The car presented here is a genuine Evolution VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition (CP9A / SNGF2) SCP car (one of 212), but it is also an official U.K.-market example. This means it was officially imported by Mitsubishi-affiliated Ralliart U.K., hence it would have been professionally SVA’d and is supplied with U.K. service books, a calibrated speedometer, an unleaded-spec fuel restrictor, cold-climate battery and an alternator. Plus it is individually numbered with a plaque in the cabin — in this case Number 47.
This Evo VI “TME” was first registered in the U.K. as a new car on June 14, 2001, and has covered 59,900 miles from new in the hands of four former keepers. Finished in the traditional and original Ralliart Passion Red, it looks magnificent today and still performs as well as it looks. In need of some new discs in the near future, it is offered in otherwise exceptional condition by our late and much respected vendor.
The early history is all neatly put into sections for each year all the way from 2001 to 2012, and all subsequent bills and receipts are filed separately. They all confirm the mileage as genuine, and the car retains its original and unmodified engine and gearbox. The MOT is valid until September 24, 2022.
|Vehicle:||2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition|
|Tune Up Cost:||$500|
|Chassis Number Location:||Data plate on central engine compartment firewall behind strut brace, also stamped on right side of engine compartment firewall|
|Engine Number Location:||Front of engine block|
|Club Info:||Mitsubishi Lancer Register|
|Alternatives:||1998 Subaru Impreza STi 22B, 1985–86 Lancia Delta S4, 1994–99 Toyota Celica GT-Four|
This car, Lot 309, sold for $97,905 (£73,125), including buyer’s premium, at Silverstone Auctions’ NEC Classic Motor Show Sale on November 13, 2021.
Mitsubishi has been dead serious about motorsports far longer than most remember. While its cars competed in several disciplines, the top rung in the World Rally Championship (WRC) was a major corporate goal. Way back in 1974, Joginder Singh scored the company’s first-ever WRC victory with a Colt Lancer. In the 1970s and ’80s, Mitsubishi notched an occasional podium with its Lancer 1600 GSR, Lancer Turbo and Starion Turbo. Mitsubishi then upped its game with the technologically advanced Galant VR-4, scoring six WRC wins and 14 podium finishes between 1989 and ’92 — but no championship. The Lancer RS did little to further Mitsubishi’s program, and two decades following its first WRC event win, Mitsubishi was still aching for a world championship.
The Evo’s evolution
In 1992, Mitsubishi introduced the Lancer Evolution, a model aimed at finally conquering the rallying world. At launch, who could have predicted 10 generations spanning a quarter-century? Lancer Evos were 4-door, front-engine sports sedans (Evo IX added a wagon) featuring all-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine. These cars were fast, with knuckle-numbing grip.
Evo I through IX received Mitsubishi’s iron-block, 16-valve 4G63T, which was upgraded with each generation. The earliest engines produced 245 hp, while the most advanced made 405 hp. The series-ending Evo X received an all-aluminum 4B11T GEMA engine.
Mitsubishi’s original plan was to limit sales to Japan. Due to strong international demand from enthusiasts, plus Subaru’s success with its WRX STi, Mitsubishi ultimately offered Evos in the U.K. and Europe beginning in 1998, the U.S. in 2003, and Canada in 2008. A vast number of variants and special editions were offered over the years, from race-ready to luxury models.
Rather than simply marketing countless types, Mitsubishi followed its prime objective and went racing. Space does not permit a full accounting of the Lancer Evo’s WRC domination, but here are some highlights. Between 1994 and 2001, these cars won 26 WRC events and recorded 49 podium finishes. The Evo V captured the WRC Constructors’ Championship in 1998, and Tommi Mäkinen won the Drivers’ Championship an astonishing four consecutive years, from 1996 to ’99, in Evo III, IV, V and VI models. During this period, Mäkinen won 18 of 50 events, standing on the podium 29 times.
To celebrate its beloved driver (and sell a few more cars at the same time), Mitsubishi produced the Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition (commonly abbreviated by its fans as TME). This was a special build, with an upgraded turbocharger containing a titanium turbine, a first on a production automobile. Other unique features included an uprated exhaust system, lowered suspension, quick-ratio steering rack, a Momo steering wheel, unique Recaro front buckets, 17-inch white Enkei wheels and a competition-style body kit.
An anorak’s nightmare
Confusion has persisted regarding how many Evo VI TMEs were built. The most quoted figure is 2,500, but analysis of chassis registries reveals that 4,092 examples were actually produced. Part of the muddle may be that the TME lineup included seven models, each with its own unique internal code. When some sources quote total TME production numbers, it is possible they fail to account for all models and markets.
Another area of confusion is production numbers by body color. The TME was available in several hues including Passsion Red (1,026 units), Satellite Silver (680 units), Pyrenees Black Pearl (388 units), Scotia White (1,543 units), and Canal Blue (455 units). Today, the iconic color is Passsion Red with black door handles and the Ralliart graphics package, which was not available on any other color. Of the 1,026 Passsion Red TME cars, 880 were built with the graphics package.
Accelerating prices, but for how long?
There is growing interest in special-edition, rally-inspired collector cars, with the principal value drivers being performance, unique mechanical specification, competition bodywork, championship-model association and rarity. While the Evo VI TME strongly ticks the first four boxes, it is not rare compared to many other cars in its class. Yes, the TME is a fabulous driving automobile, but with 4,092 examples built, how high will prices soar?
The top of the pecking order for TMEs is Passsion Red with graphics, and our subject car is such an example in nice condition. Its near-$100k sale price is spot-on today. Just 12 months ago, however, similar cars were selling in the $50,000–$60,000 range. Today, prices have doubled (and occasionally tripled), with one recent sale over $200,000.
Many advertisements tout “one of 212” or “one of 50,” and in speaking with sellers, it’s easy to see how the production numbers are confusing. With 880 Passion Red-with-graphics examples produced, one wonders if the supply of six-figure asking prices will soon exceed demand. Meanwhile, nice Passion Red cars without graphics bring approximately $75,000, and all other colors trade in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. Which begs the question, will the market continue to be so passionate about red? ♦