The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is an incredibly versatile car. Even though its roots stem from rally racing, there’s so much more you can do with the EVO. Whether you want to race the thing, or just stunt on haters, there’s not a lot of better platforms out there to choose from. Good looks, reliability and utility and a vast aftermarket support network means that we’ve seen a lot of nice EVOs in our day. And considering the easily available (and recently, more affordable) nature of these cars, we continue to see interesting builds pop up fairly often. Jonathan Tangalin’s ’05 EVO VIII is a good example of a unique build, because it takes cues from several different styles and creates its own personal look that will likely never be duplicated.
“I got sucked into the EVO world back in 2005 when I first got the car, and I didn’t know much about it,” Jonathan remembers. “It was my first car and a gift from my parents. As I started to read more and more about EVOs, I saw how much potential they have and started to mod quickly. I was pretty young when I started off and the only way I could make money to mod the car was by selling my Jordan shoe collection. So I figured why not!” That’s certainly up there as far as crazy ways we’ve heard to fund a project car build, but who are we to pass judgment? Honestly, an EVO VIII is probably cooler than a closet full of shoes you’ll never wear, (depending on who you talk to) so Jonathan made a good call in our book.
The exterior package is eye-catching to say the least. A metallic “root beer” brown paintjob is a nice choice, but it wasn’t Jonathan’s first. “My car took six different paint jobs, several different hoods, bumpers, rear bumpers and side skirts before I got it to how it looks now—It took me eight years,” Jonathan laughs. A Varis Super Taikyu front bumper with Garage Trial canards set off the latest front end configuration, which flows into Voltex double-wide front and rear fenders, C-West side skirts, custom rear widebody and a EVO VII rear bumper with a lower diffuser to create a beefy track-inspired look. The 18x11" Work Meister wheels fill out the massive wheel arches, wrapped in 295/35R18 Yokohama Advan Sport tires which are there admittedly mostly for style points. Jonathan’s car does not see any track time; it’s dropped incredibly low, and looks nice and aggressive for a street car. The suspension has been upgraded with a set of RSR coilovers, Cusco sway bars and a grouping of various other bars, braces and links from Whiteline, Carbing and Nagisa Auto just to name a few.
When entering the inside of Jonathan’s car, a barrage of visual stimuli confronts you. He’s gone with a splatter paint theme for his trim pieces, and there are more stickers than you can shakea, errr, stick at. It’s not for everyone, but Jonathan enjoys the busyness and brightly colored style of it all. EVO X seats hold passenger and driver in place firmly, and Jonathan keeps his hands full with a custom shifter extender and Nardi steering wheel. A Ralliart gauge cluster is a nice touch, providing even more color and contrast to the already loud interior. And I mean “loud” in more ways than one, because the engine department creates just as much ruckus and uproar as the interior and exterior aesthetics of this EVO.
Under the hood, you will see the same splatter paint theme as the interior trim, however you’ll find this treatment has only been applied to accent pieces. The main engine bay is a nice golden metallic color, and the compartment is filled with lovely top shelf modifications. A stock turbo with a ported hot side is in place and a set of Kelford 272° camshafts along with an appropriately upgraded fuel system help push power up significantly from stock. An array of standard issue mild supporting mods have been put in place to maintain reliability and cooling capabilities, and the engine is tuned on an open source ECU reflash. Jonathan is secretive about the power output but says it’s somewhere in the 350whp range, which we think sounds about right given the nature of this build.
One look at Jonathan’s EVO VIII makes it obvious that it’s not set up for racing. And you know what? That’s completely fine. We’re tired of hearing people on the internet complain about owners “ruining” a perfectly good EVO by making it a show car that can’t go up a driveway or take a corner without rubbing the headlight brackets on the front tires. Although there is validity to this argument, and believe us, the last thing we want to do is silence anyone’s opinion, you have to remember that at the end of the day, it’s unique cars that really shape our scene and provide variety. Even though you may not like it, you have to respect it for what it is and what it brings to the table. Jonathan built his car how he wanted to, he loves it, and if anyone else has a problem with that, he could care less. Jonathan has poured a lot of blood sweat and tears into this EVO, and so what if it’s not a circuit shredding monster?
2005 Mitsubishi Lance Evolution
Hometown San Jose, CA
Occupation Professional booty slapper
Engine Mitsubishi 4G63 DOHC turbocharged inline-4; stock turbo with ported hot side; Kelford 272° cams; HKS cam gears, RS intake system with Speed element OMG filter; Supertech dual valve springs & titanium retainers; ARP head studs; Cosworth head gasket; GReddy timing belt, oil cooler; Avid Racing motor mounts; Walboro 255 lph fuel pump; FIC fuel injectors; OEM ported exhaust manifold; JIC Magic downpipe; Reinhard titanium after cat exhaust; Megan Racing test pipe, 02 housing; Denso Iridium spark plugs; Samco intercooler piping hoses; ETS front mount intercooler, lower intercooler pipe; Koyo radiator; custom painted valve cover; ARC Magic spark plug cover; Weapon•R coolant overflow tank, steering fluid tank; Carbon Craft camgear cover
Drivetrain Exedy twin clutch, flywheel; metal shifter and driveshaft bushings
Engine Management Blox boost controller
Footwork & Chassis RS*R coilovers; Cusco sway bar (f), Type 1 & 2 lower braces; Whiteline end links (f); Perrin sway bar & end links (r); Carbing Craft strut bar (f); DME strut tower bar (r); Ultra Racing side skirt braces; Tanabe brace bars (r); Nagisa Auto triangle fender braces
Brakes Hawk HPS pads (f/r); StopTech brake lines (f/r); drilled & slotted rotors (f/r)
Wheels & Tires 18x11" +5mm Work Meister wheels w/staggered faces; 295/30R18 Yokohama Advan Sport tires; MSP lug nuts; ARP extended wheel studs
Exterior Varis Super Taikyu front bumper with Garage Trial canards, universal rear diffuser; custom front splitter; C-West side skirts; JDM EVO VII rear bumper & taillights; rear custom widebody with Voltex double-over fender kit; Voltex front fenders with double-over fender kit; Seibon “Voltex-style” carbon hood; custom cleared-out headlights; 8k HID lights; Nokya yellow foglights; OEM window visors; root beer metallic paint; graphics by SpeedElement & Supreme Detail Works
Interior GReddy boost gauge; EVO X front seats; custom black suede rear seats with red stitching; NRG short hub with quick-release; Blox shift knob; custom shift knob extender; JDM Ralliart gauge cluster; custom black suede a, b & c pillars, headliner & rear deck; custom red carpet
thanks YOU to my mom, dad and girlfriend Stephany for always supporting me, Borillo and Supreme Detailworks for all the awesome details, Devin and the Speed Element crew for always taking care of me, Darryl Santos, Manuel Romano, Brian Ven Santos, Richard Avila, Renato Losendo, Jay Altamirano, Eric Navales, and Mike Jose for always pushing me to go the extra mile.