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STI vs EVO

When powerhouses collide.

Scott Tsuneishi
Jul 6, 2011 SHARE
Impp 1107 01 z+STI vs EVO+competitors Photo 1/57   |   IMPP-110700-COVER-064-70-

Subaru versus Mitsubishi has long been one of the biggest grudge matches in sport compact car history. The tale of these two rival manufacturers dates back to the WRC’s early days, and competition between the two slowly bled onto our streets, racetracks, and dragstrips. A classic showdown became a pissing contest between the two full rally-inspired sports cars—each on their own capable of humiliating more traditional high-end sports cars. Both manufacturers have battled back and forth on so many levels that it’s hard to determine which car is the better of the two. Each time one seems to have an advantage, the rival goes off and comes back just a bit better. Much like the Ford versus Chevy fight that has gone on for ages, you are either a Subaru fan or a Mitsubishi fan. Regardless, you’ve got to respect the evolution. Perhaps we can argue it’s become a battle of which car looks better since performance is similar for each? Truth be told, it doesn’t matter—cosmetic appeal doesn’t win races.

Come November, a sense of excitement fills the air as Import Tuner holds its annual STI vs. EVO shootout at Buttonwillow Raceway, using the CW13 configuration, in the heart of the California desert to prove once and for all who reigns supreme, and takes home the ultimate bragging rights.

Last year’s third-annual STI vs. Evo shootout bore witness to the Subaru camp blindsided with unfortunate turns of events, including two vehicle engine fires, STIs experiencing numerous mechanical problems and transmission woes that left only three out of the five Subie competitors making it past the first round. This put added pressure on team Subaru this time, as the importance of winning the final event of the day—the coveted five-lap battle—was a make-or-break situation. Team Subaru eventually bowed out against the hard charging band of EVOs as Mitsubishi held onto the title for the second year in a row.

This year marks the fourth consecutive year of the competition, consisting of 12 vehicles (six STIs and six EVOs) representing their respective camps. We should note these are not all-out race vehicles, as that would simply turn it into the usual contest of who has the largest budget. Most of these vehicles have more than just a passing resemblance to road vehicles, with many of them being daily drivers.

The day started at 7:30 a.m. with a mandatory tech inspection before the cars were allowed to roll onto the track. A 30-minute practice session was immediately followed by a time-attack, with team Subaru leading the way. The Subarus immediately made their presence known as Yimi Sport’s ’08 STI fired off a 2:00.962 lap time with AQ Motorsports ’05 STI coming in Second with a 2:02.029. The M7/EDO Performance STI stopped the clock with a 2:03.830 as it landed in Third Place among the competing Subarus. Ivo Mitkov pushed his STI-powered ’98 RS to impressive speeds before a broken axle crippled his car. With no replacement parts at hand, the RS was forced to retire for the day with a DNF.

No sooner was the last Subaru making its way off the track than the Mitsubishis jumped into action. AMS Performance returned after a brief hiatus from competing in our STI vs. EVO shootout. Their newly acquired ’08 EVO X, purchased just weeks before the event, was outfitted with their AMS 900X package and experimental AMS 2.3L big-bore engine. The 700+ hp 4B11 engine and Shepherd-built transmission with a close-ratio final drive—combined with the shorter Fifth gear—allowed driver Martin Musial to take advantage of the EVO’s horsepower on the track, as he shaved critical seconds off his lap times. The engine combination worked to perfection as the EVO set the pace, putting down a class record lap time of 1:55.631, ultimately taking home the quickest time of the day and First Place honors.

The GST Motorsports/Speed Element EVO driven by Sean Mackenzie looked strong throughout the day, as the Voltex-clad machine went quicker than anyone expected, running 1:59.032—a second quicker than even the quickest STI.

Running in the 2:01 range, the Garage GT EVO IX entered the event equipped with plenty of go-fast goodies under the hood, but left the exterior unscathed. Rather than focusing on aero kits and/or splitters to aid with additional downforce, Garage GT owner and driver Cenk Ocakoglu focused most of his attention towards utilizing a KAPS ACD controller to adjust torque-split to offset the effects of the Continental Extreme Contact DW compound street spec tires used for the shootout, compared to the R-compound tires the vehicle was originally set up for. “We ended up using the base ‘Tarmac maps’ provided by KAPS engineers. I can’t say I utilized the system perfectly, but we managed to place Fourth among the Mitsubishis and Fifth overall in the time-attack among 12 of our competitors,” stated Cenk.

