There seems to be a set template that people follow when it comes to building EVOs. Typically, you'll see them lowered with an exhaust; some will change the wing and the blow-off valve, then they throw some wheels on. Those who attempt to front like they like the stock wheels will even go as far as to paint them and roll up to a meet and stunt the freshly-painted stockies as new rolling stock. To say that some of them lack their own sense of style would be an understatement. If you've been to an EVO meet you'll notice that many of them just seem to blend in with each other.
In the tuner world, internationally speaking, there are probably only a handful of EVOs that truly stand-out. In Japan you have the likes of the Sun Auto Cyber EVO and HKS CT230R. The U.K. has Simon Norris and his green chop-top EVO. In the United States however, the ensemble of heavy hitting, top flight Evolutions happen to come from the same spot: AMS Performance. Hailing from the Windy City, AMS has been at the forefront of EVO-tuning for the last couple years. Not only do they have the fastest, record-breaking Evolutions in the United States, they also have a facility that would put a lot of Japanese tuning shops to shame. The beauty of AMS Performance is not just in the cars they produce but the fact that they're completely homegrown and everything is produced in-house at their own facilities. That's right, no outsourcing and no middle-man.
You really don't even have to know anything about EVOs or Mitsubishis at all to know the AMS namesake though. Their shop cars and customer builds have popped up all over the place. What many may not know however is that they have been around since 2001 and had their humble beginnings as a Ford/Merkur turbo modification shop. Needless to say, they found their niche-market with the diamond star brand and have never looked back. Having the world's quickest EVO 8 and the most powerful EVO (1142awhp to be exact) in the world pretty much gives them the bragging rights to do whatever they want.
Touted as "The Blue Demon", the EVO 9 that graces these pages before you may possibly be the culmination of all their years of hard work. It's not the quickest and even at over 600-plus horsepower, it's definitely not the most powerful. It doesn't have to be the best at any one thing. This EVO was built with bigger aspirations; to combine power and style while maintaining true track capabilities. You may even call it "the perfect storm". If the tuner community is the party, this Evolution 9 would be the guy who crashed it and came to stir things up.
"The original goal for this project was to build a true time attack EVO." Rich Karbowiak, Marketing Director at AMS, says. "The owner (who wishes to remain anonymous by the way-don't ask why) wanted a purpose-built track car and basically gave us the reigns to do as we wished. The best part of our job is when the customer gives us the freedom to do our best work. Our guys here at AMS have so much skill and it's unfortunate sometimes when they don't get to display it."
So free reign to do whatever they want means a check with no limits right?
(Laughs) "Well let's just say that there was no expense spared in this build. A lot of the times our customers don't want us to get too wild with their cars. This was definitely NOT the case with this one. The owner wanted a true time attack racecar that was pleasing to the eyes. In the end, not only are the parts great to look at, they're also 100% functional on the track." Rich states confidently.
Before the EVO made its way into the massive facility that is AMS, it spent time with Joe Kern at Custom Fab and Welding in Seymour, IL. There, the chassis was stripped of all its original paint, acid-dipped, and then seam-welded. Kern was then responsible for fabrication of the rollcage and installation of the AP Racing Air Jack system as well as an ATL carbon-fiber fuel cell. Once Kern's services were completed, it was sent off to AMS to make some real power.
All 600-plus doesn't come from any fly-by night stock block, big turbo mash-up. That just isn't what AMS does. Not only did they completely build this motor inside and out, they did it with their own in-house manufactured parts. This includes their AMS 2.3RR short block and CNC race head, as well as their VSR intake manifold and custom twin-pump fuel system. Big boost comes by way of their GT35R turbo kit. The only pieces that aren't AMS creations are the GReddy titanium exhaust, HKS camshafts, and HKS Dry Sump Oil System.
No track car is complete if it can't stop, so housed behind the custom 18x9.5 Forgeline EV3 wheels are Brembo Monoblock big brakes, front and rear. The front sports an 8-piston caliper and 14-inch rotors and the rear is no slouch either with a set of 4-piston calipers with 13-inch rotors. The aggressive stance of the Blue Demon is provided by 3-way adjustable JRZ Suspension Engineering coilovers.
