GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

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1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI

black_evovi.jpg


SPEX

Year: 1999-2000
Class: Sport Compact
Type: 4-door sedan
 
Country: Japan 
Host: GT2, GT3, GT4, & GT5
 
Price: $32,480 (GT2 & GT3),
         $21,111 (GT4/GSR)
         $16,886 (GT4/RS)
         $32,980 (GT5/GSR T.M. SCP)

 Construction: unit steel
Length: 171.26" // Width: 69.7" // Height: 55.7"
Wheelbase: 98.8"
Overhang: @ 6 feet
TracK: 59.5" [F] 59.25" [R]
Ground Clearance: 5.9"
Weight: 2,997 pounds
Steering: power-assisted rack & pinion
 
Layout: Front Engine / All-Wheel Drive
Tires: 225/45ZR-17 Bridgestone Potenza SO-2
F. Suspension: MacPherson struts, lwr. wishbones, shox, coils, anti-roll bar
R. Suspension: multilink, coils, anti-roll bar, lwr. wishbones, shox
Brakes: vented discs with 4-pot calipers (f) and 2-pot {r}

*GT5 car was tested as a Premium model with very low mileage and incomplete break-in period
 
Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC inline 4
Construction: aluminum block & head
Aspiration: intercooled twin turbo

GT3 Tested HP: 310 @ 6,400 rpms    
GT4 Tested HP: 311 @ 6,500 rpm 
GT5 Tested HP: 302 @ 6,500

GT3 Tstd Torqe:
306 @ 3,500 rpms   
GT4 Tstd Torqe: 305 @ 3,000 rpm
GT5 Tstd Torqe: 295 @ 3,000

 
                          GT3           GT4          GT5
Credits / HP:```$104.77       $67.88      $109.20 
Pounds / HP:    9.66             9.64           9.92
HP / Liter:                           155.7          151.2
 

Fuel System: EFi
Valves / Cyl: 4
Bore x Stroke: 3.35 x 3.46"
Compression: 8.8:1

GT2 Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000
GT3 Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 7,500
 
GT4 Idle: 1,000 // Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 7,500
GT5 Idle: 900  // Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 7,500
 
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Differential: open front, limited-slip center & rear

                      GT3                   GT4                 GT5
0-60 mph: no test          5.233 seconds         5.019
0-100mph: no test         12.416                     12.321
0-150mph: no test         33.816                  @ 40.5xx
 
400 M:    no test     13.858 @ 106 mph    13.607 @ 104 
1 Kilom:
no test     24.831 @ 135 mph     24.742 @ 133

100-zero mph:                     3.43 seconds      5.55 secs
Test Track Lap:                       no test

Top Gear RPM @ 60 mph: 2,750 (GT4)          2,875 (GT5)

Top Speed at Redline (probably GT4)
1st: 41 mph
2nd: 57 mph
3rd: 81 mph
4th: 110 mph
5th: 159.57 mph @ 7,500 rpm

Top Speed at Redline (GT5)
1st: 40.0 mph
2nd: 55.0
3rd: 77.9
4th: 107.1
5th 155.6 mph @ 7,250 rpm
 
 

purple_evo6.jpg


-------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY--------------
 
Here's yet another one I've seemingly totally neglected in these reviews until recently. I'm sure some of you have noticed that to date I have published not a single review on the Lancer series...excuse me...I have not published a single review of the Lancer "Evolution".
 
Well believe it or not, I actually have raced plenty of Evos; I must've since I have detailed spec sheets on an Evo II, a IV, and an Evo VI rally car. Perhaps I drove these cars (in GT2) to fufill some obligations like the 4-wheel drive races, and certainly the Evolution Meeting manufacturer-only races come to mind. In any event, it's clear I never got to know this car when I drove it in GT2; I have the spec sheets, but absolutely no memory of driving any of them.
 
