Skip to main content

Not a lot of folks realize that rally cars are street-legal. They have to be to travel between stages and to pits. You can even take one to McDonalds! They are, however, quite uncomfortable for daily use. There are a few cars on the market that can give you the rally car feel on the street. The Subaru WRX, Toyota GR Corolla, and, as we’re highlighting in this article, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

A clean JDM Lancer Evo is more affordable than you’d think and brings rally car spirit to the road

Bright red Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV front 3/4 sold on Cars and bids with Low Mileage sitting on the street in front of trees
Lancer Evo IV | Cars and Bids

You might think that purchasing a clean example of a Lancer Evolution (or “Evo” as many people know them) would be wildly expensive. They are, after all, very sought-after cars. A recent sale of a clean, low-mileage Evo four just reached a max bid of $19,055 on Cars and Bids. Though this one didn’t sell, another example just sold for $20,000 in April.

This particular example has only 49,400 miles on it, as is the case with many JDM cars. JDM Export says that JDM cars have such low mileage because Japan has extremely strict car inspection rules. Most cars are put out of commission within four to five years from new. In addition, most Japanese citizens use public transport, so their cars don’t tend to collect a lot of miles in those four to five years.

So, when they’re done with the cars over there, lots of importers bring these desirable JDM cars overseas to the U.S. So long as the car is at least 25 years old, it’s legal for U.S.-import. It is, however, worth noting that some states are quite strict about the emissions standards of imported vehicles. So, you’ll have to do some research on your local laws if you’re interested in importing one.

How fast is a Mitsubishi Evo?

Rear 3/4 of a 1996 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV
Lancer Evolution IV | Cars and Bids

The Evo four in question uses Mitsubishi’s iconic 4G63 turbocharged engine. Its factory rating is 276 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. It’s worth keeping in mind that, in 1996, that’s more horsepower than a standard Mustang GT.

The power, though, isn’t the Evo’s party trick. The Evo is a homologation car. This means that it was made to meet production number requirements for racing. Effectively, it is a road-going version of the actual Lancer Evolution rally car. Like the rally car, it has a five-speed manual transmission and feeds all that turbocharged goodness to all four wheels.

To put it in current context, that’s almost as much power as the Toyota GR Corolla with a matching all-wheel drive drivetrain for less than half the price. In addition, the 4G63 is known for its robust build quality and has a virtually unlimited supply of aftermarket support. Effectively, with a matching budget, the horsepower limit is sky-high.

Many folks also use Evos for track cars, taking advantage of its all-wheel drive system. Overall, the Lancer Evo is a killer bit of iconic Japanese performance that you can pick up for much less than you might think!


Is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Coming Back? New Ralliart Teaser Images Say Maybe