The five-lap battle was the final competition for the day, and once again pitted STIs versus EVOs. Just before the start of the event, we received word that two of the Mitsubishis were predisposed with problems. The GST Motorsports/Speed Element crew frantically tore their car apart to repair what was initially thought to be a rear differential problem but was later diagnosed as a faulty center differential, while the Garage GT crew experienced engine problems of their own and tapped out. Before the start/finish flag was even dropped to begin the five-lap battle, it was clear that the Subarus were going to own this contest thanks to two DNFs within the Mitsubishi camp, as team Subaru had collectively won their very first five-lap battle.

For our fifth event taking place later this year, we’re changing things up by transforming it into an All-Wheel-Drive Shootout. Do you own an AWD car and think you have what it takes to take home the top prize at this year’s shootout? Submit your vehicle photo along with specs to features@importtuner.com with “Tuner AWD Shootout” in the subject line, or post it up on our Facebook page no later than October. We’ll be waiting for you!

STI

Renner Motorsports ’98 RS

Best Lap: DNF

5-Lap Battle: DNF

Owner: Ivo Mitkov

Driver: Ivo Mitkov

Output: 400 hp / 450 lb-ft

Engine: Full STI swap; GT30 turbo

Suspension: KSport coilovers

Aero: WRC widebody

Wheels: 17x9.5-inch ADVAN RS +38mm offset

Tires: 275/40-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: The Continental Extreme Contact DWs are great tires for everyday use, including weekend track events. These tires display very good grip in dry conditions; I recommend a little more tire pressure for track use (38 psi front and rear).

South Coast Subaru/ Yimi Sport ’07 STI

Best Lap: 2:08.001

5-Lap Battle: 10:39.129

Owner: Darryl Divina

Driver: Ferdie Eng

Output: 380 hp / 390 lb-ft

Engine: Cobb Tuning catted downpipe; Tomei equal-length header; Koyo aluminum radiator; Mocal oil cooler; Subtle Solutions alternator cover and radiator shroud; Crawford Performance air/oil separator; AEM cold-air intake; Cobb Tuning Accessport tuned by Yimi Sport

Suspension: KW VIII coilovers; Whiteline front/rear sway bars, endlinks; SPT subframe brace, lateral links

Aero: APR carbon front lip, carbon front splitter, rear diffuser, carbon mirrors, GT300 wing, carbon hood, carbon trunk

Wheels: 18x9-inch Volk CE28N +42mm offset

Tires: 255/35-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: The Extreme Contact DWs were surprisingly grippy. I had expected its 340 UTQG treadwear rating would cause the car to slide all over the track and not be able to withstand the abuse of hard driving, however, I was wrong. The tires were very predictable in every situation and had enough grip through the turns.

Snail Performance ’03 WRX

Best Lap: 2:05.431

5-Lap Battle: 10:35.643

Owner: Travis Barnes

Driver: Travis Barnes

Output: 480 hp / 475 lb-ft

Engine: Garrett GT30R turbo; Gruppe-S 2.5L race block; Cosworth oil baffle; Element Hydra EMS, racing oil catch can; STI AVCS heads; JDM V7 six-speed tranny; Turbo XS front-mount intercooler; Espelir JGT500 exhaust; AP fuel rails, lightweight crank pulley; Deatschwerks 850cc/min injectors; Process West oil cooler; reversed intake manifold

Drivetrain: ACT 6-puck clutch

Suspension: PIC coilovers; Snail Performance front strut bar, rear V-brace, subframe brace; Whiteline front/rear sway bars w/ endlinks, steering rack bushings, roll center kit, anti-lift kit, adjustable lateral links; ’06 WRX aluminum A-arms

Aero: APR GTC-200 adjustable wing; canards; carbon splitter; GTSPEC Type S front grille; Prodrive front lip; ’07 STI Vortex Gen Wing

Brakes: Stoptech 332mm BBK (front); STI Brembos (rear); TechaFit steel braided brake lines

Wheels: 18x10-inch Rota Grids +30mm offset

Tires: 265/35-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: Not only were we running street tires for the first time on this car, but it was my first time at this track just to make things a little interesting. The Contact DWs took a little bit of time to get use to since I was used to R compound tires, but after a few laps I became more comfortable driving on them. The grip in the turns was much better than I expected, as I was able to hold a fine line throughout the track with excellent speed, and the tires held up well under braking, even with my race pads. I was able to brake a lot later and push the car harder than anticipated.

