The Mitsubishi EVO is the hottest thing on wheels. This particular car blends style, power, form and function to create a trophy winner on the show circuit and a hard charger on NASA's road racing circuit. The four-dour turbocharged terror shown here does all this and also performs daily commuter duties without complaint.
Project Mammoth Mitsubishi EVO VIII is owned by Dan Mermelstein and Rob Rohn of Vivid Distributing LLC, which runs www.vividracing.com, a performance shop promoting racing, fashion and lifestyle of the performance market. Vivid Racing goes beyond cyberspace; all the performance work was completed in the company's 3,500 square foot facility in Tempe, Ariz.
The tuning aspect of the buildup was handled by Vivid's Clark Turner. Vivid Racing bought the car in March 2003 and quickly built it up to make its first showing at SEMA's Import Auto Salon (IAS) 2003 for BFGoodrich. The car was then revamped in July 2003 and showed up at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas for JIC. The car has since been overhauled with engine upgrades and other performance mods.
Participating with Team Garage Life in Southern California, the EVO has won many first-place trophies in the Import Showoff tour and now competes in the EXC Class, best of the best. When not polished and pristine in show competition, the Diamond Star is Dan Mermelstein's daily driver and also the car he takes to local NASA road race events. "The EVO embodies three characteristics of a Vivid Racing car-- handling, speed and daily driveability," says Mermelstein.
There are some righteously trick pieces on this Mitsu, with a number of them originally JDM, most notably a wicked carbon-fiber intake system from HKS Kansai Service. The Kansai unit mimics the stock unit, but has a wider inlet and a more direct route for intake air to flow. The Kansai intake is also fitted with a better-flowing filter from RMR. A large Perrin air-to-air intercooler replaces the stock offering and uses Ralliart piping to move air. The big FMIC is admirably framed by a trick C-West body kit.
On the hot side of the turbo, a JIC header improves flow into the stock TD05HRA-16G. StopTech brakes, which are bigger than the O.E. Brembo setup, help get the car through tight corners faster. The StopTech attack features front and rear rotor upgrades of 330 mm and 328 mm, respectively, with four-piston calipers all around. A set of staged HKS cams oversees valvetrain events. Vivid employs a 272-degree bumpstick on the exhaust side and a 264-degree unit on the intake side, with HKS adjustable cam gears fine-tuning the combo.
Oftentimes the smaller details make a mammoth a mammoth. In this case, the fine details include the EVO's ARC oil cap, Ralliart shift knob, Ralliart carbon shift panel, Takata harness and pads, Ralliart meter/display, Carbring floor bar, JDM taillights, Ganador mirrors, Monster Sport carbon trunk, C-West carbon hood, JDM antenna and JDM Evolution badging.
Tuning electronics consist of an HKS EVC boost controller expertly mounted in the center console, and an A'PEXi S-AFC piggyback fuel computer that modifies the MAP signal, allowing for fuel adjustments on a user-programmable eight points of attack in 500-rpm increments. Also part of the mix is a Blitz turbo timer and complete metering from Blitz AC gauges.
The EVO's footwork has been enhanced with JIC FLTA2 coil-overs, rigid front and rear strut bars, and Cusco anti-roll bars all around, fitted with Perrin links. The final factors in the adhesion equation are BFGoodrich g-Force KDW tires and Advan RG wheels. The 18x8.5 Advans sport the trick gold finish and are wrapped by 245/ZR40-18 BFGs. This combo is extremely flexible, with the BFG g-Forces providing excellent grip at NASA events and mild-mannered handling during the daily commute.
The EVO VIII is such a great car out of the box, it doesn't take much coaxing to get a big payback. In fact, even in its mildly tuned state, the Diamond Star has ripped off a 12.6 at 107 mph at Firebird Raceway. What makes Vivid Racing's Project Mammoth truly mammoth is not a huge dyno number or crazy wide body panels, it's how well all the pieces used on the car function in conjunction with one another.
When the whole seems greater than its parts, a car tuner has done his job. Vivid Racing deserves props for the work seen here.
C-West EVO VIII Body Kit
Monster Sport carbon trunk
C-West carbon hood
JDM Evolution badge
Vivid Racing carbon splitter
Bride reclinable Brix seats
Ralliart shift knob
Takata harness and pads
Ralliart meter display
Ralliart carbon shift panel
Carbring floor bar
Personal steering wheel with quick-release splash hub
Vivid Racing fuel rail gold
Samco radiator hoses
Monster Sport radiator shroud
Monster Sport radiator cap
ARC oil cap
HKS Kansai carbon air box
RMR filter kit
Ralliart intake pipe
Ralliart intercooler piping
Forge custom red recirc valve
RMR carbon valve cover
Vivid Racing battery tie-down
Pruven Performance radiator
Lineage grounding kit
Perrin large intercooler
HKS cam gears
HKS 272 exhaust camshaft
HKS 264 intake camshaft
JIC FLTA2 coil-overs
Rigid triangle front strut bar; custom color
Rigid rear strut bar; custom color
Cusco Rear 23mm Rear Sway Bar
Cusco front sway bar
Perrin sway bar links
JIC V2 lower arm bar
18x8.5 Advan RG Gold Wheels
Kyokugen lightweight lug nuts
BFGoodrich 245/40-18 g-Force KDW tires
JIC Titanium cat-back
Monster Sport downpipe
Perrin cat delete pipe
B&M short shifter
Clarion 1035 DVD player w/7-inch screen
AutoXcam Racing camera system
Custom Stereo Box in trunk w/Fosgate 12s
All MB Quart speakers and Rockford amps
Blitz AC gauges (boost, EGT, fuel pressure)
Blitz FATT turbo timer
HKS EVC V
Knock Link System
StopTech 4 Wheel Big Brake Kit (bigger than stock Brembo)
Four-piston front caliper w/ 330x32 cross-drilled rotors custom blue
Four-piston rear caliper w/ 328x30 cross-drilled rotors custom blue
Front and rear steel braided lines
Pagid Racing brake pads
Motul brake fluid