Weeks ago we republished with updates a list of the top 10 most popular Subaru WRX STI we've ever featured, so it felt appropriate (maybe even necessary) to give the Mitsubishi camp its chance to rebuttal by rounding up a short list of the most clicked Evo stories we've ever done. The turbo 2.0L, inline-four-powered, all-wheel-drive compact Lancer Evolution was Mitsu's response to the rally-inspired STI, a quick sedan that first went into production in 1992 but sadly never made it to American dealerships until 2003 with the Evo 8 (there were 10 generations total, the Evo 10 ceasing production in 2016). Evo 8s and 9s were total sleepers, and even today remain fairly common build candidates for show or race projects.
As it turns out, our list is half Evo 9—including an Evo 9 wagon—but it's also got a couple of 8s, one 10, an Evo 7 and even an Evo 2 (and they all have 4G63 power—even the 10!) They come from America primarily, but we've also got a pair of cars from Thailand and two more from Australia. And while a lot of these Mitsubishi look clean enough to eat off of, a lot of them also make impressive power and can haul ass.
- Kimmy's Evo IX Wagon
- Ravi Dolwani's Evo X
- Supachai "Champ" Pipatvet's Evo VII
- Fernando Delarosa's Evo IX
- Sergio Miranda's Evo IX
- Kelvin "Baldy" Hsiu's Evo IX MR
- Michael Baghdadi's Evo VIII
- Vick Chandra's Evo IX
- Nawshin Basher's Evo VIII
- Nick Zervos's Evo II
He goes by the one-word name "Kimmy" and even though he drives around Thailand in a wagon, he's no soccer mom. Kimmy in fact owns a pretty unicorn Evo 9, rare because the Mitsubishi 5-door was produced for just two years, 2006 and 2007, and only 2,500 were ever made. He bought it because he is indeed a dad and needs to fulfill his domestic obligations, but that didn't prevent him from having the motor built or lowering the thing and throwing on some Work Emotions to create a slick utilitarian estate car after our own hearts.
A Pair of Recent E85-Sipping Evo X Features
624HP 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR
Varis Aero-Kitted 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Street Car
To be clear, the Mitsubishi Evo 10 came with what was supposed to be the successor to the turbo 2.0L inline-4 4G63, the all-aluminum 4B11, but owner of this X, Ravi Dolwani, wasn't haven't any of that for his SEMA Show booth car. The fully built 4G that was swapped in has been tuned to 680hp but is only one element of an overall project that was comprehensive to say the least. Partnering with ASC Speedmetal for fab work including a 25-point, motorsports-spec roll cage, RyWire for the car's electrical and plumbing, StreetFighter LA for the aero, and others, it seems like Ravi had all the heavy hitters on board for this unique venture.
Our second Lancer Evolution from Thailand, Supachai "Champ" Pipatvet's Evo 7 is a 703hp occasional time-attack machine and not terribly unlike a lot of the Evos we've encountered over the years in SoCal, with the exception being this is a VII, which never came Stateside. Champ's happens to stand out with a Tomei-stroked 2.2L 4G63 and a complement of Varis Time Attack carbon fiber aero that includes a full body kit, cooling hood, and trunk lid.
Fernando Delarosa's Evo 9 is probably the most unusual looking one on this list due to its vinyl wrap inspired by Japanese clothing brand Bape, but don't be distracted by the livery; there's a lot going on here. Partnering with Evasive Motorsports for the build, Delarosa had the engine set up for E85 and upgraded the Evo's suspension with a Fortune Auto 500 Series Air Piston airbag-less Lift System. The sedan's exterior is festooned in Voltex—front bumper, Cyber Street conversion, side skirts, rear diffuser, front and rear wide fenders, front and rear double over fenders, Type 5V GT Wing, GT hood, and more.
If we're being honest, we totally love the no-rear-wing look for Evo 8/9, but don't mistake that aero deletion for not caring about performance, as Sergio Miranda's IX illustrates. His E85-tuned whip makes north of 500hp and looks great doing it, with a titanium theme running through the engine bay that's facilitated by Sheepey Built, Chasing Js, Ebb Fabrication, and Dress Up Bolts. Sergio's Evo 9 looked good enough to earn "Best Mitsubishi" from Wekfest L.A. in 2018.
Everyone on the Super Street staff knows Kelvin "Baldy" Hsiu and his Evo 9 MR, if for no other reason than he seems to go to every car show in the greater Los Angeles area (plus he is genuinely a super nice dude). Surprisingly, his is the only MR on this list, which was the top-of-the-line trim package for Lancer Evolutions 8, 9 and 10. A self-professed one-time JDM parts hoarder, the exterior of Baldy's Evo is decked out in Voltex Cyber Edition front bumper and canards and Type 7 GT wing; Do-Luck front wide fenders, side skirts, side skirt splitters, wide quarter panels, rear bumper splitters, and rear splitter; C-West carbon-fiber hood; and CRZY Engineering rear diffuser and side skirt extensions; while under the hood of the Mitsubishi sedan it looks like ARC everything.
Michael Baghdadi is the "Mick" of Micks Motorsport in Australia, and even though nothing has been modded on the exterior of his 8, the straight-line racer (drag, roll racing, et al) is far from stock. Under the hood sits a burly 2.2L stroked 4G63 with a huge Garrett GTX45 turbo, a combination that sends gobs of energy through a Samsonas sequential transmission and Driveshaft Shop shafts and is capable of putting down 1,100hp on the dyno. The sedan is built enough to go 158 mph at 9.4 seconds on the quarter mile and win a few roll racing events but still keep most of its factory interior (even with a roll cage).
Vick Chandra summed up Evo ownership for many when he told us, "I love how nice you can make them look and the amount of power they can make with minimal modifications." Truer words have rarely been spoken, as his admittedly unfinished Evo 9 semi-daily driver is making more than 450hp with just the turbo upgrade and related mods. Vick's got the look down, too, his ride sporting an exterior that mixes JDM, like C-West, Varis, Voltex, and OEM, with USDM, like CRZY Engineering and Kognition Design.
Nawshin Basher's Evo 8 could be this list's purest show car, a PPG red automotive confection of the highest order. It pulls you in with that color and full Voltex Cyber widebody kit, but the details keep you planted, like everything going on in the perfectly shaved and tucked engine bay. Try to stop your jaw from dropping at the sight of the custom fabricated titanium pie-cut intercooler piping—and the car still makes close to 700hp! This is no average beauty queen.
The Top 10's only Evo 2 is another from Australia in a story that's 11 years old, but we get why Nick Zervos's Mitsubishi is so noteworthy. It was the first Evo to run the quarter mile in the 7s and, for a time, the world's fastest Evo (that title now belongs to the Extreme Tuners Evo 9 in Greece), all while maintaining a full body competing against cars that were in some cases semi tube-framed builds. The methanol-gulping 4G63 is completely built and Nick fabricated a lot of the engine components at his Advanced Performance Centre, eventually getting the Evo to spin the dyno rollers for 915hp running 34psi of boost pressure.