Beginning in 2003, two of the smallest, most unsuspecting automakers delivered to American car buyers what nobody else would. It was the year of the factory-turbocharged, all-wheel-drive compact sedan, and Mitsubishi and Subaru were the unmistakable leaders. It was Christmas for small car fans who longed for something beyond an underpowered and awkward-looking Civic Si or Volkswagen GTi that was, well, still a Volkswagen. Mitsubishi with its Evo and Subaru with its WRX STi at long last bestowed upon the American performance populace what much of the world had already been privy to.
Algier Redoloza heard all of this more than a decade ago and quickly made plans to own one of the two. "The Evo has become an icon in Japan, and when it became available here, I had to jump on the opportunity," he says. "I was also considering the STi but I received a better deal on the Mitsubishi." A daily driver capable of shaming those exponentially more expensive—something of Italian heritage, perhaps—was his intent. A seldom-driven show car with the power to do just that is what Redoloza ended up with, though. "It's not my daily-driven car anymore," he admits, "but when I do drive it, I enjoy myself a cigarette after." And he doesn't even smoke.
Make no mistake, there's nothing about Redoloza's sedan that's rendered it inhospitable to daily abuse. Its engine is no exception, which, until recently, retained its factory internals down below but has been enhanced with a Forced Performance Green turbo upgrade. Few other turbos regularly make their way under the hoods of Evos like Redoloza's; that's mostly because of the Green's unusually quick response despite its impressive power curve. Further power mods remain minimal and include HKS cams and adjustable cam gears, a GReddy intercooler upgrade, and an electronic boost controller, also from GReddy, that help take full advantage of the larger-frame turbo. Redoloza has since torn apart the long block and outfitted it with a 2.3-liter stroker kit that's made up of a crankshaft and rods from Manley and pistons from Wiseco. The jury is out on any power figures just yet, but Redoloza's goal of 400whp on pump gas doesn't sound entirely unreasonable. Once broken in, a larger turbo and 600whp are on the agenda.
Redoloza and his compulsion for reinterpreting what automakers like Mitsubishi thought their Evo ought to look, ride, and sound like began in 1999 under the hood of a used Civic hatchback. The B-series engine swap that he'd plopped into place probably won't surprise you, but how often he'd altered the car's appearance might. "I would keep switching the complete look of my car in order to be a trendsetter rather than a follower." All of this is exactly what's led to the Evo's multiple sets of wheels, four different aero packages, and a couple of color changes since the car became his in 2004.
It started with a Do-Luck front spoiler and HKS coilovers before culminating into its current mix of a Voltex-themed outside that's perched on top of Buddy Club suspension. The look is unique to Redoloza, though, who'd completed most of the work himself, excluding the latest engine buildup and dyno tune. The hardest part was getting the parts in the first place: "Parts are expensive and the wait time from Japan was torture," he says. "The ongoing battle of being the first to have a certain style or part is also a challenge."
Redoloza may try harder than most at ensuring the car's individuality with expensive aesthetic treatments, but this is a no nancy-pants show car that's never had its compressor wheel spinning full song or bounced off the rev limiter at least once. Proof is in the rod knock, which recently presented itself and led to the new, larger-displacement layout built at the hands of Speed Element. Even the chassis' underpinnings—most of which you'll never see—is all business. Just past the widened Voltex fenders and rear diffuser sits Cusco's catalog of handling bits, such as a pair of sway bars and shock tower braces along with a six-point rollcage inside. It's mods like these that Redoloza, who's a certified Tesla service technician by trade, has handled himself despite the fact that this is his first and only Evo.
The Evo—which is based on Mitsubishi's otherwise tame Lancer chassis—was initially developed exclusively for the Japanese market in the early 1990s to compete in and satisfy homologation rules for the World Rally Championship series. In order for Mitsubishi to play, its entry had to be available as a road-going model available to consumers. From the beginning, the Evo benefitted from a 2.0-liter factory-turbocharged, all-wheel-drive configuration, which led to enthusiasts like Redoloza on the other side of the world taking notice. It took more than a decade, but the Evo, in its eighth iteration, finally made its way across the water and, soon enough, Redoloza embarked on a decade-long buildup that's tweaked, revised, and altered its way to individuality.
2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Owner Algier Redoloza Jr.
Hometown Fremont, CA
Occupation Vehicle Technician
Engine 2.3-liter 4G63 with Wiseco 85.5mm pistons; Manley crankshaft and connecting rods; ACL bearings; HKS head gasket, camshafts (274° intake, 284° exhaust), adjustable camshaft gears, downpipe and grounding system; A'PEXi intake system; GReddy Spec V intercooler; Forced Performance Green turbo; Helix O2 housing; Rally catalytic converter; Garage HRS exhaust system; Walbro fuel pump; Denso 720cc injectors; Sun Automobile Hyper Voltage ignition system; SplitFire ignition amplifier; Koyo radiator; Samco Sport radiator hoses
Drivetrain Exedy twin-disc clutch
Footwork & Chassis Buddy Club Racing Spec coilovers; Cusco six-point rollcage, titanium front strut tower brace, carbon-fiber rear shock tower brace, front sway bar, front bumper bar, rear trunk bar, Type 1 and Type 2 front lower bars; Perrin Performance rear sway bar
Brakes Futura Design big-brake kit
Wheels & Tires 18x10.5" (+12 offset) Volk Racing TE37 wheels; 265/40R18 Falken Azenis RT-615K tires
Exterior JUN Auto front bumper; J's Racing carbon-fiber canards; Voltex front fenders, GT Type 5 1600mm carbon-fiber wing, rear diffuser and exhaust cover; Seibon carbon-fiber hood and trunk; Rexpeed carbon-fiber side skirt extensions and Type-1 carbon-fiber rear wing; custom rear widebody flares; Nagisa Auto front and rear tow hooks; custom British Racing green paint
Interior Bride Zeta III driver seat, XAX II passenger seat and reupholstered interior; Takata harnesses; Vertex 10 star 330mm steering wheel; NRG quick-release steering hub; GReddy electronic boost controller; A'PEXi boost pressure and exhaust temp gauges; Pioneer AVIC-N4 display and speakers
They say there's no replacement for displacement and, well, if you forget about forced induction or revving your engine any higher, they're sort of right. More displacement means more air can be shoved into an engine's combustion chambers at any given instance, which means more fuel can be introduced and burnt, resulting in more power. There are only two ways to increase displacement: by boring the cylinders and introducing larger-diameter pistons or by stroking the crankshaft assembly. An engine's stroke is the distance its pistons move while traveling from the top of their bores to their bottom. It can be altered, but all sorts of important things have got to be taken into consideration first. It starts with a custom or modified crankshaft with rod journals positioned farther away from the crankshaft's center. Bolt on the same rods and all of a sudden you've got pistons sticking out of the top of the block. Most stroker kits take care of all of this with shorter rods, but custom pistons or a deck extension placed on top of the block can also be used. Stroking isn't for everyone, though; shorter rods limit a rotating assembly's willingness to survive at higher engine speeds and, most of the time, camshafts and even turbo selection have got to be readdressed once displacement has been meddled with.
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