M7 Japan/Edo Performance ’08 STI

Best Lap: 2:03.830

5-Lap Battle: 10:30.554

Owner: Edo Performance

Driver: JC Meynet

Output: 375 hp / 380 lb-ft

Engine: Tomioka Racing TD05-20G turbo, equal-length header; Power Enterprise 800cc/min injectors; Walbro 255-lph fuel pump; M7 downpipe, Titan exhaust

Suspension: M7 Super Street Performance coilovers

Aero: Zero Sports front/rear bumper, side skirts

Wheels: 18x9-inch Blitz BRW08

Tires: 245/40-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: As a two-time time-attack street tire all-wheel-drive and street tire overall champion, I have a fair amount of experience with this category of car and tire. Being my first time putting these Continentals through their paces, I wasn’t sure what to expect but had high hopes, and I was not disappointed in the end. After a few basic adjustments to tire pressures and setup, I found the STI to have very predictable handling characteristics with available grip on par with other competitive street-class tires I have used. The tires worked well from the start all the way through the extended lapping sessions, showing no more wear or deterioration than expected. With a little more setup and testing, I bet that these tires could become competitive in the tightly contested street-tire time-attack class thanks to their outstanding braking capability and agile steering precision. As it was, we were able to post some competitive times and help the STIs win the overall victory over the EVOs.

AQ Motorsports ’05 STI

Best Lap: 2:02.029

5-Lap Battle: 10:22.531

Owner: Breck Haggerty

Driver: Breck Haggerty

Output: 450 hp / 400 lb-ft

Engine: Harman Motive GT3076R turbo kit and CAI; AQ Motorsports E85 conversion, surge tank, reservoir tank; Cosworth long block, intake manifold; APS DR525 front-mount intercooler; AEM EMS, boost controller tuned by Church Automotive Testing

Suspension: Racecomp Engineering T2 coilovers; Whiteline sway bars, anti-lift kit; Kartboy endlinks; GT Worx camber plates

Aero: AQ Motorsports custom splitter, custom front airdam; APR GTC-300 wing; KSTech hood vent

Wheels: 17x9-inch Volk Racing CE28N +40mm offset

Tires: 255/40-17 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: I found the Continental Extreme Contact DW tires to have more grip than I expected based on the treadwear rating. Once they warmed up, the tire grip was not only significant but made handling predictable, also holding up well through some fairly abusive driving. After all the laps we put on them, they certainly don’t look like they’ve spent a day at the track.

South Coast Subaru/ Yimi Sport ’08 STI

Best Lap: 2:00.962

5-Lap Battle: 10:08.832

Owner: Vincent Tam

Driver: Vincent Tam

Output: 380 hp / 400 lb-ft

Engine: Synergy Turbo TD06-20g; JE pistons; Eagle rods; Killer Bee equal-length header, oil pickup; Deatschwerks 1,000cc/min injectors; AEM intake; Invidia downpipe; Cosworth air pump delete plates; Yimi Sport Tuning custom exhaust, air/oil separator, intercooler shroud; Koyo radiator; Cobb Tuning Accessport tuned by Yimi Sport

Suspension: RCE Tarmac II KW Clubsports; Whiteline Max-C camber plates, rear sway bars, rear endlinks; Cobb Tuning front sway bar; Cusco Power Member Brace, rear lateral arm

Aero: BaysonR front lip; APR splitter; Seibon CWII carbon-fiber hood

Brakes: APM racing 2-piece rotors; Project Mu 999 race pads (front); Performance Friction PF01pads (rear)

Wheels: 18x9.5-inch Enkei RPF1 +38mm offset; 10mm spacer (front)

Tires: 275/35-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: The Continental Extreme Contact DWs offered an extremely compliant ride, coupled with very low road noise levels on the street. Many high-performance tires demand that comfort and noise be compromised in the name of performance, but the Contact DWs offered civilized road manners to complement their athleticism. Once on the track, the Continental tires provided an unexpected degree of grip for a street tire with plenty of audible feedback. While not possessing the frenetic turn-in response of some more extreme performance tires, they nonetheless offered a great blend of mid corner grip and easily approachable limits. In addition, the tires also displayed incredible resistance to wear. Even after driving to and from the track, turning multiple practice and competition laps, the tire still looked practically new.

