It's a bit shocking to realize that we are staring the Evo 10 straight in the eyeballs. It seems like only yesterday that we celebrated the arrival of the JDM-spec Lancer Evolution VIII to our shores. Nowhere was this celebration bigger than in the Northeast where a strong DSM contingent had been facing stagnation with the Eclipse/Talon losing its boost after the 1999 model year. The Evo, which signified the return of the venerable 4G63, was a savior. Atlantic Motorsports (AMS) out of Gaithersburg, Maryland, hit the road running and the AMS crew has built a number of impressive Evos since the four-door, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive masterpieces dropped in 2003.
AMS' Mike Anders related that this Evo buildup was a rapid-fire affair with bullets flying Matrix-style all over the unsuspecting Mitsubishi. "Our original plan was a daily driven, good looking, mild bolt-ons show Evo," Anders says, "and we thought we succeeded at making a fun, quick, JDM-themed Evo. However, since the last feature, we've changed our direction ever so slightly. We needed power, lots of it. That goal was achieved by installing an AutoMotoSport GT35-R turbocharger kit and an SMC alcohol injection setup that helps us combat knock at higher boost levels, like 28 psi. We run a Magnus intake manifold that features an individual velocity stack design along with AutoMotoSport hard intercooler pipes that are up to the big-boost challenge. The system is controlled by an AEM EMS."
Along with the AutoMotoSport turbo manifold and GT35-R, the system also consists of a TurboXS Hyperflow FMIC, a Tial Sports blow-off valve and a TiAL Sports wastegate that dumps into a HKS Carbon Ti exhaust system. On the electronics side, a GReddy Profec B-Spec II boost controller and a GReddy turbo timer keep the GT35-R in its 'happy place.'
The head is adorned with 280-degree HKS cams, HKS cam gears and ARP head studs to keep it all together at 28 psi. The 4G63's spark energy is increased with a HKS DLI-2 ignition amplifier, while cooling has been addressed with an ARC radiator, FAL Slim-Series fan and a GT Spec cooling panel.
"We wanted to take the stock Evo motor to its limits," Anders says. "The stock motor, when properly tuned, has no problems safely sustaining high horsepower levels, in the 500whp range. The biggest hurdle was the tuning. Sean Ivey gave us a hand in tuning this car and the numbers and the drivability of this combination speak for themselves."
On the AMS dyno Ivey coaxed an impressive 514 whp and a hearty 432 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0-liter Mitsubishi powerplant. Anders reports that these numbers were generated without the alcohol injection online.
With its history on the show scene, the underhood landscape sports abundant dress-up items. The AMS crew raided the ARC catalog on this one, dropping an ARC radiator cap, spark plug cover and oil catch can in the engine bay. A HKS oil cap managed to sneak in, while a color-matched chameleon valve cover really ties the underhood to the exterior of the car.
Looking at the dyno chart, the 4G63 really whips to life from 5000 rpm, where it pumps out 300 whp, to 6000 rpm, where upwards of 490 whp is realized. "The GT35-R turbocharger, everyone talks about how laggy this turbo is on the stock motor; not true," Anders says. "Time and time again it has proved itself by providing awesome levels of horsepower without sacrificing drivability."
"Also, the Evo, even in its stock form with the stock turbo, responds greatly to high boost levels when supported by alcohol injection. The SMC kit is definitely a power-adder when used correctly."
AMS knows the importance of a balanced package; and this Evo has the equilibrium of a seasoned gymnast. The foundation for the Evo's agility is a set of JIC FLT-A1 coilovers with custom spring rates. A GT Spec rear strut bar, GT spec rear trunk cage, Progress rear sway bar, Carbing front strut bar and RMR lower brace enhance chassis stiffness. The all-important contact patch is provided by Pirelli Corsa 255/ZR40-18 performance rubber wrapped around Advan aluminum.
The Advans are backed by Rotorpro drilled and slotted rotors, stock Brembo calipers, Hawk HPS brake pads and Goodridge steel brake lines.
When it comes to looks, visions of scrawny gymnasts fade to black because the bodylines of this Evo are pure supermodel. Thanks to a Do-Luck chin spoiler, Varis carbon-fiber bumper cooling ducts, Mitsubishi MR Vortex generator and JDM lighting front and rear, the car curves in all the right places. "This may be a shallow comment, Anders quips, "but we dig the custom paint! The chameleon paint has attracted great attention at shows."
This Evolution is living up to its name, as the transformations click off like they were executed in an entirely different dimension. The crazy thing is that by the time you read this, the AMS Evo will have probably already morphed again. "We will most likely yank the motor out and swap in a stroked 2.3-liter race motor," Anders says. "The 35-R turbocharger is also on its way out, in favor of a GT42 turbo." Aesthetically, we hear the car has been upgraded to custom KW coilovers, while Work VSTX staggered wheels now replace the Advans. The tough thing about mega morphers, you need to take it all in when you see it, because the next time it drives by you may no longer recognize it in all its chameleon, shape-shifting beauty.
Specs: 2003 Mitsubishi EvolutionEngineAEM EMS tuned bySean Ivey with Speed densityAEM UEGO widebandAutomotosports lower intercooler pipeAutomotosports upper intercooler pipeAutomotosports GT35R Turbo kitARC radiatorARC radiator capARC shift knobARC spark plug coverARC oil catch canGReddy Profec boost controllerGReddy turbo timerHKS 280 camsHKS cam gearsHKS Carbon Ti ExhaustHKS DLI2 IgnitionHKS oil capTIAL BOVTIAL WastegateARP Head studsColor matched valve coverFAL slim fanGT Spec cooling panelOdyssey PC680 small batteryPowerflex front motor mountSMC alcohol injectionStillway engine damperTurboXS Hyperflow FMICTein hood dampersWeapon R coolant overflow tank
SuspensionGT Spec rear strut barGT spec rear trunk cageJIC FLT-A1 coilovers with custom spring ratesProgress rear sway barCarbing front strut barRMR lower brace
Wheels/tiresADVAN racing rgiiPirelli Corsa 255/40/18 tires
BrakesRotorpro drilled/slotted rotorsHawk HPS brake padsGoodridge steel brake linesGoodridge steel clutch lineMotul RB600 brake fluid
ExteriorJDM MR headlightsJDM MR taillightsDo-Luck chin spoilerVaris CF bumper cooling ductsMitsubishi MR Vortex generatorShorty antennaJDM Mitsubishi rear bumperCustom paintwork
InteriorDefi BFboost, EGT, oil pressure, oil temp, water temp, fuel pressure gaugesCarbon-fiber dash gauge podCarbon-fiber armrestGauge Works glove box gauge podColor matched Sparco harness barFull Suede interior (door panels,headliner, rear shelf)Evo 9 suede/leather seats front/rearTakata harnesses