I am a Hot Wheels enthusiast through & through — its the only diecast brand I collect. I respect older Hot Wheels, and appreciate the newer ones. Every single casting, even the ones collectors love to hate, has its place in Hot Wheels history. With that said, some castings need to be revisited… here’s looking at you #Dodge Viper RT/10.
I didn’t always feel this way. Having somewhat of a traditionalist view blinded me from looking ahead to how far the brand has come from a design perspective. Case in point: look at the brand-new #Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI. It doesn’t replace the #Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 casting, but it does crush it from an overall design.
Let’s be a little fair: the #Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 — based on a 2002 rally car — is essentially a basic casting, despite debuting in a premium series. Back in 2005 when it was released in the #World Rally Championship segment of #Hot Wheels Racing, many mainline cars found themselves in premium series. Some where metal/metal, but this one was created with a plastic body. By today’s standards it is a travesty, but I have to admit, the WRC version does look nice with its full detail. Unfortunately, I never purchased that one and they are tough to find now. Instead, I have the very next release of the Evo 7 for comparison, the 2006 Holiday Hot Rods release. It isn’t detailed by any stretch of the imagination, but its satin “spectrafrost” paint does allow for you to see the details of the casting quite nicely.
The #2021 Hot Wheels Car Culture / Modern Classics III #Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI — based on the 2000 production car per the base — finally gives us a legit Evo street car to add to our collections. The proportions of this Evo far exceed what was done on the #Evo VII and the #Evo X — and really showcases how far the Hot Wheels design team has come by utilizing modern technology. I believe most of that has to do with the ability to 3D print castings in the El Segundo Design Center versus waiting for factory proofs (EP, FEP, etc.). I’ll have to have a chat with designer, Mark Jones about differences now compared to then, but I digress as that is a story for another time.
Given the early reaction, it seems like collectors have really taken a liking to the #Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI. Its a crisp, well-proportioned casting that debuts in a very clean fashion. It would be great to see Hot Wheels go back (and forward) now and do the other Evo generations much like they did with the Skylines. Can you imagine if we got the Evo VII casting upgraded to this? We could finally have a legit Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) Evo from 2 Fast 2 Furious in Fast & Furious Premium instead of the placeholder Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 rally car that has been used thus far.
I would be remiss if I did not mention this car and how it fits within #Car Culture / Modern Classics III. So let’s check out that!
In a set of five great “last of the millennium” designs in bold colors, the #Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI certainly stands out as one of two #First Edition castings — with the other being another Mitsubishi in the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4. Hot Wheels collectors have been clamoring for a 3000GT since the car was on showroom floors in the late ’90s so it is nice to see one of those finally come into fruition. Consider it long overdue just like a legit premium version of an Evo. These two cars are certainly a reminder that #Mitsubishi isn’t the car company it used to be as their designs have shifted from performance to crossovers. Having these two in the Hot Wheels Premium arsenal warms my Modern Classics heart.
As if #Car Culture / Modern Classics III wasn’t already “fly” enough, it appears the design team has included a nice little bonus detail to tie the series together: personalized ’90s-era California license plates! How cool is that?!?!? The license plate on the #Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI reads, “EVOLNCR”, while the 3000GT reads, “SPICYGT”. The other cars in the series read, “QIKLUDE” (’98 Honda Prelude), “ZXTURBO” (#Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo), and “92BEAMR” (#’92 BMW M3).