05 January 2022
Ixo Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evolution VI #1 Rally San Remo 1999 winner - T.Mäkinen/R.Mannisenmaki
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, commonly referred to as the 'Evo', is a sports saloon based on the Lancer that was manufactured by Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors from 1992 until 2016. There have been ten official versions to date, and the designation of each model is most commonly a Roman numeral. All use 2-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder engines and all-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.
The Evolution VI's changes mainly focused on cooling and engine durability. It received a larger intercooler, larger oil cooler, and new pistons, along with a titanium-aluminide turbine wheel for the RS model, which was a first in a production car.
For the 1999 World Rally Championship, Tommi Mäkinen was defending his world title with a Lancer RS Evo VI and this model replicates the car he drove to the win at the Rally San Remo, in Italy - an event he had won the previous year too. It was to be his 4th win of the year, giving him an almost unassailable lead in the title race, which he did eventually win.
Ixo's large-scale replica of this mighty rallying warrior is truly stunning, with the Lancer's typically late-nineties stance featuring the perfect level of aggression. The not-so-subtle tobacco ban-circumnavigating livery of that most famous of cigarette brands is very neatly applied and the finish to the paintwork is sublime. The simple graphics are very neatly printed on and feature completely crisp edges throughout. The lines of the bodywork are spot on and the whole look is set off superbly by the simple, but attractive alloy wheels - right down to the spare, clearly visible through the rear window.
At risk of overusing a certain well-worn phrase when it comes to motorsport models - it's a real winner!