What Happened To The Tokyo Drift EVO?

Tokyo Drift movie fan? Ever wondered what happened to that iconic red Mitsubishi EVO? Let’s find out!

tokyo drift evo

What Is Tokyo Drift?

Before we delve into learning the details about the Tokyo Drift EVO, let’s first take a look at what Tokyo Drift is.

We bet that there plenty of people outthere who haven’t seen the movie. So, let’s dig in.

For those who don’t know, Tokyo Drift is a movie about cars, racing, and high octane fun.

And most importantly, about drifting.

This movie was the third installment in the Fast & Furious franchise and possibly the only movie that is not connected to the story of Dom Torreto and his family.

Tokyo Drift was released in 2006 and it immediately became a real hit. In fact, this movie somewhat revived the franchise after the poor ratings of 2 Fast 2 Furious.

And this refresh was needed in order for the people to prepare for what was coming next.

Even though not very popular among the Fast & Furious fan base, Tokyo Drift is a really good movie that follows the story of a young man called Sean.

Sean is living his life in the US and getting from one trouble to different trouble. And his last incident where he raced a Dodge Viper with his ratty Chevrolet Monte Carlo sent him to Japan.

In Japan, he lives with his father and soon gets into trouble. He then meets Han. We all know and love Han since he appeared quite a lot in the following movies.

He befriends Han and with his help, he learns the art of drifting. If you didn’t know, Japan is not about drag racing. But about drifting. So, he starts learning and wrecks Han’s Nissan Silvia.

Then he is introduced to the EVO where he learns how to drift the car at the docks. And the EVO is the drifting car by which Sean learns how to properly drift around corners.

But this isn’t the halo car in the movie. The halo car is the Ford Mustang that later on Sean builds with Han’s crew.

And probably the Ford Mustang fastback from this movie is the only drift muscle car in movie history.

Overall, it’s a really fun movie to watch. So, if you haven’t watched it, go ahead. Now let’s discuss the Tokyo Drift EVO.

First, we are going to learn more about the core model and then we will learn what type of mods the movie crew did to this car to make it drift around the corners.

Stock Mutsubishi Lancer Evolution IX

Now before we dive into the Tokyo Drift EVO, let’s learn more about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX first.

If you didn’t know, this is the car on which the Tokyo Drift EVO is based. The core is the EVO IX but the movie car is a heavily modified version that has nothing to do with the bone stock EVO.

So, before we cover the movie car, let’s learn more about the stock model.

The EVO IX is a model that was introduced in 2005 and was in production until 2007 when it was replaced by the EVO X.

This model similar to its predecessor was based on the Lancer. But the similarities end only on the chassis. The EVO is a completely different beast since this model implements all the goodies that you could get back in the day if you were into a high-performance JDM model.

What is worth noting is that there was the standard JDM model but there was also a USDM version that was available only for the North American market. This means that you can also get this model with a left-hand-drive.

Nevertheless, the EVO IX was practically the most refined EVO up-to-date. It might look like its predecessors. But it performed a lot better.

Engines & Transmissions

The model came equipped with a 2.0L inline-4 turbo engine. This engine was the 4G63 version. This engine implements MIVEC technology. If you don’t know what is MIVEC, this is basically Mitsubishi’s VTEC, in other words, variable valve timing.

The engine developed about 287hp and 289lb-ft of torque. Absolutely crazy numbers considering that it only weighs about 3,285 lbs.

In terms of transmissions, there were three available.

A 6-speed manual, a 5-speed manual, and a 4-speed automatic. As you can tell, the 6-speed is probably the most preferable option from the few.

But what about the Tokyo Drift EVO? More on the EVO, we are going to cover in a bit.

Trim Levels

Another thing that we would like to discuss when it comes to the Mitsubishi EVO IX is the trim levels. There were two types of models. The standard models and the MR (Mitsubishi Racing) models.

The base models were the RS (rally sport), GT, and GSR. The GSR is probably the most desired version because this model implements the 6-speed manual, Bilstein monotube shocks, A/C, Recaro bucket seats with Alcantara, a special gauge pack, and torque vectoring.

So, the GSR is basically all you need.

But there is a lot more. More specifically the MR models. There were three versions of the MR. The MR GSR, MR RS, and MR tuned by Ralliart.

Ralliart is the high-performance division of Mitsubishi.

The MR models are similar to the standard models. The main differences are cosmetic. Namely, BBS wheels, lowered height, lip spoilers, and other small details.

So, if you can get a standard GSR for cheaper, we would say to go for it and not spend a ton of money on a car that only has cosmetic modifications.

But what about the Tokyo Drift EVO? Well, more about this EVO we are going to discuss next.

The Tokyo Drift EVO

Now let’s discuss the Tokyo Drift EVO and see how this model came to life and how it is different compared to the stock model.

As we noted previously, in the movie, Sean smashed the Silvia and Han introduced Sean to the Mitsubishi EVO. And with the EVO, Sean mastered the drifting skill on the docks.

Visual Changes Made To The EVO

The EVO that appears in the movie has striking looks with red paint, blacked-out door windows, and vinyls on the side with some crazy graphics.

But to everyone’s surprise, the model didn’t include neon lights like in the case with the previous Fast & Furious movies.

