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2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII - Makin' It Rain!

Like Thor's Hammer, This Swedish-Built EVO Brings The Thunder

David Pratte
Nov 1, 2009
Photographer: Joost Demuynck

Rappers love to make it rain $100 bills in their videos. Stand-up comedians live to make it rain F-bombs during their live stage shows. Manny Pacquiao can't help but make it rain knock-out punches when he's in the ring. And in Sweden, they make it rain blonde supermodels and Volvos-or so the stereotype goes. But truth be told, Sweden is about a lot more than beautiful women and safe but boring station wagons. In recent years, Koenigsegg has put Sweden on the map as a legitimate producer of exotic supercars, and thanks to Reine Delwall this Scandinavian nation is also gaining international recognition for its ability to build truly jaw-dropping tuner machines like his Mitsubishi Evolution VIII.

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Back in 2004 when Reine bought his EVO brand-new from a local dealership in his hometown of Bandhagen, Sweden (a suburb of Stockholm, the nation's capital), his plan was to just do some light tuning on it to get it up into the 350hp range. Like most of us, he started with the usual bolt-on power-adders and then upped the ante a bit by replacing the factory ECU with an AEM EMS. Things didn't quite go as planned during that first EMS tuning session, though, with a melted piston damaging the block, crankshaft and cylinder head.

But like a true enthusiast, Reine manned up and used this piece of misfortune as reason to order a JUN 2.2-liter stroker kit along with a bunch of other serious go-fast goodies, including a Full-Race Stage 3 GT turbo. Handling engine assembly and parts installation himself, with the help of a few friends, Reine also landed the first of many sponsors when Stack provided him with a ST8110SR Street Turbo Dash Display. This was the beginning of what any EVO enthusiast who has visited Reine's blog (http://zevo.se) or read his 32-page thread on evolutionm.net knows simply as zEVO (a name chosen for the project because of Reine's online nickname, ZyBeR).

The zEVO build was progressing nicely when in December of 2006 Reine decided to take it to an exhibition in Norway. Although the stroked 4G63 had only been partially tuned prior to the show, he couldn't resist strapping it to the rollers during a dyno competition and making it rain 505 whp. Not too shabby, and after some further refinement over the winter of 2007, Reine took his Mitsu to an event in Estonia that turned out to be more of a three-day rave than a car show. Maybe it was the trance music or the ecstasy in the air, but for whatever reason Reine agreed to do some car stunts with zEVO for an Estonian television show during the event, resulting in some failed wheel studs, a stray wheel and some serious damage to the front left corner of the car including a demolished Damd front bumper and front fender.

As luck would have it, Reine already had a Varis front bumper on order, but with the damage to his front fender he called this legendary Japanese bodykit maker to see what they might have to complete the exterior repairs. That's when Varis offered him the first production version of its Super Taikyu widebody kit, an offer Reine was more than happy to accept. According to our man in Sweden, "The kit arrived during late summer of 2007. My friend Tokan and I began installing the kit at this point, hoping to have everything done for the Paris Tuning Show in mid February 2008, but as usual we had another setback. I had a skiing accident, breaking my right leg, leaving me bed-ridden for four months and delaying the car build by about a year."

All that bed rest didn't go to waste, though, and this hard-core speed freak started cooking up some new ideas for the zEVO, including using longer Manley I-beam rods and custom short-skirt JE pistons with a higher 9:1 compression ratio so that he could try to squeeze 9000 rpm and 800 whp out of his 4G63. He also ordered a very trick Billet Turbochargers SB68-GTQ twin-scroll turbo from Australia (close to a GT42 in size), a custom Bell intercooler and a new Full-Race twin-scroll manifold. "While we were at it, I thought we've come this far, why not go all the way? So we stripped the car down completely, removing all the undercoating and sound deadening, welded in a Sparco WRC chromoly rollcage, cut out the rear subframe and put in a custom one that ties into the rollcage and rear diff. We also had a complete custom MoTeC wiring system built to go with the SDL digital dash, throwing out all the factory wiring and converting to Canbus in the process."

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At this point, zEVO was more or less a race car, but Reine wanted it to have a show car-quality finish to go along with the performance of a world-class track machine. That's why his friend Tokan, who handled most of the body work, molded in the entire bodykit rather than just riveting it in place, as well as adding a lot of custom interior touches including the carpeting and leather-wrapped dash, door cards and center console to go along with the Alcantara Stätus Racing seats. And, of course, the unique shade of green that Kenny Starfighter from Högdalen Bil & Skadecenter and Tokan mixed and sprayed zEVO with certainly adds a show car quality to the build as well.

