Model, Text and Photos by: James L. Ravelo II
In 1998, Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution V powered its way in the World Rally Championship to give Mitsubishi the Manufacturer's Title and gave driver Tommi Makinen another Driver's Title. Basing on the successes of the Evolution V, the Evolution VI was introduced in January 1999. While the Evolution V already had an aggressive exterior, it was further changed for the Evolution VI. Most noticable was the front bumper redesign, where the license plate was moved to the left to improve airflow leading to the intercooler and radiator, the right side intake was enlarged and an air outlet, also on the right side, was added to better enhance oil cooler efficiency. Power is abundant courtesy of the turbocharged 4G63 2-liter 4-cylinder engine which sends it through a full-time four wheel drive system. Safety and enhanced performance also factors in the redesign which led to the Evolution VI. A delta type twin wicher rear wing with an adjustable upper wing helps in keeping the car stable at high speeds. For increased control, the front features a helical Limited Slip Differential with matching Brembo front disk system, the center has a viscous LSD, and the rear has the Active Yaw Control-equipped differential.
Two variants are available - the RS and the GSR. The RS is a stripped down and lighter Evolution VI which is aimed towards those wanting to participate in competitions. It has smaller non-Brembo brakes compared to the GSR, has an additional brace attached behind the rear seats, and a different wheel type and design. The RS also doesn't have the front bumper-mounted lamps. The GSR is more a roadgoing version compared to the race-intended RS - it has creature comforts that the RS variant doesn't have such as airconditioning and a radio. The GSR though has bigger brakes with Brembo calipers in front, and has a different wheel type design. It also has front bumper-mounted lamps for additional safety.
All told, these features combine to give the Evolution VI outstanding performance without compromising on safety, whether on the road or on the rally tracks.
The kit comes in 11 parts - 5 runners + the body (in white, black, clear color, or chrome plated), a tire bag, a wet-transfer decal sheet, a masking seal sheet, mesh, and the manual. Assembly dictates the use of styrene cement for some parts and of course, painting which is best recommended done as the building process proceeds.
The fold-out manual is done in typical Tamiya style. It's printed in black and white, featuring a picture of the completed kit and a short description of the car (in English, German, French and Japanese) in front, required and/or recommended tools and paints to use on the second page, and also detailed step-by-step building instructions on the second page, and painting, decal application, and an aftermarket service card at the last page. Too bad though the aftermarket service card is only for Japanese use. Also printed on a page in the manual is a pattern for the mesh shapes that goes onto various parts on the front of the car.
The body of the Evolution VI comes in three pieces - the main body, front bumper and rear bumper. The 5 piece rear wing will have to be attached later on through the use of glue in the assembly process, as will the right side oil cooler air outlet, hood-mounted intake cover, left and right side skirts, side mirrors, two front windshield wipers and rear windshield wiper. The front bumper has the option of being built as the GSR variant with lamps, or the RS variant with lamp covers, but there is no extra wheel rim set for the RS variant so this kit is better off built as the GSR variant. Clear parts are included for the glass areas, headlights, front and taillamp covers, and front fender-mounted turnsignals,. The headlight backing and the wheel rims are chrome plated. Masking seals are included to help in painting the black areas on the glass areas. Mesh is included to apply to the hood and front intakes. There are wet transfer decals for the "Evolution VI" logo for the trunklid, the "Lancer" emblem at the rear, a decal for the fuel filler door (a big minus as most, if not all, would expect that coming from Tamiya, the fuel filler door recess should have been put onto the body itself and not as a simple decal), front and rear windshield decals (for the Japanese market versions), and two sets of decals for the license plates - the "Evolution VI" plate or for a regular Japanese license plate. The detailing on the body itself is sharp and well-executed, even to the roof gutters and the striations on the clear headlight covers and taillamps. One big minus though, as mentioned earlier, is the absence of the fuel filler door on the body itself. Detail painting is done during assembly and there are recommended body colors in the manual, but I made a custom paint scheme for mine.
Except for the white-colored floorpan, the other suspension components are in black plastic, all of which will require detail painting during assembly. While this is a curbside kit (it has no engine), the visible portions of the engine's underside is accurately reproduced, and there is even some portions of the engine's cover to be simulated by a part which attaches to the underside of the hood. The radiator though and intercooler are separate pieces which will be later on attached to the front of the floorpan, and the detailing is good - even the fan on the radiator is done correctly. The oil cooler though, which is one reason why the front bumper was redesigned, isn't included, something which in my opinion should have been included for increased reality. The front and rear suspensions are accurately detailed and the front steering assembly allows for steering movement. Polycaps mounted inside the brake assemblies allow for wheel movement. Front and rear brake detailing is good, and the front calipers have "Brembo" decals. The floorpan is very accurately detailed, down to the small indentations on the fuel tank (which is a separate piece) and the recess for the spare tire.The floorpan has to be painted in body color, and I continued my custom paint scheme onto the floorpan. The drivetrain and exhaust system are accurately detailed, and the muffler has a chrome plated tip (I had accidentally put this kit's tip onto another Lancer Evolution VI model of another brand and thus had to make a new exhaust tip from spare parts from a Gundam kit). The chrome plated wheel rims attach to the brakes using a male-female joint. However, the center of each wheel rim has a recess wherein you have to cover it up using a separate chrome plated "disk", something which I didn't do. The tires securely slip onto the wheel rim, and tread detail is excellent, and you can even see what size the tire is on the sidewalls.
All parts are molded in white which will require detail painting during assembly. Detail is excellent, even down to the door hinges (I should know, I for one drive a similar-model Lancer, albeit not an Evolution VI) and the dashboard detail. The right-hand dashboard (sadly, there are no extra parts to make a left-hand version, although other Tamiya kits have such parts) attaches separately to the cockpit "tub", and so does the two front seats and two doorsills. The steering wheel and shaft are separate parts which attach to the dashboard although the pedals are molded into the dashboard. The handbrake and shifter are separate pieces which are attached to the side console. The front seats are excellently reproduced, even on its back. Wet transfer decals are included for the front doorsill-mounted speaker covers (at the bottom of the door), the display panel at the center of the dashboard, the main dashboard display panel, the center of the steering wheel, and the "Recaro" markings for the front seats. Now all that's missing from all this excellent details are seatbelts. The tub attaches to specific points on the floorpan between the front and rear wheelwells. You can either paint on the cockpit details as suggested, or do a custom paint scheme for the details, like in my kit.
Owning a similar model-type Lancer (but not the Evolution VI), I can use it to compare it against the detail of the scale model to some extent, especially in the cockpit and I must say, this is an excellent kit with only one gripe I could find, which is the use of a decal for the fuel filler door instead of molding it directly onto the body. Other than that, this is a great kit with excellent details and quality we've all come to expect from Tamiya kits.
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