It seems that after all these years, Mitsubishi's finally gotten its mojo back-and rightfully so. The company gained a large and very loyal following during the early '90s when it brought the performance-minded Eclipse, Galant and 3000GT to the table after the demise of the Starion (not the Tredia), due mostly in part to the turbocharged wonders that lay under the hoods of these popular sports coupes. But it was really these first- and second-generation Eclipses that killed Hondas softly with the tried and tested 4G63, the very powerplant that gave the early model Lancer Evos god-like status. This two-liter combined with either a RWD or AWD drivetrain gave enthusiasts a pair of brass balls and had potential that was unstoppable. Well, it was almost unstoppable; that is, until Mitsubishi canned the 4G63 in '99 when the second-gen Eclipse was taken off the market for the third gen replacement.
But Mitsubishi wised up to the gameIn '05, those swingin' Japanese brought the magic back to the U.S. with the Evo VIII, opening up a whole new world to fans who were once restricted to this AWD treat-and they haven't looked back since. Now the Evo's up to its tenth remix with an all-new 4B11T, an engine that's still being broken in by tuners around the world. Guess you can't F with the original formula (remember new Coca-Cola, anyone?). One person who still thrives for the taste of an OG Evo is Chan Zao. This personal assistant must be doing some side business to afford the luxuries his niner has been equipped with. In the same way some people splurge on shoes and collect from Jordan, BAPE or Visvim, Chan does it with cars, popping parts onto his 4G63 from HKS, ARC and Cosworth. His engine may not be throwing down super power numbers as its only been pushed to produce 400 hp, but as he continues to build it, he can use the F-CON Vpro to fine tune for a blastoff into outer space-or a more realistic option, downtown Boston.
But despite its mild Clark Kent figures, Chan's Evo is an example of how to build a car right from every aspect in addition to creating more power. Need convincing? Look at that paint job, then look at the body kit. That's serious business. You don't see Voltex widebody kits often and you certainly don't see Evos painted with three stages of Lamborghini orange. Even those widened fenders are filled with those magically delicious mag-blue TE37s in a fat +15 offset, another must-have rarity. Then there's carbon fiber-lots of it, all from Seibon (roof, trunk, front fenders and vortex generator), JDM company Varis (hood/door pillars) and Mitsubishi's own Ralliart (side mirrors/exhaust heat shield).
Still shocked? The interior's even better. Not even Daft Punk could handle this mission control where the driver and vehicle come together as one. Defi Link gauges connected to the A-pillar and atop the dashboard keep Chan aware of engine functions, and sprinkled along the instrument panel are the HKS F-CON Navigator, HKS turbo timer and Blitz SBC i-color boost controller. Audio has also been nicely dealt with, the center console now housing a Pioneer AVIC-N2, JVC DVD receiver and the Defi Link control unit. Our personal favorite additions, however, are the Bride Gias seats and matching upholstery-a nice balance to the tangy, candy-coated shell.
We're sure the Evo X will soon claim the fame its predecessors hold to this day (*see Car Jacked), but the old school lives on like it does in Chan's IX. Mitsubishi's got the right formula and it's something you can't mess with.
Fast Facts06 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution LX
Owner Chan Zao
Hometown Quincy, MA
Daily Grind Personal assistant
Under The Hood 2.0L 4G63; HKS RS intake, cam gears, SSQV blow-off valve and DLI-II Twin Power ignition amp; Cosworth 272 camshafts and head studs; PPI ported intake manifold; RC 750cc injectors; Walbro 255 fuel pump; Agency Power fuel rail; Tanabe Medalion Touring after-cat exhaust, downpipe and cat delete; Tomei turbo manifold and heat shield; NGK spark plugs; Ralliart spark plug wires; Forge 20G turbo, power steering tank, anti-freeze tank; SARD blow-off valve; Blitz LM intercooler; ARC upper intercooler pipe, spark plug cover, oil cap, oil catch tank and radiator cap; GReddy radiator; Invidia O2 housing; Ingalls engine torque damper; Injen lower intercooler pipe; Samco radiator hoses; carbon cam gear cover
Drivetrain Exedy Hyper twin clutch
The Power 400 hp at 6,800 rpm; 380 lb-ft at 4,300 rpm
BRAINS Blitz SBC i-color boost controller; HKS F-CON Vpro, F-CON Navigator and turbo timer
Stiff Stuff Zeal Function XS coilovers; Cusco front/rear sway bars, front crash bar, rear swap bar, lower cross bar and lower tie bar; Gandor titanium front strut bar; DC Sports titanium rear strut bar; Energy Suspension bushings
Stoppers Rotora six-pot front calipers with 355mm cross-drilled rotors/4-pot rear calipers with 330mm cross-drilled rotors; Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
Rollers 18x10.5 Volk Racing TE37 (+15) limited edition magnesium blue wheels; Yokohama ADVAN A048 265/35R18 tires; Kics R40 NeoChrome lug nuts
Outside Voltex wide-body kit (front bumper, side skirts, front canards, rear carbon diffuser, rear wide fenders); APR GTC 300 rear wing; JDM Evo VIII 8000K HID conversion, side markers and headlights; JDM Evo IX rear bumper; Lamborghini Orange 3-stage paint by Ventura's Autobody; Seibon carbon-fiber roof, trunk, front wide fenders and vortex generator; Varis carbon-fiber hood and door pillars; Sparco hood pins; HKS Kansai carbon-fiber headlight eyelids; Mine's carbon fiber rear deck lid; Ralliart carbon-fiber mirrors and rear exhaust heat shield
Inside Bride Gias seats with matching door panel inserts, rear seats, head liner; Blitz shift knob; Ralliart pedals; B&M short shifter; Takata harness and harness bar
Ice Pioneer AVIC-N2 GPS/DVD receiver; JVC DVD receiver; Defi Link gauges (boost, oil temp, EGT, water temp, oil pressure, fuel pressure) with Control Unit II; Innovative LC-1 wideband with digital gauge; Pioneer 6.5" speakers; 12" Alpine Type-E subwoofer in custom fiberglass box; Alpine mono channel amp
Props my boss; Andy and Mike at Prospec; Navin at Ventura's Autobody; Sean at Iveytune; Mackin Industries; Seibon; Tanabe; Nukabe
WWW alpine-usa.com; aprpeformance.com; blitz-performance.com; cosworth.com; dcsports.com; endlessusa.com; energysuspension.com; evasivemotorsports.com (Voltex); hksusa.com;injen.com; mackinindustries.com; more-japan.com (Bride); pioneerelectronics.com; proautosport.com; rotora.com; samcosport.com;seibon.com; tanabe-usa.com; tein.com (Takata); tomeiusa.com