The arrival of the 1996 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 stunned competitors and enthusiasts. While rivals stagnated, Mitsubishi pushed performance technologies to unprecedented levels in its rally superstar. Let’s examine the major leaps that cemented the Evo IV’s legend.
- 1 More Power with Better Response
- 2 Revolutionary Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4’s AWD System
- 3 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 Handling to Match AWD Grip
- 4 Aggressive Functional Styling
- 5 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 Furthering the Winning Rally Legacy
- 6 Next-Level Performance Value Of Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4
- 7 Resetting the Bar
More Power with Better Response
The Evo IV retained the 4G63 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, but took it to new heights. Engineers reduced rotating mass 15% by lightening the crank, rods, and pistons. The payoff was less turbo lag and skyrocketing power to 280 hp.
An enlarged titanium impeller fed more boost, while large intercoolers prevented heatsoak. Throttle response felt telepathic, hurling the Evo ahead at the slightest input. Mitsubishi wrung out every ounce of power for dominating performance.
Revolutionary Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4’s AWD System
The biggest innovation was Mitsubishi’s new Active Yaw Control AWD. This dynamic system could vary torque output to the front and rear wheels infinitely from 100:0 to 50:50 ratios. An active center differential enabled vectoring torque during cornering for greater trajectory control.
Drivers could apply power earlier exiting turns thanks to the revolutionary AYC system. The Evo IV pulled as though tethered through corners, regardless of surface grip. AWD acceleration became a revelation of physics-defying traction.
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 Handling to Match AWD Grip
While the all-wheel traction impressed, handling dynamism also took major steps forward. New front and rear limited-slip differentials optimized side-to-side power distribution. Larger Brembo brakes enabled serious stopping force without fade.
Fine-tuned suspension bushings and firmed dampening sharpened transient response and body control. The quick steering supplied abundant feedback. At the limit, the Evo IV felt locked into the road.
Aggressive Functional Styling
The Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 received an aggressive functional exterior makeover. Bulging fenders accommodated wider wheels and tires. New bumpers incorporated enlarged intakes and canards for better airflow and stability. The aluminum hood featured a functional vent for heat release.
Dual rear roof spoilers not only looked racy but stabilized the Evo at high speeds. Mitsubishi widened the body and track for a menacing profile. A rally car in wolf’s clothing.
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 Furthering the Winning Rally Legacy
Drawing from lessons in the World Rally Championship, Mitsubishi imbued the Evo IV with racing efficacy. The advanced AWD technologies directly transferred from rally competition domination into a production sedan.
Homologation rules required a road-going version. So civilians could experience the same chassis and engine that pilots drove to multiple rally victories. Never before had rally prowess been so accessible.
Next-Level Performance Value Of Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4
The Evo IV’s capabilities surpassed cars costing many times more. Subaru’s new Impreza WRX didn’t come close. Porsche 911s and Corvettes couldn’t shake this giant killer either. Professional drivers switched to Evo’s to remain competitive.
For around $30,000, enthusiasts gained a legitimate motorsport weapon exclusive of aftermarket additions. Mitsubishi democratized racing engineering for the street. Evo IV ownership represented a raw performance bargain.
Resetting the Bar
In the hyper-competitive 1990s, the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 refusal to stagnate kept it dominant over other sports compacts. Exponential leaps in power, traction, braking, and handling easily vaulted it ahead of rivals.
With obsessive engineering at every level, Mitsubishi ensured the Evo IV had no weaknesses to exploit. This multi-dimensional excellence reset expectations of what uncompromising rally performance could be. The bar was raised.