What do you do when you have already built and successfully competed with what is quite possibly the most powerful Mitsubishi Evo the world has ever seen? Simple, really: Start from scratch and build another one--except with this one, you make it even lighter, better and faster. And that's exactly what Clive Seddon, the respected Evo guru from England-based RC Developments, has done.
His old Evo VI had been around for a couple of years now, with its highlights being 980 bhp during testing and 930 bhp in full public view, reaching 199 mph in 1.25 miles and winning two rounds of the 2006 Time Attack series, but it was starting to show its age and a replacement weapon was urgently needed for the `07 season. It would be a tough act to follow. "It's based on another Evo VI. We asked ourselves which is the best shell for this type of project and then picked the lightest and best looking, which is the Evo VI RS. It was an easy decision," explained Clive. He points out that it's hard to make a later version look as aggressive without a lot of bodywork changes. OK--this has got different bumpers, hood, skirts, rear end and a huge spoiler--but it's basically still an Evo VI at heart.
A shell was sourced and imported from Japan. When it arrived, it had already had some seam welding, but it was chemically dipped, blasted and stripped of any excess weight. It was then shipped to one of the UK's leading rollcage experts to custom-build a FIA-approved cage. This is possibly the most comprehensive cage ever fitted to an Evo. It's been totally made to measure without compromise and with no joining plates. The chassis is so stiff it doesn't even need a strut brace, yet the whole shell is light enough to be lifted by two people.
"It's a fantastic bit of fabrication, second to none," Clive proudly points out. "It hugs every corner with no spreader plates needed to make it reach pillars. It fits exactly where it should." Clive, aided by Colin Kitchen, an experienced rally car builder, then spent ages removing any unwanted studs and filling every hole, which was no longer required to make the engine and shell very neat and tidy. "There wasn't a single hole we needed to drill after the shell was painted," Clive confirmed. And that color? It's called Glasurit Translucent Yellow, and it's the same color used on police cars and other emergency vehicles for maximum visibility so other road users can see them coming and move out the way. No doubt a handy side effect on a race track!
Suspension is taken care of with an Evo IX TEIN Super Racing setup with a few modifications, such as the Evo IX hubs and lower wishbones, while the brakes are AP Racing Touring car spec, which, might we add, don't come cheap at $3,600 per caliper. "We had to dial most of the brakes away from the back," explained Clive. "Even with the radiator, water and fuel pumps moved [to the back] it's still so light and it kept locking up. Rather than move the fuel tank to the back, we kept ours in its normal place but replaced the standard ones with two fabricated aluminum tanks." And what does he pump into those tanks? "Anything from normal pump fuel, which I use on the road--yes, it's still road legal--right up to methanol, which we use on the track," he replied.
Running 900 bhp through the old car meant the transmission took a severe pounding and quite often lost the battle, so the new car is fitted with a Hewland rear differential and an Evo IX transfer box, and so far these both seem to be able to cope with the power although the engine has yet to be able to run to the excess of the previous car. The car is fitted with a Hollinger dog box, combined with paddle controls and an Ikeya sequential shifter. "We'll soon be taking the transmission to the next step and the ECU will make the shift, rather than me having to push the paddle," explained Clive. "I found that at Santa Pod it was so easy to hit the rev limiter in first or second [gear] because it happens so quickly; it's like playing a computer game. It's easy to program the AEM to shift at a certain revs/boost pressure." In effect, it will be like running an auto box with full throttle changes and times up the drag strip should start to tumble; Clive will only need the clutch/gearstick for first, then it will all be electronically controlled. Of course, he'll switch back to human control on the track.
