There are two sides to Steve Lim. On one side you see an unassuming average Joe, on the other, he is one of the most dedicated car builders, racers, drifters...you get the idea. He is, in the purest sense, the very meaning of what we consider to be a true car enthusiast. Steve doesn't pay anyone to wrench on his car; he stays late nights after work and on the weekends to decipher Japanese instruction manuals and make sure the parts his company sells will work right on American market cars. Steve didn't recruit pro drifters to see how well his S13 could hang on a drift course (although his company, Mackin Industries, did), he took every chance he had to practice drifting at the local industry track events and even helped to form Industry Drift Day to show his dedication. And now, as he steps into the world of circuit racing, you won't find any hired guns to mash the gears of his Evo MR at Time Attack; Steve's going to do the dirty work himself. It's his mission and only he can do it.
After retiring his S13 drift car, Steve needed something that could not only accommodate his family's needs (especially since the birth of his son and another on the way), but could showcase one of Mackin's performance lines, ARC. The choice he had to make was between this or the STI, and it was the overall look and availability of parts that solidified his choice. "I really needed a four-door, something turbo from the start and the Evo is a true commuter car," Steve says. "Towards the end, my drift car became too hard to drive on the street and there was no way I could put my kid in the back where the seats used to be," he laughed.
So began a three month period of test fitting prototype pieces from ARC Japan, most of which now lie under the hood and can even be purchased as they've made their way to retail shelves. At last year's SEMA, the Evo debuted ARC's Super Induction intake box, a titanium exhaust, intercooler, Prestige-R valve cover and a gradient cam cover. Steve then teamed up with A'PEXi who tuned the 4G63 after he bolted in one of their RX-6 turbos to pull more boost. Unfortunately, getting the most power out of the engine was somewhat limiting since the Power FC ECU is still in development, so A'PEXi used an AFC Neo to adjust air/fuel, AVCR to adjust boost settings and a reflashed ECU from XS Engineering, all as a temporary solution until the Power FC's ready. Once installed, Steve thinks the new product could be good for up to 450hp. Meanwhile, the near perfect six-speed gearbox gets a stronger Xtreme clutch from ACT to handle the newfound power, and a Cusco limited-slip takes care of putting that power to every driveshaft.
Next, Steve used his divine influence and a deep connection to Japan's ings+ to source an aero kit that could make his MR pop. The N-Spec fiberglass pieces do exactly that, adding nice, rounded out edges that don't overpower the natural lines of the original chassis. F1 Motorsports completed the paint work while Euphoric and Six Autoworks cut the graphics. Then he put on mild touches of carbon fiber with a Seibon vented hood and rear trunk.
Going in for one helluva employee discount landed Steve a deal on the latest from the Volk catalog: a set of gold multi-spoke RE30s that have been coupled with Yokohama ES100s for better street handling. The near-unbeatable factory suspension would have remained, but why not tighten it up a little more and get a nice drop while you're at it? This made the A'PEXi N1 adjustable coilovers an easy option to further stiffen up the chassis, along with installing front and rear Cusco sway bars to the undercarriage and ARC titanium strut bars at the shock towers. As another one of Mackin's product lines, Project 's four-piston racing calipers were installed up front with huge 355mm rotors. The OE rears were replaced with SCR rotors whereas B-force pads provide a better bite and Teflon lines improve pedal pressure on the stizzop.
What Steve really needed to do to make this Evo come to life was to juice up the interior. If you've ever sat inside of a Mitsubishi, you know that the worst blind date you went on had more personality than the passenger space of most of them. The somewhat cool MOMO steering wheel had to go; in came a 330mm Nardi Classic, which connects to a Works Bell quick release hub. On top of the dashboard and on the steering column Steve wired up a group of A'PEXi EL II gauges so he could keep an eye on engine readings. Competition Soundworks completed the new interior space by adding in a Pioneer AVH-P7800 DVD unit with a fold-out monitor, and hooking up a Pioneer amp and higher output speakers for the stock speaker locations. If the kids aren't in the mood for Disney flicks, the Pioneer TV tuner can be switched on, and it can also be enabled with the Pioneer Bluetooth adapter.
At least until the Power FC unit is completed Steve's Evo will take on a low profile role. Not until its final tune will the raw power be realized and unleashed on the track. You can be sure that when the time comes, Steve will be behind the wheel, ready to pass you by.
Fast Facts'06 Mitsubishi Evo MR
Owner Steve Lim
Hometown Santa Fe Springs, CA
Daily Grind Sales manager/R&D manager/marketing
Power est. 450hp
Under The Hood GReddy 720cc injectors; Walbro fuel pump; ARC Super Induction intake box, titanium 80mm exhaust, front mount intercooler, restige-R valve cover, cam cover and titanium suction pipe; A'PEXi spark plugs, RX-6 turbo and wastegate; Road Race Engineering catalytic converter
Drivetrain Act Xtreme clutch; Cusco limited-slip differential
Brains A'PEXi AFC Neo and AVC-R; XS Engineering reflashed ECU
Stiff Stuff A'PEXi N1 adjustable coilovers; Cusco front/rear sway bars; ARC front/rear titanium strut bars
Stoppers Project Racing four-piston calipers with 355mm rotors (front), SCR rotors (rear), B-force brake pads and Teflon brake lines
Rollers 18x9 Volk Racing RE30 wheels with a +35 offset; 245/40R18 Yokohama ES100 tires
Outside ings+ N-spec body kit and Z-power wing; Polarg Shining Wizard lights; Euphoric/Six Autoworks graphics; Seibon carbon hood and trunk; bodywork by F1 Motorsports
Inside Sparco Pro2000 seats; ARC titanium round shift knob; Solar Guard tint; Works Bell quick release
Ice A'PEXi EL II gauges; Pioneer AVH-P7800 DVD head unit, GM-D5IOM amplifiers, TS-C520PRS 5.25-inch and 6.75-inch speakers, AVIC-S1, iPod adapter, Bluetooth adapter, TV tuner and center channel; Monster Cable wiring; audio install by Competition Soundworks
Props Rays Japan, Mackin Industries, ings+ Japan, ARC Japan, Project Japan, A'PEXi, Yokohama Tire, Seibon, XS Engineering, Pioneer Electronics, Competition Soundworks, A-Spec Products, Works Bell Japan, Six Autoworks, Euphoric Designs, ACT, Sparco USA, Best Tint, Polarg Japan, Road Race Engineering, E-Auto, F1 Motorsports, Vision Autosports