We don't only feature fully modified vehicles in NZ Performance Car magazine — the mildly modified get a look in too! It doesn't matter what it is, if you're passionate about it, modify it, and drive it to work every day, we'll showcase it.

Name: Rebecca Pharazyn
Location: Auckland
Occupation: Dairy farm assistant
Make/model: 2000 Mitsubishi Evo 6.5 Tommi Mäkinen Edition
Engine: Factory-modified 4G63, 2000cc four cylinder, factory-modified turbo with titanium aluminide turbine wheel and shaft
Drivetrain: Factory five-speed
Interior: Factory Tommi Mäkinen edition seats
Exterior: Tommi Mäkinen rally decals
Suspension: Factory stiffened and lowered
Wheels/tyres: Factory 17x7.5-inch (-38) Enkei wheels

NZPC: Hey Bex, we were very excited to shoot your Tommi Mäkinen Evo 6.5, as it’s not every day that we see one. Tell us why you purchased it in the first place. 

Bex: I’ve always been a fan of motorsport, especially rally, and as Tommi Mäkinen is my favourite driver I’ve always admired the Evo 6.5 edition, but I never thought I would own one myself. It was a dream come true purchasing one in such original condition. 

How did you originally get into high-performance turbo cars? 

My dad — he’s a bit of a petrolhead himself, and used to take my brother and I to a lot of motorsport events. As much as I loved Evos, I couldn’t afford one, so I got the closest thing to one — a 1992 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR. Things started from there. I had the GSR for seven years, then decided I needed something bigger, better, and faster, so I purchased an Evo IX. I loved that car, but as soon as the Evo 6.5 popped up on Trade Me, I had to have it. It was sad seeing the Evo IX go, but I don’t have any regrets about buying the Mäkinen Edition.

Why have you left it completely factory? Would you modify it if it wasn’t the Tommi Mäkinen Edition? 

Because I love it how it is, and modifying it would devalue it. It’s rare to see a red Evo 6.5 in original condition. My Evo is an original SNGF-2 model, which means it came with the decals from the factory — this makes it a little bit more special. Yes I would modify it if it was another Evo model, but it’s nice having a car you don’t have to spend money on modifications for, and can enjoy it for what it is. 

What’s your favourite thing the Mäkinen version possesses that no other Evo model has? 

Mainly the history behind the model, and the fact it looks like a rally car from the factory. Plus, it was designed by my idol. 

If you could change one thing about its performance, what would it be? 

More power for sure. I really notice it after coming from my Evo IX. I really like boost, and think it could use some more. 

Thank you so much for your time Rebecca, we hope you keep this tidy example for as long as possible. 

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.