So what's powering this beast? Well it's the new, improved version of the 2.4L RCD stroker kit, which Clive ran in his last Evo, only this latest engine is fitted with CP pistons and is topped off with an Evo IX MIVEC head to allow the company to do some development work on the new head. Feeding enough air into the engine to produce the extreme power levels--currently 750 bhp with the ability to make at least 900 bhp--is a monster Garrett GT42R turbo which pumps air through a GReddy R-SPL intercooler (apparently no longer in production, but they asked GReddy very nicely). Notice the lack of silicone hoses? Custom-fabricated hard piping is the secret; this car will not be blowing hoses. To ensure the engine doesn't run lean at high revs, Clive is using eight 560cc injectors and the entire set-up is all under the watchful eye of an AEM UEGO engine management system.
So far the car has run on the drag strip twice, still in its Time Attack spec and running road tires. "We don't get peak power until 5,500 rpm," said Clive. " We launch at 6,200 rpm, and it's all sorted by the launch control so I always leave the line at the same power; I change up at 8,500 rpm." Times? So far a 9.9-second run at 145 mph is the best result, and it's a very promising benchmark. Bear in mind the terminal speed for the older car was 150 mph and this `07 car is currently running with at least 200 bhp less. The potential is obvious. With plans to turn up the power and get a professional race driver to help fine-tune the handling on the track, this car is just going to get better and better. Bring it on.
Mitsubishi Evo VI RS
OWNER Clive seddon
HOME TOWN Warrington, United Kingdom
DAILY GRIND Mitsubishi Evo guru @ RC Developments
UNDER THE HOOD RC Developments 2374cc stroker kit; custom front mounted oil cooler; custom rear mounted radiator with two Kenlow 10-inch fans; Unorthodox Racing exhaust-cam pulley; TiAL 60mm dump valve; Cusco oil breather catch can; Crower 102mm stroke crank; Manley I-beam rods/bolts; CP 86mm pistons; RC-spec Piper cams; ported MIVEC head; Supertech oversize inlet/exhaust stainless valves; Ferrea duel valve springs/titanium retainers; Metal Mesh air filter; custom stainless steel/aluminium intercooler pipes; custom intake plenum with a Nissan Q45 80mm throttle body; Garrett GT42R turbo; HKS GTII racing wastegate; modified Greddy R-SPL front intercooler kit; eight 560cc injectors; custom fuel tanks; Weldon fuel pump; 60mm stainless steel exhaust manifold; four inch exhaust with Invo Auto titanium silencer
POWER est. 750-900 bhp; 9.9 seconds at 145 mph
BRAINS AEM UEGO engine management
DRIVETRAIN Evo RS gearcase; Holinger gearset; Tilton twin-plate carbon fiber clutch; Evo IX transfer box with viscous centre differential; custom 9-inch rear differential in Hewland case; custom driveshafts/propshaft
STIFF STUFF multipoint custom rollcage; Evo IX front cross-member; TEIN Super Racing multi adjustable coilovers with adjustable top mounts; custom rear suspension mounting cage; Powerflex black bushes; Ralliart rose-jointed bushings
STOPPERS Front: AP Racing 6-pot calipers; 352mm vented discs; Mintex F4R race pads; Rear: AP Racing 4-pot calipers; original vented discs; Mintex 166 pads; Goodridge braided hoses; ATE Super Blue racing brake fluid
ROLLERS 18-inch Volk Racing CE28 wheels; R888 245/45x18 tires
OUTSIDE Monster Sport carbon-fiber bonnet/boot; DAMD front bumper; KS Autos side skirts/rear bumper; C-West rear wing; RC headlights; Lexan side/rear windows; Mitsubishi heated front windscreen
INSIDE Corbeau Revolution seats; Sabelt 5-point harnesses; AIM Pista instrument panel; AEM programmable gauges; Sparco steering wheel; Proshift gear paddles; Flocked dash; Rallytech carbon-fiber door cards/rear seat base; Ikeya sequential gear selector
THANKS Everyone art RC Developments: Andy, Danny, Russell, Simon, Will. Colin Kitchen for help with the planning. Neil Well, Tom Faran for help with the wiring.