The Lancer Evolution is definitely an icon of Japanese tuning culture. Now in its tenth-incarnation, the Evolution has amassed worldwide recognition. Jackie Chan has featured them in his films in Hong Kong, its roots are deep in the World Rally Championship and in Japan, the Evolution is still one of the fastest in the Revspeed Time Attack series. In some automotive social circles, it may even be more well-known worldwide than the legendary Nissan Skyline.
When our generation first discovered the Evolution, all we could do was look on as the rest of the world toyed with the Evos in all their all-wheel-drive glory. The U.S. was stuck with the Mirage, the ugly sister of the EVO, and eventually the Lancer; the somewhat more attractive version but still, a 12-pack away from beer goggle induced Evo-vision. The Ralliart Lancer might as well have been the blue balls edition of the Evolution.
It wasn't until 2003 that America had its first taste of the Lancer Evolution. Fast forward six years and now they're everywhere. They're huge in all time attack series, you can't go to a local car show without seeing one, and highways are filled with them. They've shaped a subculture of their own stateside. There are companies out here that are producing EVO builds that capture the attention of the rest of the world.
Even with so much success, there are still those individuals who enjoy the Japanese tuning scene and all things "JDM". Michael Eaddy is one of those guys. His Lancer Evolution VIII looks like it could have jumped right out of the pages of a Japanese HyperRev or Option2 magazine.
The resemblance to its Japanese counterpart is due to the Varis body armor that it wears. "I chose the Super Taikyu kit because I wanted to be different from all EVOs out here," Michael says. "It's not a commonly used kit in the US, so it turns heads. Plus the Varis kit has a lot of carbon-fiber, which was an on-going theme for me. I even had my roof and trunk overlaid in carbon-fiber to match my Varis hood."
"I looked at all the other EVOs and they pretty much looked the same so I had to switch it up and do something out of the ordinary. I wanted to paint my car a candy apple red but Evolutions already come in red. I talked to my body guy over at AA Autoworks and they came up with a custom green shade for me."
To keep the Japanese tuner look consistent, Michael had to find a set of wheels that flowed with his freshly-painted Varis aero kit. He knew that the wheels would either make or break his build so he opted to go with the classic look of Volk CE28Ns-but with his own personal touch. "I had a place in Van Nuys, California dip the Volks in chrome," he explains. "The CE28Ns just put it over the top as far as being different from every other Evo. You rarely see chrome CE28Ns, if at all." To make sure the car sat correctly on the 19-inch chrome Volks, Michael lowered his EVO on height adjustable TEIN Flex coilovers. The aggressive sizing of the Volks combined with the coilovers help to give this Evolution a beefy stance.
A rare Varis aero kit and chrome Volks aren't exactly the most cost-effective route to go but Michael spared no expense and the ballin' continues inside the Evo VIII. He ditched the stock seats in favor of super-rare Bride Maziora Edition Gias buckets. "I even had AA Autoworks wrap the rest of my door panels and rear seats in the Bride material. The door panels are in the red Bride material as well as the custom red suede headliner to give the interior and exterior some contrast."
With the interior complete and the exterior looking like a Japanese tuning shop's demo car, one question remains; what's under the hood?
"Being a part of Team Hybrid means that you have to trust the Hybrid formula and 15 years of tradition. We're still going strong because we build our cars to the infamous Team Hybrid standard of quality. That means we cover all aspects of the build. Show and go," Michael explains.
To upgrade his already potent, 4G63, Michael installed all the major HKS bolt-ons he could get a hold of. This included, but was not limited to, a HKS Hi-Power exhaust, racing suction intake, HKS Kansai intake box and intercooler with piping.
"The entire build process took a great deal of time and energy, not just on my part but from a good friend of mine, Juan Marquez. There were a lot of late nights, a little bit of pain and an angry wife but it was all worth it in the end! To think that I started this build a year ago when my wife told me I could have any car I want as long as it was a 4-door, and being a proud member of Team Hybrid now, it's truly an unbelievable experience."
2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Owner Michael Eaddy
Hometown Palmdale, CA
Occupation Operations Manager
Engine 2.0L 4G63; HKS 272 camshafts, cam gears, Racing Suction Intake, Kansai carbon-fiber intake box, Hi-Power exhaust, Version 2 blow-off valve, intercooler piping; Super Tuning custom 3-in downpipe; ARP head studsx; GReddy fuel injectors; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; Samco Sport hoses; Mizu radiator; APR Carbon Craft valve cover
Drivetrain ACT clutch kit
Suspension & Chassis TEIN Flex coilovers; APR front strut tower bar
Brakes Project Mu 4-pot front brake calipers, brake rotors, steel braided brake lines; B-Force brake pads
Wheels & Tires 19x8.5 Volk CE28N +22; 235/35-19 BFGoodrich KDW; Project Kics lug nuts
Exterior Varis Super Taikyu front bumper, hood, side skirts, rear bumper, rear diffuser; APR GTC200 rear spoiler; custom carbon-fiber overlay roof and trunk; JDM taillights
Interior Nardi steering wheel; Works Bell steering wheel hub, quick release; Bride Gias Low Max Maziora seats; re-wrapped Bride rear seats and door panels; custom color-matched dashboard; MR pedal set; red suede headliner
Audio Alpine AVN310 head unit, component speaker set, Type R subwoofer, 4-channel amplifier; custom sub enclosure by Al&Ed's Autosound
Thanks You James Lim of Teamhybrid.com; Team Hybrid family; Karl and Frank of AA Autoworks; Juan Marquez; wife Benita; BFGoodrich; Meguiars; Al&Ed's Autosound
www bfgoodrich.com, greddy.com, hksusa.com, mackinindustries.com (Project Mu/Volk), meguiars.com, more-japan.com (Bride), tein.com