EVO

Road Race Engineering ’08 EVO X GSR

Best Lap: 2:05.216

Impp 1107 28 z+STI vs EVO+russ taylor Photo 34/57   |   IMPP-110700-COVER-064-70-

5-Lap Battle: DNF

Owner: Russ Taylor

Driver: Russ Taylor

Output: 460 hp / 400 lb-ft

Engine: FP Red turbo; Cosworth MX1 camshafts, fuel rail; Buschur short block, ported and polished head; AEM intake, methanol kit; Road Race Engineering exhaust; DeatchWerks 1,200cc/min injectors; AGP intercooler and piping; AMS downpipe; Full-Race manifold tuned by Road Race Engineering

Drivetrain: Exedy multi-plate clutch; TWM short shifter

Suspension: Robispec-tuned KW Variant III coilovers, rear sway bar

Aero: Aero Motions wing; APR canards; Stealth Armor matte-black and carbon wrap

Brakes: Hawk DT70 pads; DBA rotors; Brembo OEM calipers

Wheels: 18x10.5-inch Enkei GTC 01 +22mm offset

Tires: 275/35-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: The Continental Extreme Contact DW tires handled exceptionally well on the track, as I was able to shave three seconds off my previous best lap time. The best part was tearing around the track and driving home with no problems. Overall it is a very good tire and something I would recommend for light to moderate track attendance.

Road Race Engineering ’06 EVO IX

Best Lap: 2:03.893

5-Lap Battle: 10:22.629

Owner: Matt Dennison

Driver: Matt Dennison

Output: 370 hp / 340 lb-ft

Engine: Road Race Engineering GT30R stealth turbo kit; Cosworth M3 280/272 cams; Nisei upper and lower intercooler piping; Odyssey PC680 battery w/ mini-battery kit; ETS 3-inch front-mount intercooler; Berk Technologies high-flow cat, tuned by Road Race Engineering

Drivetrain: ACT HDSS clutch

Suspension: Robispec-tuned KW Clubsports, 26mm 4-way adj. rear sway bar, adjustable endlinks; Whiteline roll center kit, trailing arm bushings, bumpsteer bushings

Aero: APR front airdam, GTC-200 wing, rear diffuser

Brakes: Raybestos ST-43 brake pads; RRE stainless steel brake lines

Wheels: 18x9-inch Konig Runaway +35mm offset

Tires: 265/35-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Garage GT ’06 EVO IX MR

Best Lap: 2:01.647

5-Lap Battle: DNF

Owner: Cenk Ocakoglu

Driver: Cenk Ocakoglu

Output: 405 hp / 430 lb-ft

Engine: GT3076R turbo; Tomei 2.3L stroker kit, TypeR camshafts, prototype Expreme Ti cat-back exhaust; Tial 44mm external wastegate; Garage GT front-mount intercooler, downpipe, test pipe; HKS 100mm filter/custom airbox, SSQV recirculated blow-off valve; AEM EMS tuned by MP Tuning

Drivetrain: Carbonetic single-plate carbon clutch

Suspension: HKS Hipermax II Pro coilovers; Swift springs; Cusco front/rear sway bars

Brakes: Performance Friction two-piece rotors, race pads

Wheels: 17x9.5-inch Enkei NT03+M +38mm offset; 10mm spacers

Tires: 265/40-17 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: We outfitted these tires before we drove from our headquarters in San Diego to Willow Springs, raced all day, drove to L.A., then finally up to Buttonwillow for the STI vs. EVO and SLB event. We raced both events, never swapping them out, and even drove the car back to San Diego. If they make a stickier version of this tire, I would easily give it an 8 out of 10 rating, but I think the 340 UTQG treadwear rating is better suited for performance street driving or canyon runs. The hardest compound I usually run on the street is 200 treadwear, but I would say these tires would compete well against competitors’ 300-treadwear tires.

