mitsubishi's 4G63 engine producing 247 PS (182 kW; 244 hp) at 6000 rpm and 309 N·m (228 lb·ft) at 3000 rpm. 5,000 of the first generation Evolutions were sold between 1992 and 1993. Top speed is 228 km/hour (142 mph)
The Evolution I was upgraded in December 1993, and was produced until 1995. It consisted mainly of handling improvements, including minor wheelbase adjustments, larger swaybars, bodywork tweaks including a larger spoiler, and tyres that were 10 mm (0.4 in) wider. This Evolution also has a 50 l (13.2 US gal; 11.0 imp gal) fuel tank. Power output was increased to 256 PS (188 kW; 252 hp) from the same engine and torque was unchanged for both GSR and RS models.