When we first laid eyes on Sean Glazar's new 2000 Mirage race car, we had two quick impressions. The first had to do with the immaculate build quality of the vehicle and the second was, where's the Talon? The Extreme Talon, which graced the cover of our April issue, was overpowering its driveline and our feature story left off with Glazar and Extreme Motorsports looking for answers in the form of high-tech, heavy-duty axles and transmission components. Somewhere in the winter off-season, the company decided to go front drive. Rule changes for the 2000 season also played a role in this decision. Extreme was considering the ultimate sin-building a Civic. They had the car and the engine but "it just wasn't our style, to do what everyone else had already done," Glazar told us. "So I had an idea and went down to our local Mitsubishi dealership to check out a 2000 Mirage. After taking some quick measurements, it seemed like a 4G63 transplant was feasible." In January 2000, the search for a Mirage was initiated. After three weeks of looking at overpriced pretenders, the Extreme crew nabbed its quarry-a black 2000 Mirage with minor suspension and body damage.
After alignment therapy, the Mirage was back at Extreme Motorsports for transplant surgery. Since the stock motor sits in the opposite direction, the brake booster had to be moved. In fact, the whole engine bay was gutted prior to the transplant. Extreme meticulously hand-fabricated the engine mounts and the results are what Mitsubishi should have done on its own, a 4G63-powered Mirage. From this point, the Mirage went on a dietary plan that would impress even Weight Watchers(tm); it was fitted with a roll cage. The cage is an NHRA-certified, 12-point proposition that adds a great deal of stability to the unibody while protecting Glazar. With that done, it was back to the paint shop for body rejuvenation. While repairing the accident damage, Glazar took the opportunity to enhance the lines by grafting on a Lancer Evolution V aero kit. The Fiberglass kit was designed for a four-door and had to be coaxed into two-door duty. The look is awesome, transforming the car's demeanor from commuter to fierce competitor.
Once again in the friendly confines of Extreme Motorsports' Jessup, Md. headquarters, the Mirage had the appearance of a mirage-a shell with buffed-out body lines. Work began in earnest to assemble the car prior to an event at Atco, N.J. Instead of installing glass, Lexan was used for its weight-saving capacity. Next came the installation of the dash and the Stack gauge pod, running wires, prepping the suspension and wheelie bars-the list was long and time was short. The crew missed the Atco event, but soldiered on; a week later, the Mirage was up and running, ready for some shakedown testing.
During some partial passes the following weekend, the car was pulling hard to the left. After some minor adjustments to the wheelie bars, the Diamond Star was 100-percent ready and made its debut at the Virginia Battle Of The Imports. At its first event and its sixth pass ever, the Mirage boosted its way into the 9-second club with a 9.95 at 150.30 mph. The car was now pulling right at the top-end, but Extreme Motorsports was very happy with the effort. It had good reason.
We were covering the event and noticed how the car would walk off the line and then bone out hard past the Christmas tree. Problems with the first gear synchros had forced Glazar to launch in second gear. That's right, the Mirage ran a 9-second e.t. while launching in second gear. Factor in the car's 25-inch slicks and this feat becomes even more impressive.
Back at the shop, it was determined that the Mitsubishi's wandering behavior at the top-end was due to the wheelie bars. They were reconfigured to provide additional adjustability. The engine's Haltech E6K engine management was tweaked for more power and the crew set off for the IDRC event at Englishtown. Right out of the box, the Mirage screamed to a 9.73 at 152 mph. The rest of the weekend would be a struggle as the car was "plagued with the infamous Mitsubishi transmission problems" to be solved through R&D later this year.
