Many aspects of the car were changed such as:
- The interior was upgraded in the GSR version with a better class of Recaro seats.
- The body kit had flared arches at the front and rear and a new aluminium rear spoiler replaced the IV FRP version and gave an adjustable angle of attack to alter rear down force. (In process of doing so, the Evolution V onwards was no longer considered “compact” according to Japanese dimension regulations, requiring Japanese owners to pay an increased annual tax as the car was now 70 mm (2.8 in) wider than regulated limit of 1,700 mm (66.9 in)).
- The track was widened by 10 mm (0.4 in), the wheel offset changed from ET45 to ET38 along with the wheel diameter which rose from 16 in to 17 in to accommodate Brembo brakes.
- In addition the brake master cylinder bore increased by 0.3 mm (0.01 in).
- The engine was strengthened in a few areas and the cam duration was increased. The pistons were lighter with a smaller skirt area. 510 cc injectors were replaced with 560 cc injectors for better engine reliability due to more electrical “headroom” and the ECU was changed to include a flash ROM, allowing more boost pressure to the same TD05-HR as the Mitsubishi Evolution IV.
Furthermore, the turbocharger was again improved. Torque was increased to 373 N⋅m (275 lb⋅ft) at 3,000 rpm. Power officially stayed the same, at 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp), though some claim horsepower was actually somewhat higher.
- RS – “rally sport” Close-ratio 5-speed, minimal interior, rally suspension, 1.5 Way LSD, (Shortened close-ratio 5-speed transmission, Auto Air Conditioner, Enkei Wheels, Recaro bucket seat, Brembo brakes, power window are available as option).
- GSR – 5-speed, gauge pack, AYC (Active Yaw Control), Anti-Lock Braking System, Recaro front bucket and rear seat, auto air-conditioner, double-din audio, power window, Brembo brakes.