This has changed recently (which means within the last week). I am happy to say I've finally embraced the Evo. I have joined millions of others with some Lancer  ‘dEvotion’. :-)
 
You may not know that in America, Lancers are rare, and Evos are somewhat unique. I used to think it was due to the fact that Hondas are cheaper, but it's actually not cost--it's availability. Only since 1999 has Mitsubishi decided to start exporting Lancers (and Lancer Evos) to America. Why? My theory is: Mitsubishi is one of the largest companies in the world. They don't just make cars and trucks, they also make electronics, appliances, aircraft, shipping vessels, and a variety of components. Despite their status as a worldwide giant, Mitsubishi has never enjoyed strong automotive sales here year after year, the way Honda and Toyota have. The Lancer in particular is not very popular in the United States, as I mentioned. The Galant and Eclipse do better, but pale in comparison to Camrys and Civics in the sales department.
 
This has changed with the advent of us: the PlayStation generation. Take a visit to most any website with Evo info, and you'll see in all honesty that Gran Turismo is almost singlehandedly responsible for the Evo's late popularity here in the States. Forza Motorsport started lending a hand once the Xbox came on the market, but Gran Turismo got there first. Like the Skyline, most of us wouldn't know or care about the Lancer Evo series if it wasn't for our game. It's true, and it's stated in print again and again. Another factor is that after 1999, WRC (World Rally Championship) rules no longer specified that a manufacturer's production models needed to resemble its racing models. This is why the latest Evos have become increasingly different from racing to production so far as style & weight are concerned.
 
Speaking of the WRC, it also doesn't hurt that Lancer Evos have won the WRC not once, not twice...but four times in a row, piloted by Finnish driver Tommi Mäkinen. Incidentally, Tommi quit Mitsubishi after that fourth win; the Evo VI happened to be his last drive before Mitsubishi stopped Group A racing. Why? There is some speculation about this; most people think it has to do with weight, and it's true that as the Lancer has gained popularity, it has also gained pounds. Compare an Evo II to the Evo VI and you'll find the latter car has about 250 pounds over the earlier. Even as I drive an Evo IV, then hop in an Evo VI, the difference is obvious as I'll outline in the Handling section below. But so far as Tommi goes, I think he just wanted to retire while he was hot.

There are a variety of Lancer models in our games, so let's have a look at a few of them.

In real-life, the Lancer can be bought in several different variations: sedans, and (I believe) wagons. But it's only the Evolutions that are found in our games, other than a few Lancer classics. PD specifically focuses on the very top models as well: the GSR and the RS. The GSR is the more civilian-friendly model, while the RS is stripped of weight & several features to make it better for amateur-level racing.   

There are several versions of the GSR and RS in real-life, as well, and PD further defines certain model packages in the games, like Tommi Mäkinen versions in GT4 and GT5. GT5's T.M. SCP can only be bought as a Premium model, which features a dash composed mostly of mundane, dark plastic and perhaps vinyl. Nothing special, really, but this car also some eye-catching red gauges and a handsome black & silver steering wheel. The seats (genuine Recaros, as we can see during replays) are a striking red & black. Tachometer and speedometer are both present and easy-to-read. The GSR costs a bit more than it did in earlier games, but in my opinion it's worth it. Real-life Evo VI's cost about $27,000, and a TM version could fetch up to $57,000, according to Supercars.net. Trust me, it's all worth it!
 
Now let's have a look at what's going on under the hood.

manniken_evo.jpg

---------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN----------------

One thing I know is there's little that's negative to say here. Among the cast of characters represented by the Gran Turismo series, the Lancer Evolution may not be star of the play in every scene, but it does take a lead role every now and then--thanks in part to its fantastic power source and great traction on all surfaces.
 
