Electronics are an unavoidable component of modern world cars. Technology has helped push boundaries in countless areas, increasing both performance and safety. While purists will continue to sustain the notion that lightness and simplicity are the two most important ingredients when creating capable sports cars, the majority of production cars out on the roads today just can't follow this recipe; the Lancer Evolution X is a perfect example. Packed with an advanced all-wheel-drive system and brains to help it juggle all its turbocharged power effectively is one of the most affordable and capable sports imports currently available to car enthusiasts. It is precisely this that attracted of SunLine Racing (SLR) to the Evo X when looking to create an all-new demo car. And while they were at it, SLR didn't turn down the SST dual-clutch transmission for the 5-speed manual, instead opting to become one of the first to develop this extremely modern gearbox further.
SLR has put their shop on the map thanks to the capable cars they've built in the past. Located in Okayama, towards the southern part of the main Honshu island of Japan, SunLine Racing has established itself as a one of the best GT-R and Z shops in the country. After three years of non-stop development on the R35, they've learned a lot when it comes to dual clutch transmissions and were surprised that a lot of tuners in Japan hadn't done anything with the SST version of the CZ4 Evo X. "Ignoring such significant leaps of technology," they say, "is not productive; you just need to look at the current batch of high-end supercars to see how this is quickly becoming the transmission of choice for the future." The all-aluminum 4B11, despite initial thoughts, is very capable of sustaining big levels of power with a lot of the big names in Japan, like HKS and Varis running well over 600 HP on their time attack cars. The SST gearbox, however, is the weakest link in the Evo X's impressive list of capabilities, only able to handle up to 400 HP before the clutch packs begin to slip. So it's obvious those shooting for big power go for the manual. But SLR is intent in changing this, and will attempt to push the limits of the twin clutch unit with this demo car.
When we dropped by the shop they had just finished completing the first round of modifications, which have helped boost power to 400 HP. Making the engine breathe more freely is the Blitz metal cone filter which is fitted inside a semi-closed carbon air box that helps shield it from unwanted engine heat. One of SLR's specialties are exhausts and they created an all-new GT Spec titanium system that not only sounds great, but increases power thanks to its bigger diameter and more efficient design. A Blitz SBC-iD controls the boost curve more efficiently and allows a slightly higher peak to be reached throughout the gears. The HKS F-Con V Pro engine management is programmed to make the most out of these few initial changes and introduces a whole new ignition and fueling map into the equation. All of this helps raise power to around 400 HP but the real benefits are in the way the engine responds to throttle inputs and the fatter torque curve at low-to-mid rpm. Higher boost called for HKS hard piping and an HKS intercooler to help keep the intake charge nice and cool. The next step will call for a larger turbocharger and a target power of 500 HP, which will obviously require some upgrades to the SST. SunLine will call in the help of driveline specialists OS Giken, who are only about ten minutes away, to help come up with some solutions.
The Evo X was fitted with the new SLR carbon trunk lid literally minutes before we began the shoot, a part that helps shave quite a lot of weight off the rear of the car. Aesthetically, the alterations are simple, like on most of their new demo cars, preferring to add to the already aggressive design. The SLR front bumper gives a more menacing look and provides greater airflow towards the brakes as well as the side-mounted oil-coolers. The larger central dam is fitted with carbon air guides that direct more air towards the core of the HKS intercooler. Carbon-fiber wraps elegantly around the rest of the car with the slightly protruding front lip spoiler as well as the side and rear skirts. More carbon comes in the form of a the roof cover, there as a purely decorative part, as well as the SunLine 3D GT-wing that helps keep the Evo X even more planted around corners. The 18-inch Dark chrome Work Emotion 11R FT are a great addition to the overall stance of the car, which sits on special SLR adjustable dampers, set-up for track use. Peaking through the spokes of the Works you will find Endless 6-pot front calipers and 355 mm 2-piece discs. And since SunLine has been collaborating with Endless for years they even get to alter the color of the calipers, a nice SLR red rather than the metallic blue of the stock items. Sticky Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 tires provide the grip.
SunLine Racing wants to create a powerful SST Evo X with this car and one of the objectives is to show that you don't need to give up comfort in exchange for power and on-track performance. This becomes obvious once you take a peek inside the passenger cabin where nothing has been stripped out or removed. Adding color are the Bride seats, replacing the stock Recaros, which are mounted far too high for most people. At the time of the shoot the carbon-fiber SLR paddles weren't ready but will soon be making their way behind the Nardi steering wheel giving a superb tactile experience, if those fitted to the R35 GT-R demo car are anything to go by. SLR took advantage of the stock LCD navigation screen to connect the Blitz R-VIT iDS Data Link Station, eliminating the need for any additional gauges as everything you would ever need is available through the graphic interface. The Blitz boost controller is the only gadget mounted on the dashboard, there for easy access of the preset boost levels.
The SST gearbox definitely offers some nice advantages like instant gear-changes when shooting for times out on track and an automatic mode when wanting to kick back and relax, or God forbid, let your girlfriend drive the car! Combining these advantages with high power levels hasn't been possible so far but with tuners like SunLine Racing and companies like OS Giken and HKS working hard to make the SST stronger, Evo owners won't need to skip out on getting the best technology has to offer.
2010 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X SST
Owner Sunline Racing
Hometown Okayama, Japan
Occupation Building fast street and circuit cars; developing performance products
Power 400 HP
Engine 2.0L DOHC turbo 4B11; SunLine Racing carbon air box, GT Spec titanium exhaust and oil cooler; Blitz SUS cone filter; HKS intake pipe, intercooler piping and intercooler
Drivetrain SST dual-clutch gearbox
Engine Management HKS F-Con V Pro ECU; Blitz R-VIT iDS Data Link Station and SBC-iD boost controller
Footwork & Chassis SunLine Racing adjustable suspension kit
Brakes SunLine Racing/Endless Red Edition 6-pot brake calipers; Endless front 2-piece floating and slotted 355 mm discs; SunLine Racing brake pads
Wheels & Tires 18x9" Work Emotion 11R wheels; Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 245/40R18
Exterior SunLine Racing front bumper, carbon front canards, carbon intercooler guides, carbon front lip spoiler, carbon side skirts, carbon roof cover, carbon rear skirts, carbon trunk lid and 3D GT-Wing Type 1
Interior SunLine Racing carbon SST gear paddles; Nardi steering wheel; Bride Low Max seats; Panasonic CN-HW880D Navigation