The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been prowling outside the U.S. since the early '90s, going through one of its `evolutions' every few years. Finally, in 2003 Mitsubishi Motors brought the ultimate rally machine to the U.S. We got the latest and greatest Evolution, dubbed the Evo8. (The rest of the world gets VIII not 8. Mitsubishi must not give much credit to the U.S. school system's to teach Roman numerals.) Why after 10-plus years were we finally worthy of the Evo? One can only think that the introduction was only a response to the fanfare Subaru's Impreza WRX received when it was introduced about a year earlier.
Import freaks and WRC rally enthusiasts have known about the awesome potential that Evolutions possessed for years and have yearned for the day they could get their hands on one of Japan's unobtainables (EVO, STI, Skyline). Others who had never heard of the little Mitsubishi got a taste of it in 1998 via the awesome video game Gran Turismo and were hooked.
The first lucky Evo owners in 2003 were greeted with lots of go-fast parts soon after the Evo's introduction. The engine, which is more or less the same 4G63 that graced the first and second generation DSMs (Talon, Laser, Eclipse), has been around since '89 and has a relatively large aftermarket following. For fear of offending a handful of enthusiasts, it should be mentioned that the 4G63 also graced the oft forgotten Galant VR4.
Many Evo owners have naturally modified their cars. Most have done the simple mods: turboback exhaust, boost controller, and maybe cams. This may be enough for some, but there are always others out there pushing the envelope. Ryan Woon, CEO of Wide Open Throttle Motorsports (WOTM), is one who is always pushing for more. His shop, already well known for incredibly quick Supras, understands how to maximize potential. In fact, currently they lay claim to having the quickest six-speed Supra in the world.
Ryan's 2003 Evo8 was going to be built all at once as a street/show car with no expenses spared. The result is fabulous. Go look at the pictures again and wipe your chin. It took one year and over 100 large (you read that right) to build this wet dream of an Evo.
This was targeted to be a high profile Evo, so it's only fitting that the new owner is high profile as well. Jose Vidro (No. 3) of the Washington Nationals now owns the car. Vidro has some other nice toys such as a 64-foot yacht, a new F430 Ferrari, a few Mercedes, etc., but it's this ber-Evo that draws the looks from those in the know.
Let's take a look at the outside of this incredible beast. It sports some of the most beautiful bodywork ever to grace an Evo, including: a C-West front bumper, C-West sides, and a Kaminari rear bumper. This Evo features JDM headlights and taillights, and a gorgeous paint job courtesy of Stuttgart Southwest. The lowered, purposeful stance is created through the use of Tein Flex coilovers. It rolls with awesome 18-inch Volk SF Winnings on Toyo RA1s. Peaking out from behind the Volks is a set of Brembo brakes.
Most Evo owners leave the already stout bottom end alone, but not Ryan. What these owners dream about and wish for, Ryan did. Not constrained by the under 2000cc rally classification (reason why EVOs and many JDM STIs are 1.99x's) Ryan opted for more displacement by means of a stroker motor. What was once a 2.0 is now a 15-percent bigger 2.3-stroker using a custom crankshaft that swings a set of Crower rods and CP pistons. Sitting on top of the stroker is a WOTM head featuring a Ferrea valvetrain and HKS cams, which can be optimized through Unorthodox cam gears. This engine gulps the expensive stuff at the pump via a custom WOTM fuel system featuring unholy 1600cc injectors, twin Walbro in-tank pumps, -10 feed, -6 return, and an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator. An AMS-built intake manifold brings plenty of air in with the help of a GReddy FMIC chill. Exhaust gasses spin a GT35R turbo with a Tial gate utilizing Tial's BOV. Exhaust gasses then pass through a WOTM turboback consisting of a 4-inch downpipe, 4-inch midpipe, and 4-inch cat-back. Yes, you read that right: a 4-inch turbo-back!
It should be obvious that this car is capable of putting down some serious horsepower. To help cope with this prodigious power, the transmission was built by DSM legend John Shephard and uses an RPS carbon clutch with some super stout Driveshaft Shop Stage 5 axles.
The interior of this beauty was painstakingly done right by 1st Upholstery in Scottsdale, Arizona. It features Sparco belts, GReddy gauges, FJO Wideband 02, and an HKS EVC5 boost controller. The stereo is customized too with three JL 10's, JL 6.5 mids, JL tweets, JL amp, and an Alpine multimedia head unit. 1st Upholstery made some incredible custom doors, seats, headliner, A-pillars, etc. And there's also the extra touch of having Vidro's No. 3 embossed in the seats and headliner.
Ryan Woon and his crew took a stock Evo, put some time, money, and love into it, and produced a mouth-watering masterpiece fit for street or show. Having a famous personality behind the wheel just adds to the glamour. We know it'll be a monster on the street, but does it have enough to take home some trophies at the shows? You'd be a fool not to think so.
SPECS : 2003 MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 8
4g63 inline 4 aluminum, iron block, turbocharged and intercooled
WOTM cylinder head
Unorthodox cam gears
AMS intake manifold
WOTM turbo kit with 4-inch downpipe
4-inch custom exhaust
Tial BOV, Greddy FMIC
WOTM fuel system with 1600cc injectors
Twin Walbro pumps in tank, -10 feed, -6 return
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
HKS EVC5 boost controller
John Shephard built tranny
Driveshaft Shop Stage 5 Axles
RPS carbon clutch
Tein Flex coilovers
Stuttgart Southwest paint work
C-West front bumper
Kaminari rear bumper
custom doors, seats, head liner, A-pillars, etc.
Jose's No. 3 was embossed in the head liner and seats
FJO wideband 02
HKS EVC5 boost controller.
18-inch Volk SF Winnings