This small 4G63T-coded engine, in conjunction with a set of titanium-aluminum turbochargers, does its job so efficiently and with a lack of lag, it's easy to forget you're being hurled around by a 2.0 liter inline-4. Unlike Impreza Stis, which possess a higher redline and tend to scream (or at least grumble and pound as they deliver), the Evos (even the higher powered red & white rally cars) get the same job done but with more of a midrange rasp. Or a bassy hum, since they feature a lower redline. It's what highlights the differences between Sti and Evo, and lends each car certain strengths and weaknesses.
 
Neither Subie or Mitsu really stands out against the other, however; but this is mainly because both cars are of a similar weight and boast similar dimensions. This tends to happen when two companies are directly competing with each other. Witness the late-'60s horsepower wars, for instance, as each year, American cars got bigger and bigger with more and more power, yet handled and braked less gracefully! ... When going head to head (Sti versus Evo in 2-player action), it's rare one car stands out against the other, assuming they're similarly powered & matched. In comparison to the '60s, the modern melee between Subaru and Mitsubishi has taken place on many other levels (other than just power). In each successive year of Evo or Sti, the cars have maybe gained a few pounds, but it's mostly due to advances in technology. Or it's due to an effort at better rigidity: body, suspension, or subframe(s). At least, this is often the reason for extra pounds up till '99.

Due to Japan's infamous "gentleman's agreement", only so much can be done in the power department since 276 hp is supposed to be the max. With the Evo VI, Mitsubishi has slyly pushed past to 310 horsepower. Since power can't get much higher than 276 quoted/310 actual hp in their production cars, Japanese car-makers have had to rely on other advances: bigger oil coolers, stronger metals, better brakes...stuff like this, which of course makes the total car better as a whole. And we're not complaining. Well, most of us aren't.

We'll only make 310 in GT3 or 5 after we've "broken in" the engine (GT5 assumes we are discussing the Premium model), which happens after about 200 miles of driving. The Evo VI of GT4 will need an oil change, since in this game the car can only be bought used. GT5's Tommi Mäkinen model (the one this review is focusing on) is Premium, but there are also used Sixes to be found, if you search really hard. I bought the Premium model, and then subjected it to a series of 1-make races, Seasonal events, and other miscellaneous drives. All of this was done to break the car's engine in. The results can be found in the next paragraph.

So 310 is good, but of course, we can add even bigger turbos in any game, heh heh heh. When racing, the only "Gentleman's Agreement" we have is to murder other cars! We can do so with 3 turbo stages in GT2, 3, and 5 and up to FIVE turbos in GT4. Never will turbo lag be too great, since we're not talking huge upgrades in power here. This is a plus. On the negative side, we won't be making any Skyline super-power. In GT2, the RS and GSR models can be pushed just past 600 horses with full upgrades, but in latter games we'll be lucky if we can make it past 500. In GT2, it's the lighter race-car copycat RS that is recommended to tackle any race the 2nd game has to offer.

Here are GT5's results, for instance...

                       horsepower        torque
Fresh engine: 302 @ 6,500 / 295 @ 3,000
Aft. break-in: 315 @ 6,500 / 304 @ 3,000
Oil Changed: 326 @ 6,500 / 318 @ 3,000

Full Tuning:*  415 @ 7,000 / 370 @ 3,600
Stage 1 NA:    426 @ 7,100 / 374 @ 3,700
Stage 2 NA:   445 @ 7,100 / 386 @ 4,800
Stage 3 NA:  457 @ 7,200 / 390 @ 4,900

Stg 1 turbo: 480 @ 6,900 / 433 @ 3,900
Stg 2 turbo: 492 @ 6,800 / 444 @ 4,900
Stg 3 turbo: 518 @ 7,400 / 420 @ 5,400

* this includes full break-in, oil change, computer chip, racing filter, and the best intake and exhaust parts

518 horsepower sounds like a lot, and it is, most of the time, but eventually the Evo VI loses its place in that long line of GT5 careers.  

