The Let's Play Archive

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

by Olive Branch

Part 7: The History of Porsche; About the Porsche Cayman S; About the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII

About the Lancer Evolution VIII

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has had ten official versions to date, and the designation of each model is most commonly a Roman numeral. All use two litre, turbocharged engines and four-wheel drive systems. The first Evolution was sold in 1992, and the tenth and latest Evolution was launched in 2007 in Japan, and in 2008 overseas. A new Evolution is said to be on the works, and the president of Mitsubishi Motors has said it will feature electric power from a hybrid drivetrain, maintaining performance of 0-62mph time under five seconds while cutting CO2 emissions.

Originally intended only for Japanese markets, demand on the "grey import" market led the Evolution series to be offered to European markets from 1998 or so. Mitsubishi decided to export the eighth generation Evolution (the kind used in the game) to the United States in 2003 after seeing their rival Subaru's success with the Impreza WRX. Both of these cars can be used in-game, but the Impreza WRX has better initial stats.

Worthy of note is how the Evolutions were advertised. Japanese-spec cars were limited by a gentlemen's agreement not to advertise more than 276 hp on their cars, a mark the Evolution IV had reached. However, subsequent versions have evolved above those figures all the way up to 405 hp!

Triple A Says...

Lancer Evolutions are beasts. They are fast, practical, and very serious cars. Still most popular in rallying and the design is pretty much that of a rally car. Evolutions are quite customizable and can do quite a lot if you know what you're doing. An extremely tunable car.

Unlike the Eclipse it doesn't have the pretension. It sticks out in traffic, but it has something behind the facade of a fancy sports car. One of the best Mitsubishi cars ever made, even though Mitsubishi doesn't have a very good lineup. The second-hand market on Evolution is lean because they are stolen and crashed often. It's one of the most stolen cars in the United States. It can range from 300-400 hp, 500 hp if the internals of the engine are messed around with.

In the game series and manga Initial D, later opponents use Evolutions quite often.

The History of Porsche

Porsche Automobil Holding SE, shortened to Porsche, is a German-based automotive maker. Founded by Professor Ferdinand Porsche in 1931, the company didn't produce cars at first. It was approached by the German government to produce the Volkswagen, the "people's car" we've already talked about. Porsche went ahead and did it, creating the iconic Volkswagen Bettle, and the Volkswagen company eventually was founded on its own while Porsche turned to war machine manufacturing. During the war Porsche submitted designs for tanks, but lost to Henschel & Son's Tiger I design. Porsche's designs eventually made it into tank destroyers, but at the end of the war everything fell apart for the professor, who was arrested (but not tried) for war crimes. Ferdinand's son Ferry Porsche had to take over the company while his father was incarcerated, and eventually the Porsche 356 was designed, submitted to auto dealers, produced, and sold. Many consider the 356 to be the first real Porsche as it was the first one sold by the company, rather than the Volkswagen Beetle which was designed and sold under government orders.

In the post-WW2 years parts were hard to come by, so early 356s used Volkswagen parts, but eventually this turned around on its head and Volkswagen began to use Porsche parts on their cars. In 1964 the company launched the Porsche 911, which would become the company's most iconic and well-known car. The 911 would also "modernize" in appearance, so now we consider the earlier design the "classic" 911. In 1972, the company went public because their generation members did not team up well. Non-family members began to take control of the company, its designs, and its marketing. Many CEOs and design wonks from Porsche eventually found their way into other motor companies, but this hasn't harmed Porsche's image or capacity to sell cars.

Later Porsche years basically focused on the company's expansion overseas and new model designs, which never deviated from luxury. Porsche's relationship with Volkswagen, which has always been strong, began with both companies having agreements regarding parts use and stake-holding. In 2009, due to mounting debts, Porsche was eventually forced to merge with Volkswagen. Despite this, both companies continue to be branded separately, as all the ownership and stockholding is done behind the scenes from the public eye.

About the Cayman S

Named after the caiman, a reptile, the Porsche Cayman is a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive two-seat sports car derived from Porsche's second-generation Boxster convertible. The Cayman S was the first model to be developed and sold to the public (the S stands for "Sport" and "Special"), and later on the actual base Cayman was sold the next year. Powered a flat-six (H6) engine and possessing a larger hatchback than the Boxster, the Cayman S has had revisions done to it in the late 2000s, but the model used in-game is the original Cayman S. The second generation of the Cayman was introduced in 2009.

Performance-wise the Cayman S is very similar to the 911 Carrera, but is over $10,000 cheaper. Rally legend Walter Röhrl lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife track in a Cayman S in a time of 8 minutes, 11 seconds. The time for a standard Cayman S, as published by the manufacturer, was 8 minutes, 20 seconds. In contrast, Röhrl recorded 8 minutes, 15 seconds in a 911 Carrera. Given these statistics, a customer seeking a fast Porsche would probably be better off buying the cheaper Cayman than the flagship 911!

Triple A Says...

The Cayman is the middle child between the Boxster and the 911 Porsches. Like a middle child, it doesn't get as much say as it deserves as it could potentially threaten the 911s, but Porsche doesn't want that attention. It has a lot of potential, but the average user doesn't really care about that. After all, one drives a Cayman because they want a Porsche, but not a Boxster. The Cayman is a more economic 911, which is the real car Porsche wants people to know about and that most people do know about. All in all, a typical Porsche car: it will cost a lot and it breaks often, but it is very sporty in handling and power.