But the depth of Reine's obsession with building the ultimate EVO goes far beyond a flashy paint job, an über-rare widebody kit and a sweet set of Volk Racing CE28N's. Take a closer look at zEVO and you'll start to notice some truly top-shelf equipment attached, like the SQS Racing SEQSHIFT sequential shifter conversion, an incredibly cool item we've never seen before. Engineered and built in the Czech Republic, the SQSE allows you to shift sequentially using the standard EVO transmission and even includes a dash-mounted display to show you what gear you're in. The AP Racing pedal box, master cylinder and brake bias adjuster are also high-level racing parts you don't often see in a so-called "tuner" project like zEVO, as are the Swedish-made Laminova oil cooler and the Dutch-made Moton triple adjustable dampers at each corner. To allow room for the Laminova heat exchanger, Reine even designed and developed his own aluminum CNC-milled water pump plate, a part he's now making available to other EVO enthusiasts.

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The list of modifications made to zEVO is so extensive and so impressive that you really need to spend some time on his blog to fully appreciate the extent of this project. Clearly, Reine is a man on a mission, one that is innovative enough that it will inevitably continue to make it rain trophies at whatever shows he takes it to in Europe. In fact, if you happen to be in Helsinki, Finland, this October, be sure to check out zEVO in person at the Nordic Tuner Awards, where Reine and his EVO will be representing Sweden. The car might even be for sale, so don't forget to bring your checkbook.

Specifications & Details
"Zevo" '04 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII

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Engine Modifications
Blueprinted and balanced 85.5mm block, balance shafts removed, JUN 94mm 2.2-liter billet crankshaft and 272 camshafts, Manley I-beam rods, JE custom 9:1 pistons, ACL bearings, ARP head and main studs, zEVO CNC water pump plate and electric water pump, Cosworth CNC big valve cylinder head, Tomei solid lifters, HKS cam sprockets, 1.2mm head gasket, and timing belt; ATI Super Damper, Hypertune intake manifold, 3" throttle body and dual feed fuel rail; Billet Turbochargers SB68-GTQ twin-scroll T4 turbo, Full-Race twin-scroll T4 turbo manifold, Bell Intercoolers custom intercooler and 3" piping, Synapse Engineering dual 50mm wastegates and 50mm BOV; BMC twin air conical metal top air filters, custom 4" downpipe w/ dual wastegate scream pipes, RS*R GT-II 80mm after-cat exhaust, twin Walbro 255-lph in-tank fuel pumps, Bosch 1,600cc fuel injectors, MagnaFuel ProTuner 625, PWR 40mm radiator, Samco hoses, custom oil catch can, Power Enterprise oil filter, Odyssey battery

Engine Management
MoTeC M880 w/ CDI/8, SDL and SLM

Engine
4G63T 2.2-liter turbocharged inline-4

Drivetrain
Tilton carbon/carbon clutch and hydraulic clutch release bearing; SQS Racing SEQSHIFT (SQSE), EVO RS transfer case and diff housing; Carbonetic front and rear LSDs; steel braided clutch line, gear linkage metal bushing

Wheels, Tires And Brakes
Volk CE28N 18x10.5 +18 wheels, ARP extended wheel studs, Skunk2 lug nuts, Yokohama A948 295/35-18 tires, AP Racing 3-pedal box, clutch master cylinder, brake master cylinders, and brake bias adjuster; Endless front 6-piston 370mm BBK, powdercoated stock rear Brembo calipers, ABS deleted

Suspension
Moton triple adjustable dampers, Eibach ERS springs, HKS 2-way camber/caster front upper mounts and solid rear upper mounts; Power Flex front upper and lower engine mounts; Cusco carbon front and rear strut bars; custom rear solid diff hanger, Whiteline complete bush kit, roll center adjusters, bumpsteer correction kit, Steering precision kit, and blade-adjustable antisway bars

Exterior
Varis Super Taikyu carbon-fiber widebody kit and GT wing, custom green paint by Högdalen Bil & Skadecenter, Dekorfilm.se vinyl graphics

Interior
Keys Racing steering wheel, Works Bell hub kit and Rapfix II; Status Racing Ring racing seats; Takata harnesses, MoTeC SDL backlit dash and SLM (Shift Light Module); SQS gear indicator, Mach V lower dash gauge pod, custom leather-wrapped dash, door cards and center console; custom black carpet, Sparco WRC chromoly rollcage

Sponsors
ACC Motorsport, Bell Intercoolers, Carbonetic, Dekorfilm.se, Fräsarn, Högdalen Bil & Skadecenter, Laminova, Motul,Stätus Racing, Stockholms Metallsliperi, TWS, Whiteline, Yokohama, Zaklee Corp.

By David Pratte
216 Articles

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