One other drawback to mention is the lack of a 6-speed transmission, a rather glaring aspect in the year 1999, when others were making the jump from five to six. Both the Lancer Evolution VI versions RS and GSR are equipped with a 5-speed, and to enhance acceleration, these gears are rather short. This is important in cars with small engines, and (trust me) you'll rarely have to worry about getting off the mark with haste. In GT3, 4, or 5 we can upgrade to a 6-speed with close or full-custom gears, but in GT2, we are stuck with five. Why is this a problem?
 
To some, ultimate top speed is another drawback, especially on tarmac. When you have a small engine matched with short gears, it doesn't matter if it's turbocharged or not; eventually you're gonna run out of top-end. Also, these sedans aren't the most aerodynamic of cars. Instead, they're rather boxy, which can be necessary in rallies where plenty of suspension travel is necessary. For all these reasons, Lancer Evos have great acceleration, but are lacking overall speed, especially as we start pushing towards 150 mph.

Over the previous six years, Mitsubishi had attempted to perfect their all-wheel drive system, so that an Evo I is a much different experience than an Evo VI. The earliest Evo from '92 or '93 featured a mostly mechanical drivetrain: a mixture of open & limited-slip differentials front and rear, as well as a fixed center diff. By the time we get to the Evo VI's day, we are now talking about a much more sophisticated system, and this shall be discussed shortly. Actually, it shall be discussed now...
 

evo6_wing.jpg

------------------CHASSIS / HANDLING-------------------

After visiting over 20 websites devoted to Tommi Mäkinen and/or Lancer Evos, one thing is clear: their handling is supposed to be spectacular. Me? I took it a step further, driving thru a greater variety of conditions (pavement and off-road) to get an idea of how to start this review.
 
Mitsubishi has definitely raised the bar, but I'd like to give the Evo VI an 8 out of 10 in the handling department (driving on pavement...not dirt), the car in GT2 I'd rate slightly better. Maybe an 8.5. Why not a 9? Why not a 10?
 
Understeer. Everyone who's raced these expects understeer from all-wheel drive sedans, and the Evo is no exception. It's definitely the worst trait to watch for, but in an Evo VI, you'll also sometimes need to be aware of oversteer as well, depending which game we're discussing. .... Finally, assuming neither of these issues are present, the Evo tries its best, but it always has a rather inflexible sort of feel as it's cornering. It's a very 'safe' car, but not a very spontaneous one.   

GT2
In GT2, Mitsubishi's aftermarket supplier Ralli Art offers us a device called a "Yaw control". This basically is a system that's supposed to detect wheelspin via sensors located at each wheel from left to right. A computerized hydraulic system then will either add or subtract assistance from the side that's not slipping. Throttle input, braking input, acceleration, g-forces and overall traction are supposed to be considered by the yaw system for overall best handling.

The yaw controller (as we buy it in the game from Ralli Art) is a replacement for limited-slip differentials, or at least that how some have described it, but it's a rather poor replacement in GT2. I've found that this device is rather useless. As the car takes corners and the rear starts slipping....it'll keep oversteering whether I've got Yaw dialed softly or hard.

It's tedious to have to bolt and configure front and rear differentials, but in the long run they make a lot more of a positive difference. In this game, anyways. Note: I wrote these words long ago, and didn't really discuss how the car actually handles. Since I jumped straight to the Yaw system, this assumes a bit of cornering difficulties (oversteer, as well as understeer) were present, and I was trying my best to get rid of them. PB--06/26/13


GT3
I've noticed when racing earlier Evos at the GT3 Amateur level Evolution Meeting, that you can push them into that final corner of Midfield II (to give an example)...and countersteer is not necessary...in fact it can hurt the Evo's abiltiy to leave that particular corner. You won't need to countersteer here--just slide in, turn left, and hit the gas when appropriate. Try this with an Evo VI and what happens? Well, hopefully you've got some countersteering skills! The latter Evo reacts and recovers quickly from slides and power-oversteer, thankfully. I'm making it sound worse than it is, perhaps...but you still need to be watchful.
 
