The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been around for 25 years, but we here in the US only caught the tail-end of its production run. The first Evo we got here was the eighth-generation car, meaning we missed out on seven other generations of Mitsubishi rally-inspired goodness. Well, the very first examples are reaching 25 years old, which means they're now legal to import and register in the US.
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The 1993 Lancer Evolution I was fairly simplistic in its design, using the same powertrain from the Galant VR-4 of the same year. That means a 2.0-liter turbocharged dual-overhead cam inline-four cylinder engine sending power to all four wheels via a five speed manual transmission. Output from the 4G63 engine was rated at 244 horsepower and 228 lb.-ft. of torque from the factory when new. Top speed was 142 mph.
This particular car, for sale by Japanese Classics, LLC in Virginia, is a sought-after GSR trim. Differentiating it from the stripped down RS model are power windows, power seats, ABS, a rear wiper, climate control, alloy wheels, and a viscous limited-slip differential. Basically, if you're looking for an Evo I, this is the spec to own. Though some will tell you the RS trim is lighter, we think it's worth having the extra features.
Judging from the pictures, the car looks impeccably clean and well taken-care of. The odometer reads just 144,540 kilometers (around 90,000 miles), and the interior is spotless. Even the OEM Momo steering wheel and Recaro seats are still present. , which, considering prices for US-spec Evos, seems like a solid deal. Sure, you'll be down on performance compared to later generations, but the cool factor of driving around a first-generation JDM Lancer seems like a good trade-off—if you can deal with the hassles of a right-hand drive seating position in the US, anyway.