The “psycho” Car – the Mitsubishi Evo RS450 

By the end of the Evo’s reign, it had become a staple of the tuning scene in Britain, parked next to its angry-yob stablemate it stood a head and shoulders above many of its contemporaries and gave Mitsubishi a sporting name. However, this wasn’t always the case, and in fact, the Evo wasn’t ever meant to reach British shores in the first place.

The Evo’s main purpose was to let Mitsubishi take the lancer rallying, so Mitsubishi only wanted to sell the car as a homologation model and found it easiest to sell it only in japan, and not bother bringing it to other countries. But, because both Britain and Japan are both countries that use right-hand-drive and japans cars were generally cheaper, Evo’s soon made their way to Britain through grey market imports, and very quickly people realized just how good the Evo was. Evo’s started to flood into Britain and became a popular rival to the likes of the Sierra and Escort Cosworth and the fan favorite Impreza. 

Ralliart saw this demand and start to import the Evo V and VI on a large scale, becoming a more official way to purchase an Evo in the UK before Mitsubishi started offering them themselves. Now thanks to preparing Mitsubishi’s rally cars they knew their way around the cars they were importing, and started to offer some unique upgrade packages. There were many to choose from, but none were quite as bonkers as the RS450.

 The RS450 had (Confusingly) 379bhp and 380lbft of torque and did 0-60 in a staggering 3.8 seconds and would get to 100 in less than 9 seconds, in 2000! That would make mincemeat of the (brand-new of the time) Ferrari 360 and would still outrun a 2023 Golf R. It wasn’t quiet either, with a high-flow exhaust, Red mudflaps, and even a red spoiler (if you so wanted) the car was about as shouty as one could get. 

This all came at a cost though, and that cost was £44,000, or £102,000 in today’s money. This meant that the RS450 wasn’t exactly affordable for everyone, and so just 4 examples were made, 3 Evo VIs and one V. 3 cars are thought to still be prowling the streets, so If you see a mid-90s Evo take a close look around because you might just stumble into an original Japanese 4-door rocketship.


Photo credit (Flickr):

Seabird NZ

Tiarnán 21

Marco Polidoro

Thanks for reading!

Published in Car Stories

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Harsha B.
1 year ago

I want one

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