In GT3, it seems no matter how the Variable Torque Converter is configured (which dials a front to rear bias of power), there will always have a fair amount of oversteer to keep us on our toes. Dialing the converter for 10% bias up front, leaving 90% power going towards the rear is desireable at certain tracks, and makes the car handle like a rear-drive with plenty of fishtailing! The remaining 10% of drive up front does help, but it's the rear tires that are in charge. Make it 50% all around, and notice how the car is often now at war with itself at times; the front-end is plowing, but at other times the rear is trying to kick itself around! Route 11 is a great track to witness this uncertainty, especially as the turbos get stronger and harder tires are in place for some of GT3's mini-endurance races.

I never got around to trying the AYC in this game so can't write about it now.


GT4
Now in this game, I decided (after I located and bought a used Lancer Evo VI) to immediately change its oil, buy and equip some road tires (N3), and take it to Laguna Seca for some track testing.

On those cheap tires, the poor Evo VI seems baffled at times, as if it's wondering why you've shod it with worn-out Keds rather than Shaq-edition Reeboks. Power delivery while the VI is still stock is extremely smooth, even on these lesser tires, leading one to make the mistake of thinking he's driving on a cloud, perhaps. In reality, there is much going on underneath the car.

Ever since the fourth generation, the Evo GSR has been sold with Mitsubishi's Active Yaw Control as an option. I think by 1999, AYC is now standard on all Evos, but various websites I visited confuse this information. Anyways, the Evo VI certainly could have AYC modeled into the car as it appears in GT4; certainly in this game, PD now has the computer technology to get this system correctly modeled from real-life to virtuality. Of course, this Yaw system can't be adjusted till $8,000 is dropped at Ralli Art or any of those aftermarket houses.

Anyways, before any of this is installed, and while we're still on cheap tires, the Evo VI's worst enemy is (of course) understeer. This understeer emerges and re-emerges if the gas is pounded a bit too hard at the wrong moment, especially if the driver hasn't taken the necessary steps to get the car lined up properly before blasting out of a turn.

Understeer understeer understeer. 

The good news is, we can learn to avoid entry-corner understeer by braking properly to some extent. Once this is done, an entire new world opens up, as if Alice has just eaten a mushroom. Behind the virtual door of understeer, there is lots of hidden behavior. Proper braking can lead to:

1> the car's front-end diving into a corner if it's been steered harshly. Rather than understeer, now the front is gripping.

2> Mid-corner, the entire car seems to settle itself. Rather than understeer, all four tires are gripping...just as you want them to do.

3> And late-corner, if you're still steering harshly, the rear can actually get loose. And slide! Jump on the throttle if you dare...

4> ..or you can just drive mildly like the Ai does. This will keep the Evo VI as if it's riding on rails.

But overall, this car is not happy on these N3 tires. Some cars don't mind riding on cheap tires. You can still perform some magic as you drive these cars. Not in the Evolution VI, though. As a further experiment, I equipped the adjustable Yaw device while the car still had N3s on, just to see what would happen.

Advanced Yaw Control (GT4)
It's got a default of "30". Apparently this is how the car is set before it has the AYC installed. In other words, there is no difference between the car while it's stock, and after it's had the AYC installed at default. Now when we set it to its max of 130 (heh heh) the difference is so obvious. Steering input in particular becomes very strong...and takes much of that prior understeer away with it. This sounds great! Problem is, now the car becomes less safe, alot more fun, but also less controllable
Instead of the front-end of your car heading off-road, now it's usually the back-end.

...And it's partially the fact that this car really feels happier on sports tires. Once it's on sports, once you've got the Yaw dialed in properly to your liking, and once you've got at least a sport suspension underneath, look out!

