Durability was the primary focus of the Evolution VI, which received a larger intercooler and oil coolers, new pistons, a titanium-aluminide turbine wheel (RS model) and new bodywork to increase airflow and improve cooling. Horsepower increased to 280, while torque remained the same. Two new models were offered during the Evo V generation: the RS2, which was basically an RS with a few options from the better-equipped GSR, and the lightweight RS Sprint, tuned by Ralliart to 330 bhp. The Tommi Makinen edition, named for the dominant Finnish rally driver, featured red/black Recaro seats, 17” white Enkei wheels, a leather MOMO steering wheel and shift knob, lower ride height, front upper strut brace and a quick-ratio steering rack. This model is sometimes referred to as the Evo 6.5 and came in an exclusive shade of red with special decals to replicate Makinen’s rally car. It was during this time that American enthusiasts began to take notice of the Evolution and ask for its introduction to the U.S. market.
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