“Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” makes for a pretty awesome sounding acronym—laser. Plus, in theory and in science fiction, it makes for a pretty potent weapon. So potent, in fact, that Dr. Evil wanted sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. And that’s exactly what he got (although he had to make due with mutated sea bass for a while), along with an ungrateful son and a severe case of male-pattern baldness.
Meanwhile, back at the Chrysler Tower in the late ’80s, Lee Iacocca’s marketing geniuses decided that their version of Mistubishi’s first-generation Eclipse needed a name capable of communicating just how technologically advanced and space-age cool the car really was. And so the Plymouth Laser was born, the top trim level having the added cool factor of both an RS (Rallye Sport) and Turbo (warp speed!) badge. Truth be told, the Laser RS Turbo and its Eagle and Mitsubishi counterparts were incredibly advanced machines at the time, bringing the advantages of turbocharging and AWD to market in a refreshingly sleek and aerodynamic body shape. If you were a car guy in the early ’90s, chances are you wanted one of these little pocket rockets.
Kyle Cimbron, a 26-year-old Rhode Island native, may be too young to have lusted after the Laser when it first came out, but he’s clearly a DSM man through and through, given the number of them he’s owned and the 10-second street beast he’s turned this ’92 RS Turbo into. Sure, he still owns the ’90 Mustang LX 5.0 that was his first car (a project he and his father started when Kyle was just 14), but given his plan to swap a stroked 4G63T into a ’92 Ford Mustang LX as an 8-second drag car project, it’s safe to say he’s a DSMer to the core now.
As Kyle tells us, “I got my start with cars at an early age thanks to my father. We started with the ’90 Mustang I still have today, and I was heavily into Mustangs for a few years, but in New England, we run into snow and tough weather sometimes, so I knew a Mustang was not going to cut it as a daily driver.
We came across a ’90 Talon TSi AWD that had some front end damage [and] looked like a good year-round candidate. I drove that through the winter of my senior year in high school and had a ton of fun with it, researching “free mods” on the Internet and just driving it like a teenager. I sold it after the winter and continued on with Mustangs for a bit, but I always missed the feel of the DSM—tight chassis with good handling and smooth power.”
Kyle then went on a DSM binge of impressive proportions, owning no less than eight—four Eagle Talons, two Galant VR4s, an Eclipse GSX, and a FWD Laser Turbo—but didn’t modify any of them beyond a basic exhaust upgrade. That’s when, in 2005, he came across this Plymouth Laser RS Turbo. As Kyle explains, “I was always a domestic guy, so I thought it was cool too have a Plymouth-badged DSM. When I testdrove the car it had a small, 16g turbo, a boost controller set to 18 psi, and an old five-knob AFC, and it felt like nothing I had driven before. I was hooked. With a stock intercooler and injectors the car ran consistent 13.4- to 13.5-second e.t.’s at 104 mph, and that was where the progression started.”
Once the tuner bug really kicked in, Kyle was running in the 11s down the quarter-mile thanks to larger injectors, a bigger intercooler, a TiAL 38mm wastegate, and DSMLink for tuning. He went through a few turbo upgrades in search of even quicker elapsed times starting with a Buschur 20g and then a twin-scroll 0.70 T4 exhaust housing GT3582R. As Kyle tells us, “That combination never worked that great for me, even though I went 11.0 at 134 mph. It was much laggier then I thought it would be, so I switched to Forced Performance’s FP30 bolt-on Mitsubishi turbine housing and had the compressor housing polished by Jarrod at ShineWorks and started to have more consistency. Plus the engine now made the same power on pump gas as it did on race gas previously. My good friend SteveB deserves a lot of credit on the tune; we spent many nights on the highway to get it where it is today.”
Since then Kyle has focused on slowly improving his Laser’s performance down the strip while maintaining a factory-fresh appearance. According to Kyle, “I try and keep the car as detailed as possible because I know when I go to watch racing, an extremely quick car that is also clean really appeals to me. I have raced the car for eight straight years on the original long-block [only changes being Forced Performance FP4R cams, beehive calve springs, and ARP head studs] and I’ve reached my goals for the car. I wanted a 10-second pass on 17-inch street tires, pump gas, full exhaust, a full interior, and over 3,000 pounds, and I did that last summer at the DSM Shootout [10.95 at 130 mph]. And with 24.5-inch M/T slicks, the car has been as quick as 10.68 at 132 mph.” This may not be quite as quick as a frickin’ laser beam, but we think Dr. Evil would approve.