In GT2, my big complaint was that it seemed AYC did nothing. Now I understand what it's supposed to do in GT4: kill understeer.> Or at least make the Lancer Evo edge into corners with greater success and less push. In a way, it's almost the reverse of limited-slip devices (which introduce more understeer, rather than lessen it). In GT2, since there isn't nearly as much understeer as in GT4, perhaps the reason why I didn't feel the effect of this device is because it merely turned a lightly-understeering car that otherwise handles precisely into one that's harder to control. So in GT4, the AYC device is therefore a good buy. But it's not the only mod we can buy...

 The Evo VI in this game can virtually become one of the most customizable cars in Gran Turismo ever, especially once it's considered limited-slips, VCD and other exotic parts are also at within reach. Mostly (honestly) we won't need these other parts. The more stuff that gets installed, the more complicated things can start to get. Plenty of tuning n00bs can easily find themselves thinking they'll need it all: and wind up with a car that's equipped with a set of full-custom limited-slips, along with either a AYC or VCD system (you can't install all three). All of this junk can start to damage handling in many many ways, rather than help. Keep it simple.


GT5
Gran Turismo 5 seperates itself from earlier games, in the sense that a lot of popular JDM machines (Integras, Silvia K's, Civics, STis, etc.) aren't even needed until we reach some later portions of the game. Enter a car with over (let's say) 150 horsepower in any of this game's Beginner, Amateur, or Professional Japanese races, and you'll be sure to find yourself blowing away the competition if you've got even a little bit of driving skill. It really is sad.

So here I am finding myself not even driving a long list of JDMs until I've reached the Expert Series: specifically the Tuning Car Grand Prix. The competition sometimes rates at over 600 horsepower at this point, so since I know I can get my Lancer Evo VI somewhere between 400 and 518, I should be good.

I am not even sure if the Evo VI is competitive in the TCGP with 518 hp, but I also don't care. I'm going to try and find out. I am SICK of not driving my favorite JDMs, due to the fact that GT5's Japanese A-spec races (not to mention the Clubman Cup and FF Challenge) are way too easy. So to start this portion of the review, I drove my Evo VI with its stock power at Suzuka Circuit (the first track featued in the TCGP), and as I did in GT4, I drove this 302 horsepower sports sedan on cheap comfort softs first, before moving on to better tires, and then better parts & more power.

Driving mildly, the Lancer Evo is a typical all-wheel drive sedan: leaning a bit, displaying (perhaps) a tad of understeer on-entry if one forgets to brake, but otherwise handling as if it's on rails. "On rails" ... who started that phrase? It always seems to fit. Curbs and bumps make barely a dent in cornering lines, due to a rather softly-set suspension, and there's not really too much else to say.   

Anyways, go up a few notches, from mild driving to something more daring, and the expected understeer does start to show up here and there. It's always controllable, but it can become a problem very quickly on these cheap tires, especially once a braking point is missed. But assuming you've got your braking down, any front-end pushing can easily be dealt with, and Mitsubishi makes sure we've got some top-rate equipment to work with. 

With Brembos at all four corners, the Lancer's stopping power is just about as good as it gets in Gran Turismo 5. Trail-braking is a bit stiff from higher speeds, but it also feels nice and safe. Better tires (and stronger Yaw settings) increase this car's ability to brake & turn at the same time, but mostly the car only allows so much twisting-in before some invisible hand stops this sort of action.

Now, the understeer. Everybody's favorite subject, right?  Oddly, I am noticing some entry-understeer, but less exit-understeer (less torque steer, basically), comparing GT4 to GT5. When leaving turns (tight or wide) all this car in GT5 wants to do is please the driver. It digs into the turn and thrusts its way out, with the front-end only becoming a problem out of the tightest areas, and this assumes the driver is forcing a bit too much gasoline too fast.

In both games, the rear has a habit of weaving about as forceful acceleration is needed out of some turns. GT5 allows a bit more weaving, but less sliding from the rear out of tighter areas. I described a bit of smoke and drama in GT4 when leaving certain tighter turns, for instance. This simply never happens in GT5; which is a bit unexpected in this game in which lots of cars exhibit more oversteer, period.
 
