The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition is a car that even today, 20 years on from its launch, still makes rally fans go weak at the knees.
Introduced to celebrate Mäkinen’s fourth World Rally Championship success, the Evo VI TME was among the first Evos to officially be made available in the UK – although a few of the first few generations did manage to sneak out of Japan.
Well, when we say ‘officially’, it was through Mitsubishi’s Ralliart performance division thanks to the Single Vehicle Approval, with previous iterations of the car not complying with British regulations.
For the handful of British cars there was extra corrosion protection and security features, plus an integrated rear fog lamp and a speedo in miles per hour. The owners manual also handily came in English, too.
Other tweaks to the Tommi Mäkinen Edition included a more responsive, titanium turbocharger, a quick-ratio steering rack, free-flow exhaust, 17-inch white Enkei alloy wheels, bespoke Recaro bucket seats, a Momo steering wheel and a rally-inspired bodykit – which only came on the famous red cars. You could also buy the car in the less popular white, black, silver, and blue.
Mitsubishi had a red one in its press fleet. Chassis #6 was one of the most sought after cars from a recent exodus of the brand’s press fleet that also included a, Mitsubishi Jeep J27, Mk1 Shogun, Starion, 3000GT, and Guy Wilks’s 2008 British Rally Championship-winning Evo IX rally car.
Mitsubishi UK’s Evo VI TME previously graced the cover of a number of high-profile magazines in the UK, including Top Gear and Autocar. Y851GHW even comes signed on the hood by Mäkinen, but a second, unsigned replacement will be supplied to the new owner if they want to preserve that.
Despite being driven by the who’s who of the motoring media fraternity, the car’s only covered 10,000 miles over the last two decades, and has been meticulously maintained to an unparalleled standard over the years
With all that in mind, it comes as no surprise then that in an online sale hosted by Auto Auction it fetched big money. BIG money.
When it originally went on sale, the car sold for just short of £30,000 (around £41,450). On Friday bidding ended at £100,100 (roughly $140,000). That’s right, triple. Those of you that had one of these back in the day, I bet you wish you’d kept it a little longer.
As for the new owner – please, on behalf of all of us writers and readers alike, please enjoy your new toy as intended. A car that great deserves as much.