When I test drove the car it had a small 16g turbo, a boost controller set to 18 psi ,and an old five-knob AFC, and it felt like nothing I had driven before. I was hooked
Unlike Dr. Evil (and his dysfunctional relationship with his son), Kyle credits his father as being the biggest factor in his Laser’s evolution. “We attend all the races together, and the car would not be what it is without him and his help. He is heavily into cars, too, and has a ’68 AMC AMX, a ’79 Porsche 911SC, an ’87 Mustang GT convertible, and a ’69 Chevy C10 that we maintain together.
I also have a great group of friends here locally that we race with (Infamous Performance, SteveB, Victor Teixeira, Brian Cap) who all make doing this fun. Tony Garcia, who does our fabrication work, has also been a major help, along with everyone at NewEngDSM.org.”
'92 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo
Engine 2.0L 4G63T turbocharged inline-four
Engine Modifications 136K-mile, all-original 4G63T long-block with balance shaft delete kit; forward-facing oil filter housing; Gates Racing Kevlar timing belt; Forced Performance beehive valvesprings; FP4R camshafts; cast race manifold; FP30 bolt-on Mitsubishi compressor housing polished by ShineWorks and 4” intake; ARP L19 head studs and with crank pulley bolts; Fel-Pro stock/composite head gasket; Garrett GT3582R turbo; TiAL 44mm wastegate and Q 50mm BOV; ETS Race 10.5” intercooler core; Garcia Racing 2.5” upper and lower intercooler piping; Throttlebodys.com 63mm TB; JM Fabrications IAC and FIAV block-off plate; Forrester Racing Heads cast intake manifold and phenolic spacer; Fuel Injector Clinic fuel rail and 950cc injectors; Aeromotive 255-lph in-tank fuel pump, A1000 FPR, and fuel filter; Bosch 044 in-line fuel pump; Fuel Lab 818 Series in-line fuel filter; Garcia Racing V-Band converted Buschur Racing 3” turbo-back exhaust; front bumper exit wastegate dump; GReddy oil cap; Jay Racing steel alternator relocation kit; Prothane motor mount inserts; Avid Racing billet front roll stop; Mishimoto radiator with dual slim-line fans; Fluidampr harmonic damper
Engine Management ‘92 Mitsubishi E-Prom ECU; Steve B-tuned ECMLink V3 running speed density w/ GM IAT and AEM 5.5 bar map sensor; Hallman Evolution in-car boost controller
Drivetrain Stage 4 Shepherd Racing transmission (EVO III First gear, Shep spec Second, Third & Fourth gears, 4 spider diff) and clutch pedal assembly; QuarterMaster twin disc 7.25” V-Drive clutch and flywheel; Competition clutch fork; PTT conical throwout bearing; Three Speed bellhousing scattershield; Garcia Racing driveshaft loop
Suspension Megan Racing coilovers; Ingalls Engineering rear camber arms
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Hyperblack 17x8’’ 5Zigen FN01R-C +35 wheels (street); matte black 15x7’’ FN01R-C wheels (track); Sumitomo 245/40ZR17 HTR-Z tires (street); Mickey Thompson 24.5x8 slicks w/ M/T tubes screwed with Moroso slick screws (track); 2g twin-piston front calipers; Powerstop cross-drilled and slotted rotors (f/r) and ceramic brake pads; ARP extended wheel studs; Muteki SR35 chrome red lug nuts; Pegasus Racing SS brake lines
Numbers 37 psi on 93-octane pump gas; 3,176 pounds; 10.954 at 129.74 mph (’11 DSM/EVO Shootout, Norwalk Ohio); M/T 24.5-15x8 slicks, 93-octane pump gas, 3,152 pounds, 10.683 at 132.93 mph (’12 Import Face Off, Epping New Hampshire)
Exterior Franks custom fiberglass hood with RRE hood vent molded in by Platinum Collision; Sparco hoodpins; custom hood hinges to allow for hoodpin/quick-release hood removal; diamond-cut headlamps with clear side markers; Victor Tex front bumper wastegate dump dress plate
Interior Corbeau Forza front seats; RCI harness (driver), Schroth Rallye harness (passenger); Stewart Warner 40-psi boost gauge; Auto Meter shift light and Sport Comp coolant, voltage, and oil pressure gauges; NGK AFX Wide-band o2 gauge; Garcia Racing eight-point rollbar
Special Thanks My father for all the help and support; my fiancée, family, and friends for understanding the addiction; SteveB; Tony at Garcia Racing; Infamous Performance; Victor Tex; Jay at Rosario Racing; and Brian at Dynotech for all the support over the years along with NewEngDSM.org and the ECMLink forum