So, after 2 seasons of happy track days in my Evo 5, I thought to myself: “why not upgrade?”
Yes why not! I mean when I bought my actual track day car, the Evo 5 GSR, I upgraded from a Toyota AE86. Back then my thoughts were like “what if it’s unpleasant to drive a boring 4WD on track?” “what if I don’t enjoy driving it?”
After 2 years of great fun on tracks like Spa, the Nurburgring, Anneau du Rhin,… I have to say I’m really pleased with how the Evo drives on tracks. After lots of experimenting with spring rates and geometry setups, I really like the car. But why buy another Evo?
As I was coming from AE86 territory I was always concerned about weight. I shredded quite a lot from my GSR, but was never satisfied with the weight. The other thing that bothered me was the active AYC differential. Never really loved this thing. And the AYC diff and the pump are so prone to break down. So the only logical conclusion, buy a lighter from Stock Evo and try again.
This brings us to an RS Evo. It’s pretty much as basic as it could be. No active diffs and pumps, no ABS, no electric windows or mirrors, no electric sunroof, … there are just so much of details that makes this car lighter from a stock GSR. 100kg lighter to be exact! And it will loose some more in the near future.
As I’ve recently sold my AE86, I started searching the car sites for an Evo 5 RS or 6 RS, simply because they are the best looking Evos, period! And I can simply swap most of my performance parts from my actual Evo 5 GSR.
So I searched the big UK forums, but only found some heavy modded stuff for sale, searched more and found collectors cars for insane money. So I contacted 2 importers in the UK. John from SVA Imports responded like instantly, and informed me that they had 2 Evo 5’s on display, and two more at the port in Dover. I focused on a 17’000km Evo 5 RS but was too slow. This one was sold really fast.
After a lot of chat and emails with SVA Imports, lots of requested pictures were taken for me and I finally paid a deposit on an “unseen” car! Quite a cool thing you can do with SVA Imports, pay deposit on a car to secure it and to get the UK registration process started. When you then actually visit the car and don’t like it, you’ll get your deposit back.
As I knew John from his Evobreakers days and since he has always been a well reputed member and trader on MLR (biggest Evo forum – UK based), I trusted his words, and wasn’t disappointed at all.
So, let the trip begin. It’s like the 6th Evo we buy from the UK, which means ferry and hotel bookings were quickly made. 3 copilots were easily organized, and off we went. As always in the trusty Subaru Impreza Diesel.
4 hours later we arrived at the Dunkerque ferry port
After 2 hours of channel crossing, we checked in at the hotel and did some sight-seeing before dinner and whiskey 😉
The next morning we headed to SVA imports without any breakfast. (sorry to all brits, but what you call a breakfast just can’t be eaten in the morning lol)
We were warmly welcomed by John and Raef and got a huge cup of coffee. John really is a very helpful guy, responding to so many questions and with a huge Evo background. SVA really did a good thing to hire someone like him!
All clean my potential new car waited for me.
On simple request the car was put on one of their lifts to inspect the underside and all the mechanical areas of this car. These fresh Japanese imports are just in such a better state than most European cars, unbelievable!
After some more inspections, questions and chatting we went on a drive. Lots of things feel so much tighter, better, newer than on my actual GSR. I really wasn’t disappointed at all and just had a bit of paperwork to do. An hour later all was good and we headed back to the ferry port to get back home.
I’m now looking forward to start modifying this car and swapping my performance parts,…
Big thanks to my buddies Tom, Mich and Alain for coming along with me on this trip and of course to John at SVA imports. I read quite a few varying reviews on SVA on the internet, but I can highly recommend them!
And if you are living in the woods and never heard of SVA imports, they have quite a cool Evo themselves, it’s a bit on the tame side though 😀