Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII – European Debut – 2003

28 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII – European Debut – 2003
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII

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* UK Retail Prices £2,500 to £3,000 lower than Evo VII

One thing the new Lancer Evolution VIII has which none of its predecessors has possessed is full factory approval to be sold in the UK.

In the last few months Mitsubishi’s motorsport and performance car division, Ralliart, has been moved in-house. It is now part of the formal Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Europe operation and the Ralliart label will become a premium sub-brand. All orders, imports and sales will only be through the approved Mitsubishi Motors supply channels.

In line with these changes, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK will now be the sole importer and supplier of official Ralliart products and accessories. This new business process has already resulted in reduced UK prices for the new Lancer Evolution VIII.

The benefit to the customer with lower prices is obvious but in addition, owners will now be sure they have an approved vehicle with full warranty and product liability cover.

There is no longer a reason to buy Ralliart products from anywhere other than an official Mitsubishi Ralliart dealer.

Sales and Lower Prices

For the next 12 months the UK will be the only European country where the new Lancer Evolution VIII is on sale. As the cars are manufactured in Japan early in 2003, they will be shipped to Mitsubishi in the UK. Sales are expected to start during March and around 1,000 units will be available in the UK this year.

Because of the formulisation of manufacturing and distributing Ralliart products throughout the world, the Evolution VIII will have a retail price of £26,995, £3,000 lower than the current model. A top of the range Evo VIII FQ model with over 300 bhp will continue to be offered and this will sell at £28,995, £2,500 lower than the comparative Evo VII FQ variant. The FQ specification and power output will be announced prior to the cars going on sale in the spring, but for the Evolution VIII, the FQ pack is being developed by Mitsubishi Ralliart Europe based in Rugby, the company which prepares and operates Mitsubishi’s world rally cars.

Evolution of the Evolution VIII

Sleek but aggressive styling retains the legend that is Evo. A new face proudly wearing the famous three diamonds logo. Under the skin is much more. Like all its predecessors, the Evo VIII is spawned from motorsport.

Power output is 276 bhp as standard, with the FQ package developed by Ralliart Europe in the UK boosting power to more than 300 bhp.

For the first time in its production car history a 6-speed manual transmission is used. A new Super Active Yaw Control system sharpens up handling and refines power distribution through the rear wheels. Exterior looks are the first noticeable difference between the new generation Evo VIII and its predecessors. A significantly restyled and rounded front end incorporates more than just a new grille and bumper.

The bonnet has sculptured styling lines within it, but it is noticeably different with the addition of a huge air intake for the intercooler. New driving lights at the front – together with a large carbonate rear spoiler, new rear light clusters and new 17-inch alloy wheels set the new model apart from those which have gone before. Recaro seats, Momo steering wheel, fully automatic air conditioning, a superb sound system match luxury with performance.

Under the bonnet

Beneath the newly designed Lancer Evolution VIII’s bonnet is Mitsubishi’s latest version of the high-performance 4G63 2.0-litre intercooled turbocharged 4 cylinder, DOHC 16-valve engine which produces 276 bhp in standard tune at 6,500rpm, whilst delivering 282 lb ft of torque at 3,500rpm. This is the most powerful torque in Evo’s class of fast road car. By adopting a 6-speed close ratio gearbox, maximum response from the engine and transmission is retained throughout the broad powerband.

For the Evoultion VIII Mitsubishi has further developed their the famous 4G63 type 2.0-litre engine by redesigning the turbocharger, increasing the capacity of the intercooler and redesigning the intake manifold to reduce air-flow resistance by 20%. A 3-nozzle intercooler jet system sprays water on to the front of the intercooler which helps cool the compressed air going through the intercooler so providing more power under hard acceleration.

The exhaust pipes have been ‘straight-lined’ to reduce exhaust back pressure and a variable back pressure valve has been added to the main silencer to improve quietness at low engine speeds. Combined fuel consumption and CO2 figures for Evolution VIII can only be confirmed during testing once the cars arrive in the UK The top speed will be restricted to 157 mph and the 0-62mph speed of 5.3 seconds is likely to remain. The FQ model will have you tell us performance figures.

The FQ performance package statistics have yet to be announced but it is very unlikely they will be less than the current 305 bhp and 300 lbs ft of torque. This development work is being undertaken by the UK based Ralliart Europe who develop and prepare the ‘works’ WRC cars.

Mitsubishi’s advanced 4WD system

The Lancer Evolution VIII has a revised suspension system, slightly lower slung to get the centre of gravity lower. A revised ACD (Active Centre Differential) and rear limited slip differential are used in conjunction with the new Super AYC (Active Yaw Control).

ACD enhances acceleration and straight line stability. An electronically controlled multi-layer hydraulic clutch replaces the conventional VCU as the differential limiter, controlling front/rear drive power distribution on the centre differential and switching from free to direct-link status to maintain its front/rear drive force setting of 50:50 distribution while matching the driving conditions. This achieves a tuned balance between handling response and drive performance of the highest level.

In addition, the driver can switch between the 3-modes TARMAC, GRAVEL, or SNOW settings, while the car is moving, to optimise control and to match road conditions.

Super AYC (Active Yaw Control) optimises and controls the difference between rear left and right wheels, as well as improving cornering performance and stability.

The torque transfer system housed in the rear differential uses a computer to provide optimal control to match road conditions. It compensates for power distribution and tyre adhesion differences between the two rear wheels to control yaw moment (cornering force).

A computer controls the new active centre differential (ACD) and active yaw control (AYC) systems with the ACD maximising performance when accelerating out of a corner, and AYC supporting performance during cornering. This new integrated control system provides better overall stability and performance compared to systems that control ACD and AYC independently.


The new generation Evo VIII is the first to be given a 6-speed manual transmission. The close ratio set up maximises engine performance throughout its entire range but with improved flexibility at low to medium speeds.


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