Cobb Tuning SoCal ’08 EVO X GSR

Best Lap: 2:00.338

5-Lap Battle: 10:11.601

Owner: Jon Drenas

Driver: Jon Drenas

Output: 500 hp / 420 lb-ft

Engine: CBRD TAK 33R turbo, dual-pass radiator; GSC Stage 2 cams; Deatchwerks 1,500cc/min injectors; AMS front-mount intercooler

Suspension: KW Streets coilovers

Aero: APR Carbon GT wing

Wheels: 18x9.5-inch Enkei NT03+M

Tires: 275/35-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

GST Motorsports/Speed Element ’06 EVO IX MR

Best Lap: 1:59.032

5-Lap Battle: DNF

Owner: Sean Mackenzie

Driver: Sean Mackenzie

Output: 477 hp / 337 lb-ft

Engine: Forced Performance HTA GT3582 turbo; Cosworth CNC ported big-valve cylinder head, M3 camshafts; BLOX intake/velocity stack, exhaust cam gear; Fluidampr crank pulley; Accusump oil accumulator; Tial wastegate actuator and bypass valve; GST Motorsports custom O2 housing/downpipe; Wilson Manifolds “stealth” v02 ported intake manifold; RC 1,200cc/min injectors; Mil.Spec 65mm TB; ETS front-mount intercooler; Nisei hard pipes; Mil.Spec 100-cell cat

Suspension: Muellerized-tuned Moton 2-way adjustable Clubsport coilovers, 25mm rear antiroll bar; DC Titanium front strut bar; Whiteline roll center kit and bushings; Nagisa fender braces; Cusco Type 2 lower arm bar

Brakes: Stasis Alcon 6-pot caliper/370mm rotor (front), 4-pot caliper/330mm rotor (rear); Forged Motorsports brake ducts; Performance Friction PF01 pads

Aero: Voltex Cyber Street bumper w/ splitter and canards, front/rear wide fenders, rear diffuser, Type-V rear wing; Seibon dry carbon CWII hood; JDM rear bumper; Craft Square carbon mirrors; Technomechanica race air extractors

Wheels: 18x10-inch AME TM02 +15mm offset

Tires: 275/35-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: Our lap times proved the value of these tires by being just over a tenth of a sec off the pace to the “softer” tires on the same car/same day. After pushing these tires to the limits for two full sessions, they showed minimal signs of wear. I would definitely recommend the Extreme Contact DW to anyone looking for a true street tire to run at the track and get you home without any of the worries associated with driving an R-compound tire on the street.

AMS Performance ’08 EVO X GSR

Best Lap: 1:55.631

5-Lap Battle: 9:46.078

Owner: AMS Performance

Driver: Martin Musial

Output: 700 hp / 425 lb-ft

Engine: AMS Racing 2.3L big-bore engine, 900x Turbo kit, CNC ported cylinder head, front-mount intercooler and hard pipe kit, head studs, fuel system; Kelford B Spec cams and valvesprings; Injector Dynamics 1,000cc/min fuel injectors

Drivetrain: Shepherd Racing-built transmission; Exedy triple metallic clutch; AMS push-style conversion

Suspension: JRZ RS-1 coilovers; AMS front roll center kit, front/rear bump steer correction package, rear lower control arms; Whiteline front/rear sway bars, adjustable camber arms

Aero: Aeromotions R2 static wing; Seibon dry-carbon hood and trunk

Wheels: 18x10.5-inch Enkei PF01

Tires: 285/30-18 Continental Extreme Contact DW

Tire Feedback: I was very surprised at the ultimate grip the Extreme Contact DWs provided, especially for the 340 UTQG treadwear rating of these tires. I was convinced that they would sacrifice track capability for the extended tread life, but that wasn’t the case. On track, they were very predictable and allowed me to place the car just where I wanted it, lap after lap. Even after a few days of track abuse—including Super Lap Battle the following day—they barely showed any wear, which would be ideal for any enthusiast who has to live every day with his “track” tires. Being a street tire, they do give up some of the track feel, grip, and precision in comparison to an R-compound tire, but to be honest, they also let you do some really fun stuff on track that you couldn’t get away with on an R tire.

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Continental Tires
www.ContinentalTire.com
By Scott Tsuneishi
247 Articles

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