The movie car was an EVO IX with the front end of an EVO VIII. Don’t know why they did that, maybe because of some cost-saving purposes since the new EVO was still new and expensive and they had to do some stunt work, so they probably decided to cut costs here and there.

Nevertheless, the movie EVOs were modified by a company known as RMR. There was a total of 10 cars that were modified for this movie.

If you don’t know, RMR refers to Rhys Millen Racing. This is a company owned By a New Zealand driver named Rhys Millen. He is a drift competitor and knew a thing or two about building drift cars. In fact, he also did stunts for Tokyo Drift and many of the scenes were featuring him.

Nevertheless, the movie EVOs featured the APR’s wide-body kit with a massive APR carbon fiber wing at the rear. While at the front the car had a front canard to keep the nose planted and a ton of other APR aero pieces to make the car more aerodynamic and perform a lot better.

Inside instead of the stock instrument cluster, the model featured an APR carbon fiber insert with a carbon-fiber plate that replaced the factory stereo. The stock gauges were replaced with some AutoMeter gauges.

When it comes to the steering wheel and harness, this movie car came with a Sparco unit with a quick-disconnect hub. This allowed quick-release for the driver whenever he wanted to get out of the car.

When it comes to the seats, the model kept the stock Recaro seats, but seat belts were changed, the model implements a jdm-tight takata 4-point harnesses that keeps the driver in place all of the time.

Performance Changes Made To The EVO

Enough of the visual upgrades that were done to the Tokyo Drift EVO, let’s now discuss the performance upgrades that were done to it.

The powertrain of the EVO is the stock 2.0L engine. But heavily tuned version. This model comes with HKS everything.

So, on the engine, there is a special HKS turbo kit that comes with a specially built intercooler, cold air intake, and all of the goodies that you can imagine.

But by today’s standards, most of these parts are pretty old school. Remember that this was 2006, more than 15 years ago.

In terms of drivetrain, the stock EVO is AWD, and for this purpose, they had to build a rear wheel-drive EVO. For the purpose of creating a rear-wheel drive EVO, they had to cut the communication between the differentials.

This means that the front wheels are no longer connected to the rear wheels.

Usually, there is a driveshaft that goes from the rear to the front and this driveshaft, which is a tube-like device was removed from the car in order to make the Mitsubishi rally machine to be a proper drift car.

The suspension was also reworked. The model implements special Eibach springs and aftermarket steering knuckles that allow some additional angle.

This is needed since this is a drift car and you need to have more angle compared to stock in order to properly drift the car.

And drifting in this movie is pretty real and not just movie magic.

The brakes were also upgraded with Brembo calipers and Brembo discs. Overall, the whole car as a package was a lot better compared to the stock version of the EVO.

Although many people would say that only the looks were changed, this is not actually the case. Basically the whole car was reworked and tuned specifically for drifting.

But where is the Tokyo Drift EVO right now? Let’s find out more about that next.

Where Is The EVO Now?

After all these years, many people are asking where are these movie cars right now. Are they still driven or they have been scrapped?

Well, for the purpose of filming this movie about 10 examples were made. But not all of them were made with the same spec. The spec of the movie cars differs because some cars are intended for stunts. And these cars are often crashed and scrapped.

But there are one or more halo cars that have all the goodies and are built in the same fashion. One of these examples was purchased by a YouTuber. His channel is called Dustin Williams. He has more than 700,000 subscribers.

He bought this Tokyo Drift EVO in 2021. He basically got the top-spec car with all the exterior and interior mods. Basically the halo car of the movie.

The purpose of this purchase was to bring this non-running car into its former glory. And he did so, he changed the bad parts and replaced them with new parts. In addition to this, he also did some tasteful upgrades to the model.

As we could find, there were a couple of videos of the car and since then little is known about what really happened to the vehicle.

But since the car was in perfect driving order when we last time saw it, we can assume that is in good hands and sometimes it will see the light of day once again.

Wrapping up the Tokyo Drift EVO

Now that we covered the Tokyo Drift EVO, let’s sum up our impressions. The EVO used in this movie is a really good-looking car. Especially with that APR wide body kit and that nice-looking red color.

And from all of the cars in this movie, the EVO is probably my favorite.

There were also other really good cars like the R34 GT-R from 2 Fast 2 Furious and the orange RX-7 from Tokyo Drift driven by Han. That Veilside body kit basically transformed that car in a very good way.

Overall, when it comes to the EVO, we can say that it was built for drifting and has all the mods that you can expect a drift car to have.

They might be outdated by today’s standards since the car was built in 2006. But it is still one legendary drift machine.

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author avatar Written by

Joe is an avid writer and car enthusiast. When he's not cruising the streets alongside his friends in his Nissan Silvia S15, he's drifting on his VR racing simulator.

Joe's passion for cars is always on display. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the automotive industry, he hopes his writing conveys his excitement and knowledge of cars and games.

Joe's work has been featured on many platforms including drivetribe.com, 180sx.club, carthrottle.com, smartdrivinggames.com, smartbikegames.com, databox.com and ceoblognation.com.

When he's not behind the wheel or at his keyboard, he's likely daydreaming of his ultimate ride - the legendary Lexus LFA.

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