There's also the slides!  I was able to get some decently safe high-speed slides into some of Suzuka's larger curves (such as Turn 15); these are the sort of turns that we can finally break grip with the cheaper rubber, or sports tires for that matter!  These slides are always fun (assuming the driver manages to stay on track) and never does the rear-end start to take a wider path than the front (causing a spin) although there are some moments here and there when the rear feels as if it's about to lose it. In GT4, remember, it never felt this way: loss of lateral grip from the rear was simply absent. It was about one-tenth what it is now.

Equip the Evo's stock hard sport tires, and the front-end pushing mostly vanishes, assuming the exact braking zones are kept from radials to sports. Understeer only shows up (honestly) if we want it to. This may sound crazy, but there are times that I enjoy a little bit of pushing, just because. Anyways, I pushed my purple Evo VI harder and harder around Suzuka, braking later and later into certain curves and hairpins. There might be a bit of push, but otherwise the front tires only grip the road's surface. Surprisingly, the Evo also occasionally offered some over-gripping from the front-end, leading to a tightened entry into certain turns, which is very unlike GT4 of course. Yes!!! Options!  I love cornering options.  

I also messed with this car's AYC, which has a default of 30, and can't  be dialed any lower. I don't remember whether the GT4 could's AYC could go any lower. Anyways, at 60 (and on hard sport tires with default suspension parts), I can't say I noticed much difference, but in Suzuka's early turns the 'ghost car', me driving during previous laps, quickly fell behind by at least a half second.

With the AYC on 90, I immediately noticed a difference: the front-end now had a habit of swerving into turns if I applied a bit too much steering input. And this became rather dangerous as I over-compensated (expecting the usual all-wheel drive 'on rails' jazz) only to find the car getting a bit too "grabby", fighting with itself. Now my ghost was getting a bit ahead of me!  Leaving turns is also a much different ballgame. It often did not matter how much steering input was being used, the car would just follow whatever path was being commanded. With AYC on default, applying throttle out of turns wouldn't necessarily cause any drastic understeer, but the car would start taking a slightly different (slightly straighter) path. Not so with AYC on 90. Do the rails curve?  So does the car as it runs more firmly upon them.

Finally, I put the AYC on its max of 130, and quickly found myself in a sand trap!  Not that the car is now totally undrivable, but it takes some getting used to. At times, the Lancer feels as if it's now a mid-engined vehicle instead of a front-engined one.

Now, to the Grand Prix!

When racing this car with full turbo power, and on hard racing tires, it's amazing how little other tuning is needed. Remember that here I am entering a series of races dominated by 'tuners'; this means I should tune, right?  

Not necessarily so. Not in this car. Suspension and brake tuning is much more of an option than it is in (let's say) the Ford Mustang Cobra R I also drove as I phished for weight/power ratios during the TCGP. The Lancer's stock Brembos keep braking action from being a problem, and I even did a test-race with this car's stock suspension, surprised to find that I could always keep the Lancer Evo VI pointed in the direction I wanted, even with those soft suspension parts underneath. Slight bits of understeer only became a problem here and there. I did finally equip a brake balancer, height-adjustable suspension, and a bit of AYC tuning, just to give my Evo a more solid feel. But limited-slips and the variable torque distributor? These never became needed.      

Summary
...From game to game, the Evo VI can be a pleasure or a rather difficult machine. Again, I'm not saying the Evo is 100% cantankerous, in fact I love the way it can suprise, the multitude of options to be had. It's half the reason I'm writing this review. But the Lancer Evolution VI is also not perfect. It is not as precise with steering and power-to-pavement delivery as all those Tommi websites would have us believe, unless we know what we're doing. I'm inclined to say some earlier versions of the Evo handle more preferably than the VI, or at least they get around with less drama, but this is pure opinion on my part.
 
