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X-Rated - Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

BVP Turns Up The Wick On The New Evo X

David Tate
Jan 31, 2009 SHARE

If you're reading this magazine, you're well familiar with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and its outrageous potential. The 10th and latest iteration, known as the Evo X, is the first gen-eration to truly feature a full ground-up redesign, not to mention the first to stray from the Mitsubishi power standard--its tried-and-true workhorse 4G63 engine. It's also the first generation to be sold in the states with Mitsubishi's brilliant Yaw Control System, now part of its Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system. The Evo X is available in two trims, GSR and MR, and neither one is short on performance. While the MR offers more modern trickery, like the amazing dual-clutch paddle-shift transmission (DC-SST), it also carries a touch more weight and certainly a heavier price tag than the GSR. For many performance buffs, the GSR, with its traditional clutch and shifter, will be the way to go, especially since it still has the same S-AWC.

When this car was introduced, there was an ever-so-brief moment of peace as the car world simply sat back and enjoyed what Mitsubishi had created. However, it was inevitable that the tuner crowd would quickly become antsy and begin modifying them. Here's the story of one of the first examples to wear the crown of "fastest Evo X."

The white Evo shown here belongs to Victor Caputis, owner of Big Valley Performance (BVP) in Orlando, Fla. Like quite a few tuner shops in Florida, BVP got its start offshore in Puerto Rico, an island that has certainly had its share of some seriously speedy cars over the years. Having already snagged the title of the fastest U.S.-spec STI in the world, Caputis and the team at BVP were anxious to spread their name further and make some waves in the Evo community. What better platform to start with than with the brand-new Evo X?

When he and the team at BVP began this project, there was practically no aftermarket support to speak of for the new model. They were breaking new ground and things could go very wrong for them if they weren't careful. There were no plug-and-play products, nor years worth of R&D to fall back on. On the plus side, the new platform also worked as a clean slate for them, and made customizing parts seem more worthwhile and exciting. Crossing their fingers, they threw their Evo on the dyno, so new it still had the factory paper floor mats and window stickers.

They began trying to crack the 300whp mark with basic tweaks and adjustments and were eventually able to pull it off after adding a custom-fabricating cold-air intake. They knew this setup had its dangers though, and although they were concerned that there was still no form of engine management controlling everything, they just had to see what they had created so far. The next day, after a night of almost no sleep, they asked friend and well-known Florida dragger, Rolando Resto, to pilot their Evo X down the quarter-mile. To everyone's excitement, the car ripped its way down the track, laying down an 11.80 at 114 mph. After this, they knew they were well on their way. In fact, they say that this run alone was quick enough to make it the fastest Evo X at the time.

Once the crew returned to the shop, they went right back to work. The recent runs proved the new car was more than capable of serious numbers, and they wanted more. With such a strong platform to work from, the decision was made to make the most of it, rather than go about recklessly replacing every part. They called up Forced Performance and Arizona Forced Induction to take a look at the turbo system. Once everyone agreed on a game plan, they decided to leave the actual turbo housing stock, and simply give the turbo's internals a thorough work over. A beefier front-mount intercooler from Buschur Racing was fitted to help maintain a cool airflow. They also left the factory ECU in place, although they were finally able to tune the car, thanks to a reflash by Gadiel Tuning. Once everything was in place, the car was strapped right back down to the dyno for tuning and testing. By the end of the day this Evo X was laying down 410 whp, and when filled with C16 race gas, it delivered a whopping 465 whp and a crushing 435 lb-ft of torque.

Aside from this reworking of the engine, the rest of the drivetrain remains stock, although an ACT clutch was employed to handle the additional power. The car came equipped from the factory with very capable Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs, not to mention the impressive Brembo stoppers. This brake setup features a pair of massive 13.8-inch rotors and four-piston calipers up front, and a nearly as massive pair of 13-inch rotors with two-piston calipers in the rear. The wheels are 18x9.5 Volk Racing CE28N Time Attacks at all four corners.

From outside, this Evo is sure to surprise quite a few unsuspecting competitors attempting to race because the wheels and custom-tinted headlights and taillights are some of the only clues that it isn't stock anymore--let alone a monster on the verge of 10-second quarter-mile runs. Inside, the car remains as Mitsubishi intended, although the factory-spec Recaro seats could be confused for aftermarket. The only additional instrumentation they've equipped so far is a 60mm boost gauge from Auto Meter.

With additional drivers, Jorge Diaz and Oscar Robles, at the helm, this setup was enough to bring the Evo's quarter-mile times down to practically 11 seconds flat, with its best run being an 11.02 at 120 mph.

It's truly amazing how capable the new generation Mitsubishi is turning out to be. True to Evo tradition, very little needs to be done to these cars to produce serious results. With so much of this BVP Evo remaining factory stock, its near 11-second-flat quarter is nothing short of jaw dropping. We can't wait to see what they have in store for us as they work toward their goal of 600 whp.

SpecsMax Wheel Horsepower: 465Max Wheel Torque: 435 lb-ftWeight: 3,260 pounds

Engine/DrivetrainMitsubishi 4B11Forced Performance reworked turboAFI tubular exhaust manifoldAFI headerBVP downpipe with O2 housing, BVP 80mm exhaustGadiel Tuning ECU reflashACT clutch

Wheels18x9.5 Volk CE28 Time Attack wheels

Exterior/InteriorCustom tint on headlights and taillightsAuto Meter 60mm boost gauge

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By David Tate
8 Articles

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