Mat Watson is at the wheel of the Subaru Impreza P1, one of the coolest rally cars for the road ever made. And he wants to drag race another legend, the Mitsubishi Evo VI. Not only that, but it’s the rare Tommi Makinen edition.
This is a really nice change of pace from the usual Carwow drag race videos. It’s much more entertaining when the cars aren’t automatics with AWD or Teslas. Driver skill is going to play a huge part here because the two WRC specials are evenly matched in terms of performance.
Racing against Mat is another Carwow superstar, Yanni the car wrapper. He’s known for his lavish Lamborghinis but seems to have the old-school skills needed to pilot these old machines, at least when it comes to straight-line action.
The Mitsubishi Evo lineage ended with the Mk X back in April 2016 when the last one rolled off the assembly line. There have been rumors of its return, but Mitsubishi is such a small, struggling company that it would be impossible without Nissan’s help.
Evo vs Impreza: the eternal battle
In any case, the battle between the two giants of the rally scene was epic and went on both in the WRC and in the sales charts.
The Tommi Makinen Edition was the ultimate version of the Evo VI, making it easily one of the hottest Evos ever. One of them (I might be the red one you see in the video at one point) sold for a whopping $200,000 last year.
The edition was introduced in 2000 to celebrate Tommi Makinen’s four consecutive WRC titles from 199 to 1999. They made only 250 examples, and 50 went to the UK.
Specs-wise, this follows the horsepower agreement between Japanese automakers, so the turbocharged 2.0-liter officially makes 276 hp (280 PS) and 272 lb-ft (373 Nm) of torque. However, the actual output is closer to 300 hp.
The Evo VI is standard with AWD and gets a five-speed manual gearbox which is supposed to allow for 0 to 60 mph sprints in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph (241 kph).
What’s different on the Makinen edition are the exhaust, ECU tuning, suspension, and especially the titanium turbocharger. You also can’t miss the new bumper, which looks like the rally car.
Subaru Impreza P1… because it’s a coupe
As much as I’m an Evo fan, I would rather own that Subaru, hypothetically speaking, of course. Imprezas are really cool, and the P1 being a coupe makes it extra-special, kinda like the new Toyota GR Yaris.
It’s also considered one of the most desirable members of the Subaru species and was developed by Subaru UK, the STI division in Japan, and Prodrive, who were making the WRC cars. The companies planned a 500-car run but made double that due to high demand.
Many changes were made. Peter Stevens, who designed the McLaren F1, created that special front-end spoiler extension and a rear wing. The car had modified suspension as well, while the turbocharged boxer engine was tuned to the same 276 hp (280 PS). It too had standard AWD and a 5-speed manual, claiming 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and a slightly higher top speed of 155 mph (250 kph).
So what really happens in the drag race? Yanni delivers the skills he promised and heats Mat to the 1/4-mile finish line in the first race. The Subaru does better in the roll race, which suggests the Evo VI makes more power but struggles when the turbo doesn’t make boost. Regardless, this drag race is straight out of Gran Turismo and I love it.