In any event, Lancer Evos (especially the rally cars) do still handle dirt tracks spectacularly, even with no AYC, LSD, or VCD. This is true in ANY Gran Turismo. 10 out of 10 here, folks. Matter of fact, I find that the AYC in particular can hurt the Evo off-road, even though it's a great tool on pavement. Off-road, these cars CAN live up to the hype as they're getting sideways (TOTALLY sideways) in some hair-raising corners like at Tahiti Maze.

On-road or off, Evo VIs are like giant tarantulas, with an amazing ability necessary to get scrambling back to full speed, and with a price tag that'll have you scrambling towards the dealership.
 

 

PROS------------------------------------------------

1). No slacker in the acceleration department. Even when driven completely stock, the Evo VI (or most any Evo) can reach 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. That's Corvette C4 territory... from a engine 3x smaller than the 'vette's V8.

2). Amazing brakes, too.
 
3). Sweet turbo & intercooler upgrades for the GSR, RS, or Group A rally cars, in any game. A few credits tend to go a long way, and you can wind up dominating all but the fastest of races...and then you can even give those a try with success, too, if you're that good.
 
4). GT3, 4, & 5 cars get a 6-speed gearbox with some tranny upgrades.
 
5). Nicely priced, even from the new car lot in GT2. Again, your money is well spent and you can start tackling races in GT2 or 4 immediately.
 
6). Great handling cars in some respects. The Evo sixes in GT2 handle better than the ones in 3 or 4 only because less realism is represented in this game (and this means less understeer). For those who are tuning-freaks in GT3, 4, and 5 there's always the AYC, VCD, and/or other parts to help get that near-perfect balance.
 
7). Not too heavy when compared to many other sedans, and let's consider that those sedans are often not all-wheel drive. In an RS, the pounds fall!  Race-kit available in GT2 for all Evo sixes. The GT5 Premium TM car can accept front spoiler & rear wing.
 
8). Winning those rally cars in certain games just rocks. ;-)
 
9). Great sounds come from that exhaust. Good job, Sony. Or Polyphony...whatever.
 
10). 90% of the time, these cars have the traction of a bulldozer.

11). Depending which game you've got, there are several Evo VI cars to choose from including the GSR, RS, Tommi Mäkinen editions, and full WRC rally cars. These can be bought new, used, or won as prizes.
 


CONS------------------------------------------

1). Acceleration is great down-low, but tends to fall off once the tranny is in 3rd or 4th gear. You'll need full-custom gears to increase that top-end down the straights sooner or later.
 
2). The Evo VI rally car in GT2 gets no turbo upgrades.
 
3). Limited color choices for the GSR. The RS can be had in any color so long as it's white.
 
4). Confusing issues with steering and cornering paths at times due to the otherwise awesome all-wheel drive system. I only mention this since other websites don't. At times, the great-handling Lancer Evo can be clumsy just like any other sedan...though it does recover with ease. Understeer dominates till you learn to get rid of it (either thru tuning and/or driving techniques), and even then, it sometimes still shows up.

5). Extensive tuning knowledge is sometimes necessary to get your Evo VI to drive just as you'd like it to drive, despite what "they" say. This is truest as the power stacks towards the strongest turbo systems, of course.
 
6). Boxy aerodynamics botch smooth airflow (and therefore) speed. And why is it that in GT3 or 5 we can modify the back wing but not the front spoiler of a GSR or RS? And in GT4, we can't modify downforce till we buy a wing kit?
 
7). Somewhat ugly, grotesque autos these are, unlike the simpler Evos I thru III. In reality, never will any Evo win a beauty contest. 

8). The VI is also several hundred pounds heavier than the earliest Evos.

9). Turbo lag starts showing up with just a Stage 2 turbo system in certain games, confining useable power to a lesser and lesser area. We can feel this in GT3 and GT4 more than in GT2 or 5.

10). GT2: the Yaw control device feels like a waste of money in this game. 

 
Published: October 8, 2006
GT3 & 4 info added: uhh....
GT5 info added: June 21, 2013
 

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