1998 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Evolution V ex-Richard Burns - 794 miles
Surely one of the most desirable Evolutions to ever come to market? An unrepeatable mileage of just 794 and Richard Burns ownership provenance. Fully recommissioned by marque experts at a cost of £16,500. Absolutely immaculate.
GUIDE PRICE: £80,000 - £100,000
Mitsubishi had enjoyed much success in rallying all around the world since 1973 with their Gallant, Lancer and Starion, however in 1992, the decision was made to fully commit to winning the World Rally Championship (WRC). Utilising the best of the technologies established through previous years, including their much-refined four-wheel drive S-AWC system (Super-All Wheel Control), the Lancer GSR Evolution model series was launched. True to its name, the series has undergone an ongoing evolution process ever since its introduction with improvements in engine performance and handling leading to the Evolution II in 1993 and the Evolution III in 1995.
Following the introduction of the new Lancer road car model which debuted major improvements in styling and performance, the Lancer GSR Evolution IV was launched in 1996, boasting more power and ever more innovative technology including their new AYC (Active Yaw Control) adaptive handling enhancement system.
The Evolution V continued the process with a further increase in engine torque and substantially improved handling thanks to a wider track and upgraded Brembo braking. Its 2-litre, DOHC, intercooler-turbocharged, four-cylinder engine now used an upgraded intercooler, enlarged nozzle area in the twin-scroll turbocharger, lighter pistons, an upgraded radiator and oil-cooler to produce 280bhp. Launched in January 1998 and produced for only a year, the Lancer Evolution V took up the motorsport mantle, at least in terms of the WRC. A new ruling allowing a bigger body gave Mitsubishi the opportunity to extend the previous model’s platform, increasing brake and wheel size, adding 10mm to its track and displaying, for the first time, flared arches and much more aggressive styling.
It’s now widely accepted that finding credible examples of the Evolution V is becoming increasingly hard, so the car presented here represents a remarkable opportunity. This 1998 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Evolution V, S500 TMR, is a UK-market car finished in Pyrenean Black and was intriguingly either given or sold to Richard Burns by Mitsubishi Motors in late 1998. Richard Burns is quite rightly considered a motorsport legend, a driver of great talent, whose life was sadly cut short in his prime at the age of just 34. He was undoubtedly worth more than his sole WRC title, but he played his part in Mitsubishi winning the Constructors Title in 1998 alongside his co-diver, Robert Reid, and we understand that S500 TMR was a reward for his efforts. As history tells us, Richard then signed for Subaru in 1999 and naturally couldn’t be seen driving an Evolution, however this car clearly meant a lot to him as he resisted the temptation to sell it and added it to his personal collection.
Over the years, the Burns family and their associates put together the Richard Burns Collection and S500 TMR was a prominent part of this for many years. Our car-enthusiast vendor acquired the car from Jo Burns (Richard’s sister) in February 2020 with a recorded 789 miles on the clock – no, that's not a typo! He then sent it to marque specialists, Auto Torque Ltd. of Buckinghamshire, for a complete underbody recommission (as the car had suffered from being in storage for so long). This work was exceptional, carried out to OEM spec at a cost of £16,500, and photos within the car’s history file detail the exacting lengths to which they went.
This work was finished in May 2021 and the car has since been cossetted in a special facility as part of our vendor’s collection, still with just 794 miles indicated.
This is a very exciting opportunity to acquire a car with unique provenance that makes this particular example 'one of a kind'. In remarkable condition, with only a handful of miles covered, this rally-car-for-the-road holds a special appeal for collectors, motorsport fans and Japanese performance car enthusiasts alike – 'special' just doesn’t come close, you will not be disappointed.
Accompanying the car are an extract from Richard Burns' book mentioning the Evo V, an Auto Torque invoice (for recommissioning work), an original dealer hangar from Motorworld Oxford, an extract from the Oxford Mail in Feb 1999, the V5C in Richard Burns’ name, an article from the Mitsubishi Owners Club magazine featuring the car and its backstory and an invoice from Jo Burns. There is also a memory stick of photographs, original Mitsubishi manuals and books, plus an RB-branded baseball cap from the Richard Burns clothing line that was found in the glovebox.
Absolutely unrepeatable and worthy of your close inspection.