For a track-worthy car you definitely need track-worthy aero. The man of mystery who owns this AMS-built project wanted ultimate functionality and style so he looked to its Japanese counterpart for inspiration. The renowned Sun Auto Cyber EVO is one of the fastest time attack Evolutions in the world sporting all Voltex armor so it was only right for this EVO to adorn a similar suit. Before the entire chassis was re-sprayed, a Voltex Cyber EVO front bumper was installed along with Voltex side skirts, front splitter, front GT aero fenders, and rear over fenders. The original doors were also removed for additional weight reduction and replaced with AMS carbon-fiber front and Seibon carbon rear doors.
Lurking within the Joe Kern fabricated rollcage are all the basic racing amenities. A Sparco steering wheel is attached to the Woodward collapsible steering rack; the original seats have been replaced with a Recaro SPG, and the AIM Pista digital dash display provides all the onboard numbers the driver needs to maneuver the Blue Demon around the track safely.
"This project is INSANE!" Rich exclaims. "There's just no detail that was left untouched throughout this build. I'm sure the pictures will look great when it goes to print but I can honestly say that pictures just won't do the Blue Demon the justice it deserves. It's just an immaculate machine." Coming from a guy that goes to work and sees amazing machines put together on a daily basis, we're inclined to agree with him. Sure, it's a little strange that the owner chooses to remain unknown but it's almost fitting because it adds to the legend that will eventually accompany the Blue Demon. It's almost as if you wouldn't want to know the owner because you would probably hate him for owning such a masterful piece of automotive machinery.
2006 Mitsubishi Evolution 9
Owner The International Man Of Mystery
Hometown somewhere out there!
Daily Grind not an english spy (we think)
Under The Hood AMS 2.3RR short block, CNC race head, AMS GT35R turbo it, front-mount intercooler, upper and lower intercooler pipe and custom intake box; HKS Evo 9 camshafts, cam gears; TiAL blow-off valve; HKS Dry Sump Oil System; AMS VSR intake manifold; Mocal oil cooler, power steering cooler; Koyo radiator; AMS front engine mount inserts; Precision 1000cc fuel injectors; AMS fuel rail with custom twin pump fuel system, fuel pressure regulator; ATL carbon-fiber fuel cell; GReddy titanium cat-back exhaust; Fluidampr crank pulley
Drivetrain Exedy triple-carbon clutch; CTG carbon-fiber driveshaft; Shepherd transmission; Cusco front and rear limited-slip differential; Driveshaft Shop axles; AMS shifter base bushings, under hood shifter bushings
Stiff Stuff JRZ Triple Adjustable coilovers; DEK front control arms; Perrin rear sway bar, sway bar mounts; AMS rear trailing arm bushings; DC Sports titanium front strut tower bar
Stoppers Brembo Monoblock GT 8-piston front big brake kit, 14in 2-piece brake rotors; Brembo Monoblock GT 4-piston rear big brake kit, 13in 2-piece rear brake rotors; Tilton brake proportioning valve; ARP extended wheel studs
Rollers 18x9.5in Forgeline EV3, 275/35-18 Hankook Ventus Competition tires
Outside Voltex Cyber Evo front bumper, front splitter, carbon-fiber rear wing, front GT aero fender, side skirts, rear over fenders, carbon-fiber GT hood, carbon-fiber canards; AMS carbon-fiber front race doors; Seibon carbon-fiber rear doors; JDM rear bumper; AMS rear Lexan window kit; APR carbon-fiber side mirrors; aero hood latches; entire chassis stitch-welded
Inside Custom multi-point rollcage and rear floor; carbon-fiber Mazda RX-8 dashboard; AIM Pista dashboard display; AEM UEGO; Autometer gauges; carbon kevlar Recaro SPG seat; Schroth harness; SPA fire suppression system; Woodward collapsible steering rack; Sparco steering wheel; AP air jacks; Quickcar ignition control panel; Custom battery cut-off switch; carbon-fiber door panels, floor trays; AMS Delron shift knob and custom wiring harness; AEM EMS
Ice What for?
Props AMS Performance; Joe Kern @Custom Fab and Welding
WWW aempower.com, amsperformance.com, brembo.com, dcsports.com, exedy.com, greddy.com, hksusa.com, koyorad.com