Car News:  Oversteer

The MazdaSpeed6 Was the Subtle Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

RELATED READING
See all Mazda MAZDASPEED6 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2016

Here's something you may not have realized: Back when Mitsubishi first debuted the Lancer Evolution in the United States and Subaru rolled out the WRX STI to us Americans, Mazda also had a competitor to those cars. It was called the MazdaSpeed6.

Most enthusiasts I talk to already know about the MazdaSpeed6, so they're not surprised to find out that it exists. What they're usually surprised to discover is that it wasn't a competitor to the regular old, basic WRX or some Mazda6 with a special body kit. It was an actual, legitimate rival to the Lancer Evo and the WRX STI.

Here are the numbers. The Lancer Evolution debuted here in the U.S. for the 2003 model year, at which time it had 271 horsepower, all-wheel drive and a 5-speed manual transmission. Meanwhile, the WRX STI debuted for the 2004 model year, and it had 300 hp, all-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission. And the MazdaSpeed6? It came out in 2006 with 274 hp, all-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission.

The MazdaSpeed6 didn't have 220 hp to compete with the regular WRX, and it wasn't just some tarted-up standard version of the Mazda6. It was a true, 6-speed manual, all-wheel-drive Evo-fighter.

With a few exceptions, of course. One of them was size. The MazdaSpeed6 was based on Mazda's midsize Mazda6 sedan -- not the smaller models, like the Lancer Evolution and the Impreza WRX STI. It also didn't have the huge-wing, look-at-me styling that some people preferred in the WRX STI and the Evo. And most importantly, it had one of the most annoying clutches I've ever used -- a clutch that was approximately as smooth and gradual as a fistfight.

Still, the MazdaSpeed6 did 0 to 60 miles per hour in something like 5.9 seconds, had a lot of midrange power, handled well and didn't get anywhere near as many annoying highway race offers as the STI or the Evo. And it's worth considering if you want a relatively unknown car with impressive performance.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Insuring My Weird and Exotic Cars Has Been Surprisingly Hard
Here's Why Old SUVs Are Suddenly Shooting Up in Value
6 Surprisingly Expensive Old SUVs For Sale on Autotrader

Find a Mazda6 for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The MazdaSpeed6 Was the Subtle Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - Autotrader