Most of you are currently feasting your eyes on the Garage HRS Evo for the very first time. Ironically, if everything went according to plan, this car would likely be a household name in US time attack racing by now. Destined for greatness in America, this CT9A has yet to see its moment in the spotlight thanks to the wonderful global economy. Fortunately there’s still hope that this Evo may one day reach our shores and rip up our circuits.
What started off as the brainchild of a US shop’s dream became reality in the hands of Garage HRS’ president Yoshihiro Hirayama. The mission statement of this Evo 8 was clear: build the gnarliest limited class Evo that the world has ever seen. For many tuners this would be a difficult task, but Garage HRS is one of the most prestigious Evo tuners in Japan and had a huge role in developing one of the fastest and most well-known time attack cars in the world: the Cyber Evo. With their work cut out for them the staff at HRS got underway with this unusual project.
Since the car would be competing in the US, the original client was adamant about building the car to our stringent safety regulations. HRS got down to business and stripped off every last bolt, wire and coating and then sent the chassis to WELD for a full stiffening package. Known in Japan for building D1 spec rollcages, the experts at WELD were tasked with stitch welding the chassis and building a NASA/SCCA legal steel rollcage. This would be a new experience since most time attack teams in Japan don’t comply with a particular safety code; most cages found in JDM cars use as little material as possible to keep weight down, and unfortunately that won’t fly in the States.
The amply stiffened Evo was then painted a fresh coat of white before being taken back to HRS to finish assembly. When the car arrived back in Yokohama the team bolted on a slew of HRS original chassis parts including spherical bearings, hard bushings and custom valved Zeal coilovers. In addition to the already impressive selection of handling pieces is HRS’ own Cyber Evo wide tread kit, which extends the track of the car by 25mm on both sides via custom LCAs, tie rod ends and of course, longer axles. On top of the obvious gain from a wider track, the kit also promotes a roll center correction allowing better handling in the Evo’s newly reduced ride height. Bolted to the upright assemblies are Endless six piston calipers on all four corners to cover any braking duties.
With the build moving along smoothly, it was time to focus on the cockpit. Two Bride Zeta III seats were installed to keep the occupants stationary while the car bounces off the curbs. In front of the driver lies a Key’s Racing suede wheel and just beyond that an army of instrumentation. Defi meters with their controller, an HKS EVC and a Cyber Evo ACD meter all find their way into the dash via HRS’ own meter panels. Aside from the HKS Circuit Attack Counter little else remains inside the cabin save for the relocated battery and aluminum panel both behind the front seats.
The exterior started to take shape when each of the separately painted body panels were bolted on one at a time. The menacing look of the widebody Voltex aero kit is instantly recognizable, with the trademark Cyber Evo front bumper complete with twin canards and massive carbon splitter matched up seamlessly to HRS 70mm front fenders housing the enormous AME Tracers. With everything secured, the exterior was treated to a custom livery with Art Factory three-dimensional graphics. The finishing touches include blue tinted headlights, a Billion ducted door visor and carbon WRC mirrors.
Saving the best for last, HRS did their magic on the 4G63 engine increasing displacement to 2.2 liters. Although there is some mystery surrounding the exact specifications of some parts stuffed into the four-banger what we do know is that Tomei Pon-Cam Type-R bumpsticks found their way inside. With an RX6-F1 turbo spinning at full boost the engine setup was more than enough to take down nearly any rival on the time attack circuit. But as the project was nearing completion and its ship date, things went horribly wrong.
Due to lack of funds the original buyer for the car had to back out, leaving HRS between a rock and a hard place. No expense was spared building this car to the exact specifications requested and in doing so HRS was now in the red. Not one to dwell on difficulties, Yoshi-san decided to make the most of the situation and set forth to further customize the car to take part in Japanese competitions. The first order of business was installing several proven Cyber Evo pieces.
The RX6-F1 turbine was replaced with a Cyber Evo Produce 20G Evo 9 unit, sucking air in from the HRS super intake before shoving it through the super intercooler and eventually into to the large capacity HRS intake manifold, passing the big throttle-body on its way. On the hot side of the turbo, a full titanium HRS turbo-back exhaust system was fit up. To ensure a proper tune HRS used their own Cyber Evo ECU program, a setup the original Cyber Evo used to make a name for itself, in this case creating nearly 450awhp.
In addition to the engine computer, a Cyber Evo ACD (Active Center Differential) controller was also used to allow the system to be optimized for racing use. With everything buttoned up it was time to hit the track and see what the car could do. At the Tsukuba 2000 event last year, the car was able to clock a 57 second lap, an extremely impressive time for a car designed for limited class use. That should loosely translate to a lap time at Buttonwillow around 1:51, not too far off the current record times in limited class. If the car had shipped when it was supposed to over two years ago, it would most likely have held the record.
However, as I said at the beginning of this article, there is still a glimmer of hope for this car as it is currently for sale. In order to begin with an all new Evo X build, Garage HRS currently has this car listed for sale. For the cool price of $60,000 you could own a Super Street cover car and a potential Super Lap Battle record holder. The car is also legal for use in wheel-to-wheel racing, so if you’ve been contemplating building your own Evo for competition use why not save yourself some cash and buy one of the best in the world? Maybe we’ll be seeing you at Super Lap Battle!
2003 Mitsubishi Evo VIII RS
Owner Garage Hrs (But Could Be You !) Hometown Tsuzuki-Ku, Yokohama, Japan Occupation Building Monster AWD Cars and Developing Parts for Them
Engine 2.2L turbocharged 4G63; Tomei Pon-Cam Type-R camshafts; Power Enterprise reinforced metal head gasket; Cyber Evo produce customized Evo IX turbine; HRS big surge tank (intake manifold), big throttle-body, super intake, super intercooler, turbo manifold, full titanium exhaust, carbon cooling panel, carbon plug cover, carbon timing cover, radiator, oil cooler w/custom aluminum duct; SARD fuel pressure regulator; Samco radiator hoses
Drivetrain Exedy Clutch; HRS spec Cusco Type-RS LSDs (front and rear)
Enginemanagement HRS Cyber Evo ECU and ACD controller; HKS EVC5
Footwork & chassis Endless Zeal HRS spec coilover kit; Cusco front/rear sway bars; HRS spherical bearing and reinforcement bushing kit, Cyber Evo wide tread kit including wide LCA, axles and tie-rod (+25mm over stock); WELD Technique Factory stitch welded chassis, custom NASA/SCCA certified six-point steel rollcage
Brakes Endless 6pot front and rear calipers w/rotors; HRS brake lines and pads
Wheels & tires 18X10.5" +22 AME Tracer TM-02 wheels (MAT version 2); 265/35R18 Advan A050 tires
Exterior HRS superwide 70mm front fenders; Voltex Cyber Evo street version front bumper, side skirts, rear diffuser, rear fender, hood, Type-5 V-mount GT wing; Art Factory graphics; Billion ducted window visor
Interior Key’s Racing steering wheel and shift knob; Bride Zeta III seats; Works Bell rapfix quick-release; Schroth 4-point harness; HRS column meter panel, in-dash three-stranded panel, in-dash defi controller panel, in-dash HRS EVC panel; Defi oil temp, oil press and water temp gauges; Cyber Evo ACD meter; HKS Circuit Attack Meteraudio