Group A Star (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III)

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Everyone makes predictions. People predicted Bitcoin will hit $100k in 2018. Mayans predicted the world would have had ended in 2012. And we predicted that the last Evo III in Singapore will never be up for sale. However, we are right in predicting that it will rain after we finish furiously washing our cars…

Here in REV Magazine, we believe that car culture has more forms that we dare to count. In Singapore at least, there is a very distinct divide in the car-loving community. In one camp, are those who want to drive the latest, tech-packed powerhouse, and in the other, are the people who desire for a piece of history and keeping it alive with hours of blood, sweat and tears.

The Evo III bore witness to the birth of the internet and the decline of the popularity of car ownership. The car was not simply a metal can on four wheels, for many, it represented the dream and the freedom to travel in a world where time, speed and distance didn’t matter.

But if time, speed and distance did matter, this car was built to meet the requirements of motorsports. Following the Group A regulation introduced by the FIA in 1982, manufacturers had to build a certain number of road-going models of the cars they were entering in competition, and you can thank that regulation for spurring other 90’s greats such as the Toyota Celica GT-Four and Subaru Impreza WRX.

If you are into the classic car scene in Singapore, it’s almost amazing to how everyone in the community seems to know where the car is, or has been. Chatting with the current owner of this steed, it turns out that this car was the garage queen and the plate mule for the many previous owners.

Despite the many attempts to be made popular in films, anime, anime-to-live-action films as well as motorsports, remains as the underappreciated Evolution of the performance car enthusiast community, until it caught the eye of a man who loves every Evolution equally.

The Lancer Evolution III was not a groundbreaker, but the final evolution of the CE9A chassis before the transition to the CN9A chassis with the Lancer Evolution IV. Aero modifications were made to improve the air supply and reduce lift at high(er) speeds.

Compared to the previous generations of Evos, the 4G93 had a higher compression ratio and a 16G turbocharger. Also, thanks to Tommi Makinen, the Finnish rally driver, the Lancer Evolution name will go on to be cemented into the the minds of car enthusiasts everywhere.

On the Evo scale of one to ten, this may well be an eleven. It may only be a short four years since we’ve last met, but there was a whole lot that went into bringing the car back to a roadworthy condition. Gutted and rebuilt from the ground up, this 20 year old engine no longer throws as much tantrums as a similarly aged teenager. It’s really beyond belief that this car, despite disappearing from the scene for several years, is back on the road almost on a daily basis – you definitely won’t miss the sight of this rally legend.

It has always been white, but now it wears the livery that propelled it to cult status. For an Evolution purist point of view, the 1996 International Swedish Rally livery was chosen as it was the first time the #M5 MRE Evo III blasted into the top spot on podium, at the helm of Tommi Mäkinen and Seppo Harjanne. They would go on to win four more events in the nine-round series to give Makinen the first of his four successive titles – but there is a saying, you never forget your first love. In this case, first victory perhaps.

We wrongly predicted that the one and only Lancer Evolution III in Singapore won’t be up for sale any time soon, but the journey that the car has taken has brought us to close to the different aspects of Singapore’s car culture. There is no denying that later Evolutions are faster and more sought-after, but for the hardcore, heed the little voice that whispers “I want an Evo III”…

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III

Yokohama Advan RG 1

1996 International Swedish Rally Livery


About Author

Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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