Here’s my seat of the pants impression of the EVO V: Wow – this is the first EVO where all the good bits came together – the previous EVOs were good – but the Evolution Five is the incarnation of the model that really put the car on the map – Mr Makinen put his bum in the car to blitz the World Rally scene and the world (not including Australia as usual) was served a production car that had all the elements to be a real giant killer.
The standard GSR had the essential ingedients to be a truly exciting budget priced car that could slay a Porsche or Ferrari around a race track! The best Japanese technology available on a shoe-string budget price with Japanese build quality:
Included in the package was: a truly prodigeous, flexible and strong power plant, state of the art active 4WD wizardry in a strong, balanced, light and strong platform. The package came with real hardware not just window dressing and styling. The hardware list included massive Brembo brakes, proper Recaro seats and a driveline that is still state of the art.
If I am invited to a track day, an EVO V or VI is the first car I look for in the yard to take. I know I can take a stock car, register it, drive it to the track, push it hard around the track all day, drive it home, drop off the kids to school in the morning and sell it the next day with no issues at all. These are tough lttle cars and so well mannered and practical for every-day daily driving!
|January 1998–January 1999
|2.0L (4G63) I4
|2510 mm (98.8 in)
|4350 mm (171.3 in)
|1770 mm (69.7 in)
|1405 mm (55.3 in)–1415 mm (55.7 in)
|1260 kg (2778 lb)–1360 kg (2998 lb)
In 1997, the WRC created a new “World Rally Car” class, and while these cars still had to abide by Group A standards, they did not have to meet homologation rules. Mitsubishi redesigned the Evolution IV with this in mind and introduced the Evolution V in January 1998.
If anyone had expected the Evolution V to be a similar step forward from the IV, in the same way that that the 1st three versions had progressed, they were in for a big shock, because this new EVO was a great leap forward. Just looking at the IV and V side by side showed how much had been altered cosmetically. And a quick scan of the new models’ spec sheet would show how much work had gone on during the 18 months before the EVO V’s release in January 1998.
The new body mods had been made with the world Rally CHampionship’s Group A regulations in mind.
Although a new category of World Rally Car had been announced at the beginning of 1997, Mitsubishi stuck to their guns and continued developing the Group A based Evos rather than making a new competition-only vehicle as some of their rivals had done.This meant that anything Mitsubishi were rallying could be seen as a direct relative of something you could convievably drive on the road. This was preferable to the one- off WRC chariots that would cost insane amounts of moneyand have no real relevance to the road cars they wre supposedly based on.To maximise handling abilities of the new Evo the front and rear tracks were widened quite dramatically. There was an extra 40mm in the front dimension and 35mm in the rear. These increases in girth were accompanied by by a widening of the bodywork to the Group A maximum of 1,770mm to cover the larger wheel and tyre combination. The front wings were made from aluminium like the bonnet, and heavily flared to provide the tyre cover. The rear wheels were coveres by additional blisters added to the rear door and wing.
Further aerodynamic improvements were made through the use of new front and rear bumpers and modified side skirts and rear apron. The front air-dam was a new design, and the rear spoiler had become even more outrageous than before with an adjsutable four position blade to change the attack angle.
The V looked much meaner thean the IV and although the car was so much more angular and bigger in the frontal area, the drag figure had only gone up to Cd 0.31, which was quite an achievement.
The bonnet came in for a large revision in the form of a new vent – much bigger than on the IV. More cooling was allowed into the engine area by a larger front grille, and a bigger radiator was fitted in an effort to improve cooling efficiency. The engine oil cooler was also uprated to the same ends
Additional aspects of the car that were improved were:
The interior was upgraded in the GSR version with a better class of Recaro seat. Wheel diameter which rose from 16? to 17? to accommodate Brembo brakes which were added to enhance braking.
In addition the brake master cylinder bore increased by 0.3 millimetres (0.01 in). The engine was strengthened in a few areas and the cam duration was increased. The pistons were lighter with a smaller skirt area. 510 cc injectors were replaced with 560 cc injectors for better engine reliability due to more electrical “headroom” and the ecu was changed to include a flash ROM.
Furthermore, the turbocharger was again improved. Torque was increased to 275 ft·lbf (373 N·m) at 3000 rpm. Power officially stayed the same, at 280 PS (276 hp/206 kW) as agreed by Japan’s automotive gentlemen’s agreement that all cars would have 276 or less hp, but some claim horsepower was actually somewhat higher.