"Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary Revised Edition"
Ev-o-lu-tion (eve-looshen) n. 1. gradual process of change or development. 2. Biol. The theory that existing species of plants and animals have developed from previously existing species through a process of gradual change.
More than any other car, the Mitsubishi Evolution lives up to its name. The Evolution I was developed to race in the 1993 World Rally Championship (WRC). In its first year, it placed second in the Manufacturer's Championship in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).
Mitsubishi used the lessons learned from the EVO I to develop the EVO II the following year. The EVO II captured a couple of first places in the APRC in Indonesia and Thailand and a win in the WRC Swedish Rally.
In 1995, Mitsubishi took the model's evolution to the next level with the EVO III. Mitsubishi captured both the Manufacturer's Championship and the Driver's Championship in the APRC and placed second in the Manufacturers' Championship and third in the Driver's' Championship in the WRC.
In three short years, Mitsubishi transformed the EVO from contender to champion. That's quite an accomplishment.
The Evolution is now in its eighth stage, and it's a work of art. Let's start with the cold, hard facts: 271 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, twin-scroll turbine, DOHC 16-valve 4G63, full-time all-wheel drive, limited-slip rear differential, four-piston Brembo front calipers and two-piston Brembo rear calipers, Recaro seats, carbon-fiber rear spoiler, 17-inch Enkei lightweight alloys with Yokohama Advan tires, and all this for about $30,000. It's the bargain of the decade.
Out of the box, the EVO VIII is a blast to drive. The engine pulls viciously to redline at 7000 rpm, mostly due to the factory boost pressure of 1.3 bar (19.11 psi). The steering is extremely responsive and the brakes stop on a dime.
For most, the Evolution VIII would be more than enough car in stock form, but for Brainstorm owner Roshan Harilela, it's merely a starting point for his own personalized version. The vehicle that graces these pages is not your average EVO VIII.
Knowing a thing or two about boosted performance, Roshan started by increasing the exhaust flow of the Mitsubishi's 4G63 engine. The exhaust from the turbocharger is expelled through a 3-inch AVO stainless-steel downpipe muffled by a mandrel-bent stainless-steel AVO exhaust system. On Brainstorm's DTS four-wheel-drive chassis dyno, the system produced an impressive 20 peak hp and 21 lb-ft of peak torque, quickening turbo spool-up time by 500 rpm. Gains as high as 40 hp and 50 lb-ft of torque were generated from the turbo-back exhaust system.
The next item on Roshan's list of mods included swapping out the factory front-mount intercooler with a more efficient intercooler core from AVO. The larger front-mount intercooler spooled up the turbocharger an additional 200-rpm quicker than the factory setup. Roshan also swapped out the factory turbo manifold and turbocharger with upgraded units from AVO. The Garrett-based GT40 ball-bearing turbocharger is rated at a maximum of 550 hp, and the high-flow AVO cast manifold has provisions for anti-lag, like the units used in J-spec Evolutions. The higher-capacity turbocharger was good to push the EVO VIII output to 352.8 hp at 1.4 bar (20.5 psi) on 91-octane gas.
Horsepower junkie Roshan filled the Mitsubishi with 100-octane gas and increased boost pressure to 1.65 bar (24.25 psi), good for 407.4 hp and 344.8 lb-ft of torque. This state of tune was attained using a prototype piggyback engine management setup, but Roshan plans on installing an AEM EMS system on the vehicle for complete control of fuel and ignition timing.
Roshan tells us these mods are only stage one for his Evolution. He plans on installing forged internals and higher-lift cams for more power. Roshan believes the Evolution should be able to break the 500-hp barrier with stronger internals.
Thanks to its rally racing heritage, the EVO VIII already handles extremely well on the track in stock form. So Roshan kept things simple with the addition of Tanabe Sustec Pro coil-overs with pillow-ball mounts for the suspension upgrade and DBA-slotted rotors in the front for better brake cooling.
On the outside, the Mitsubishi rear fascia got smoked rear taillights and rear side markers from smokedtaillights.com. The front and side of the vehicle are also protected with clear 3M film from Star Shield.
The factory rolling stock was swapped out in favor of 18-inch SSR GT1 aluminum wrapped with Bridgestone S03 tires from Tire Rack. Since the EVO VIII comes factory with Recaro seats, much of the interior is stock, but in the future a crazy sound system is likely to be installed.
If the EVO VIII is only at stage one and is already making 400-plus hp, we can't wait to see how much power it's going to make when it's done.
Although the EVO VIII is barely starting to make its way off the dealer's showroom floor, Brainstorm performance has already found a way to advance the evolution process for its EVO.
When will the evolution end? Probably never because evolution is one of the constants of the universe.