With a reputation for making some of the best cooling products on the tuning market, ARC knew that to impress at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Salon, they’d need to bring something special.
If being cool is your line of business, what better way to showcase how well your products work than throwing them on a hotter-than-hades whip? When ARC blew the roof off the Makuri Messe Convention Center with their wide-body EVO 9 MR it became impossible to ignore the fact this car is cooler than cool – it’s ice cold. Instead of reaching further into our ‘hot songs of ’03’ bag of tricks, let’s see what made this MR the belle of the ’07 TAS.
Since a lot of ARC products are engine-oriented it was decided that the EVO 9 MR needed a special set-up under the hood to showcase as many ARC goodies as possible. The guys from Monster Sport were called in to offer their expertise and having just released their newest and most powerful package, the choice became rather simple. The Monster MX365 motor packs 365 HP at 6800 rpm and 347 ft-lbs of torque at 4000 rpm. These numbers might not sound too impressive by today’s standards but keep in mind Monster focuses all of its engine building efforts in improving throttle response, lowering turbo-lag and creating a very usable killer mid-range. They build rally engines day in and day out so they know very well how to perfect an engine’s characteristics without disrupting its basic character. This is precisely why you won’t find big bolt-on turbo-kits here. Engine work begins with a full overhaul of the MIVEC 4G63. The cylinder block is cleaned and honed to very high tolerances. The stock crankshaft is fully balanced as well as the stock connecting rods, which are then sealed with better quality nuts and bolts. They are fitted to the block using special Monster bearings and joined by a set of Monster forged pistons which feature cooling channels for optimal performance in the toughest conditions. Monster piston rings are added and a Monster metal head gasket seals the lot up. Working on improving the 4G63’s response means a lot of work must go into the head. A hefty dose of porting and polishing is done as well as grinding of the valve faces and valve seat correction. The factory turbo is replaced with a Mitsubishi TD05 high flow turbine with a A/R of 105. This offers instant pick up and response thanks to its titanium turbine wheel and aluminum compressor wheel. Even the engine pulleys are balanced and the timing belt features Kevlar construction for a longer life. This engine kit retails for $8,170 and comes with the Monster Full Range Sports Computer.
Once the Monster engine was dropped in it was up to ARC to fit their own products. To help the engine breather better an ARC Induction Box, which has the job of lowering intake temperature, was installed. Once the air has been squeezed by the TD05 it is passed to the ARC intercooler, which has been designed to maximize cooling without losing throttle response, which is generally what happens when large core intercoolers are used. A special titanium intercooler piping kit was added which features a cooling plate to further lower intake temperatures. This specific part has just hit the stores in Japan. Keeping the engine lifeblood cool is a side-mounted ARC oil cooler kit and a large core radiator. This is joined by the newest product to join the ARC range, their radiator valve system. This effectively takes care of venting the radiator in a far more precise fashion, and unlike regular radiator caps it can be adjusted to different pressures. Another new product is the hard piping for the radiator as well as an air-separator tank system. ARC went all out in trying to finish their engine bay to a show-car standard and parts like the sleek radiator top mounts and the engine cover make this one of the best looking and more colorful engine bays we have ever seen! To take a closer look at the ARC ‘piece-de-résistance’ of this EVO 9 MR, we had to put the car on a hoist and take a close look underneath. Once you stop undressing the dual, twin-exit full-titanium exhaust system with your eyes and get up close and see the overall quality of workmanship, you really appreciate this company’s skills when it comes to creating custom parts – just look at those motorcycle-inspired rear silencers!
The Lancer Evolution 9 MR looks pretty mean out of the factory but ARC called in the help of Do Luck to ‘do’ something a little bit special. On went their wider front and rear fender kit along with the front and rear bumpers and chunkier side skirts. The overall look is the definition of aggression and a huge ARC aluminum wing finishes things off perfectly. The paint work is also very interesting with the aluminum hood and roof finished off in a deep glossy black while the rest of the car is sprayed dark metallic silver. The lower parts of the bumpers and skirts are also finished off in black while the carbon trunk lid and carbon mirrors are left to show off their natural composite look. Wheels are courtesy of Yokohama with an 18-inch set of RGIIs in dark chrome. AD07 Advan Neova tires provide the grip while a 25 mm spacer has been added at the rear to help fill those big arches up. Braking is taken care of by Endless 6-pot calipers front and rear while a Zeal Function X suspension kit provides a multitude of adjustability.
The interior was left almost untouched, right down to the very supportive factory Recaro seats. Yet ARC couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add some interesting toys to play with. That huge aluminum rear wing is actually mounted on special ARC sensors which let the driver know how many kilograms of downforce is being generated. We were told that at around 120 mph there is 160 kg of force being developed, quite an amazing number. Next to the ARC Downforce Meter sits the ARC Super Multi Temp Controller, which keeps an eye on all engine temperatures. A set of Defi gauges have been custom mounted on an ARC made aluminum can which is placed on top of the room mirror and is easily visible from outside the car. Quite a neat and innovative solution to mounting gauges together. A Pioneer HDD navigation system adorns the center console with its pop-out LCD screen. This features two remote controls, one for the navigation and audio controls the other for the TV.
When you have perfected the science of not only keeping cool, but also being cool – that’s JDM Ice Cold. Sure, maybe even back in the day we had no idea what they meant in the song, and the last person here that tried to shake it like a Polaroid picture is still on disability, we know cool when we see it. Thanks to this frighteningly frosty EVO 9 MR, ARC has solidified their place deep in the chambers of cool.