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MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IV

I have always been a big fan of rally cars for the road. They are the ultimate boy racer cars, offering: quick acceleration, razors harp handling, the ability to go anywhere in any weather, and they will serve as a daily driver. The top of my list has always been the Mitsubishis. With high-output turbo all-wheel drives like the Galant VR-4, which Mitsubishi uses in numerous rally events, the Eclipse GS-X, 3000 GT VR-4, and the knockout here, which is not available in the United States. Mitsubishi's current world rally championship car is based on the Lancer Evolution Phase III. Since Mitsubishi takes rallying very seriously (always placing in the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally) they are constantly improving. The Evolution is only available for sale in Japan, but in Japan it is developing a loyal following.

The Evolution IV was the first to receive Mitsubishi's AYC (active yaw control). AYC varies the torque between the right and left rear wheels, to help maintain stability and control. AYC operates by having sensors to monitor the steering wheel angle, accelerator angle, wheel-speed, fore-and-aft acceleration, and lateral acceleration. By judging between the driver's inputs andwhat the car is doing, the computer will know if the car is begining to understeer or oversteer, a torque transfer differential varies the torque between the rear wheels to achieve stability. Inside the torque transfer differential there is a gear mechanism which can increase or decrease the speed of either axle by 13% compared to the differential case speed. The torque split is accomplished by twin clutches that transfer/split torque between the right and left rear wheels by varing the slippage rate. An electic pump supplies the hydraulic pressure to the clutches. The powerplant is the 4G63 dual-overhead-camshaft, 16-valve, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder. The output is rated at 209 KW (280 hp) at 6500 rpm and 353 Nm (260 ft lb) torque at 3000 rpm. This is the maximum power rating the Japanese manufacturers have agreed to publish. The prodigious power gives the Evo a very healthy power to weight ratio. Some of the specific components of this engine which help it to obtain that power are: forged pistons, reinforced connecting rods, metal cylinder-head gasket, a Karman-swirl airflow metering device, semi-direct ignition, a larger volume twin scroll turbocharger, and an oversize aluminum intercooler placed in the nose to cool the compressed air. The only transmission available is a close-ratio five speed manual gearbox.

The stripped down RS version comes with a closer ratio five-speed and a choice of two final drive ratios. To control all of this power, the Evolution IV employs fully independant suspension, with MacPherson struts up front and a new multi-link rear suspension. To bring things to a halt, there are front venilated discs with twin-piston calipers, are rear venilated discs with single piston calipers. The Evolution IV rides on 205/50VR16 radials that were developed especially for it. The body of the Lancer has also been reinforced for use in the Evolution. There is a front strut tower brace, a V-shaped brace to strengthen the rear bulkhead and 200 more spot welds around the door aperatures. To round out the look, Mitsubishi has employed some wild aerodynamics add-ons, but which all help to reduce drag, and give the car a very aggressive appearance.

It all adds up to a very respectable .30 coefficient of drag, with zero front and rear lift, which benefits off-road traction immensely. There are two models of the Evolution IV available, the GSR and the RS. The RS is more stripped down and readyfor rallying. Now the big question is why Mitsubishi doesn't sell this car in the United States. Personally I would be the first in line for the Evolution IV.

Active Yaw Control