So what makes this beast tick? Look no further than the engine bay. The 4G63's reciprocating assembly consists of a polished and balanced stock crank, custom Extreme/Ross pistons and Crower rods. Glazar said the intake, injectors, fuel pumps, intercooler, turbo and head have been scavenged off of the Talon. The cylinder head is a fully tweaked unit fitted with Web Cam bumpsticks and Web Cam retainers and springs. Unorthodox Racing adjustable cam gears help dial in the cams. ARP fasteners keep the head planted, as the Turbonetics T-Series hair dryer pressurizes the 4G63's performance to a maximum of 30 psi. Overboosting is not a threat, thanks to a Tial wastegate and Extreme XBC boost controller. The Diamond Star is outfitted with a two-stage, single-nozzle nitrous system from Nitrous Express. The first stage is jetted to 50 hp and, when activated, stage two adds an additional 50 stampeding ponies to the mix. Like the Talon, engine management chores are handled by a Haltech system. "The Talon ran an E6S-8 and the Mirage runs on an E6K," said Glazar. "The difference? The E6K has some extra outputs I used for a shift light. As far as the programming, the E6K allows you to import the E6S maps and I used the program from the Talon to start with. After playing with the program for a while, we extracted 603.4 hp on the Extreme Dynojet. Peak torque checked in at 513.4 ft-lbs and many people don't realize that it's torque where the 4G63 has the advanage over the Hondas. "
Putting the power down is a new challenge for the Extreme team. The transmission they are using is a stock 1993-'94 Eclipse FWD unit that uses Eclipse axles. A Clutch Masters aluminum flywheel and race-prepped clutch handle power transfer, while the combination of Koni shocks, Eibach ERS springs and M&H gumballs ensure that maximum traction is achieved. The slicks are 8.7x25x13s mounted to 13x8 Bogart Racing Pro 4 wheels while the rear consists of skinnies-15x3.5 Bogeys and 2x24x15 rubber.
The traction equation has greatly changed for Glazar; he's moving from all-wheel drive to front-wheel drive. We asked him what was different about the experience of having only two wheels pulling him down the track.
"At first, I was not too sure what to expect and after my first two outings, I was getting worried. I had a terrible time with the car pulling hard in one direction and, after having to abort several passes, we came back and made some changes-and they worked. The car ran smooth and straight, but track conditions are much more important to the FWD as it is 100-percent dependent on the front tires for traction. The AWD is more forgiving; you can bully it a bit more. FWD, on the other hand, is all momentum; if you get can it going and keep it going, it will run fast.
"At this point in the game, I am still feeling the car out and making small changes as we go along. To say which is faster? I don't know. We stopped running the Talon and felt that it could have gone several tenths faster, but it was the end of the season. Overall, they do run very similarly with having to be more careful in the FWD with shift points and staying perfectly in the groove down the track and not letting the car get away from you."
The only remaining question is: What's up with the Talon? "You know," said Glazar, "that is the number one asked question when we go to the track. Since we came back from Pomona last year, it has been sitting on one of our lifts. At this point, there is no intention of running the car anytime soon. It is hard to believe that after five years of campaigning it, we stopped cold turkey with it. But she will be back. When? Only time will tell. In the meantime the Quick Class should look out, there's a new Diamond Star in town and its performance is no mirage."
|VEHICLE||2000 Mitsubishi Mirage|
|BEST E.T.||9.73 @ 152.04|
|FORCED INDUCTION||Turbonetics T-Series|
|INTERCOOLER||Extreme Motorsports air-to-air|
|NITROUS OXIDE||Nitrous Express|
|two-stage single nozzle|
|FUEL SYSTEM||Bosch pump (2), regulator SX,|
|Eight 550cc injectors|
|IGNITION SYSTEM||Extreme modified individual|
|coil per cylinder|
|AIR INTAKE||Extreme fabricated sheetmetal,|
|individual throttle bodies|
|EXHAUST||Custom Extreme 4-into-1|
|split design header|
|BOOST CONTROL||Tial wastegate, Extreme|
|XBC boost controller|
|ENGINE MANAGEMENT||Haltech E6K|
|FIRST 9-SECOND RUN |
(2nd Gear Launch)
|FASTEST PASS TO DATE:|