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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR - El Original

Like Son, Like Father

Brad Elsinore
Nov 1, 2007 SHARE
0711_turp_23_z+mitsubishi_lancer_evolution_9_mr+side_view Photo 1/15   |   Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR - El Original

When we say Puerto Rico, you might think Chevy Novas with purple-tinted windows and rusted old Ford F150s. But the simple fact is that more performance cars make it to the shores of the small island than you could possibly imagine. The drag racing culture here is easily as developed as that stateside and the passion for the automobile is equally as strong. We'd go so far as to say that import drag racing owes much of its popularity and ingenuity to the inventiveness of the people on this island.

As islands go, the tuners of Japan may be the most respected but the battle for craziest-modified cars has to be between Australia and Puerto Rico. The Puerto Ricans' originality has led many a strange car into the pages of this magazine and into the heads of speed freaks around the nation. It's tough to ignore the number of Puerto Rican Mazda RX-3s and Datsun 510s that rocket down the quarter-mile in eight-seconds dead.

0711_turp_02_z+mitsubishi_lancer_evolution_9_mr+engine Photo 2/15   |   Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR - El Original

While import drag racing may be huge on the island, it's hard to imagine a guy who owns a Pro Street '69 Camaro and a new Corvette Z06 picking up a Lancer Evolution. But when Armando Jimenez drove his son's Evolution IX MR, he was hooked. The lightning-fast steering response and the all-wheel drive were a revelation to a man familiarized with rear-wheel drive and pushrods.

Armando is known as "El Original", because his custom creations circulate car shows around Puerto Rico. He owns his own body shop, Armando Garage, which is responsible for all the custom work. Within weeks of driving his son's car, Armando went out and bought a new EVO IX MR of his own. A quick consultation with Alexis Diaz from ADR Precision Service and noted tuner Javier Monroig lined the new EVO IX up for a set of modifications that would net 361 hp at the wheels.

0711_turp_03_z+mitsubishi_lancer_evolution_9_mr+right_rear_view Photo 3/15   |   Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR - El Original

Though the car retained the stock ECU, a few tweaks were necessary to make that horsepower number possible. Off the boat came breathing systems from Injen, including their exhaust, intake, intercooler and intercooler piping. With the help of a GReddy Profec-B boost controller and VP Import's C16 go-juice, the car was able to crank off a 12.1-second quarter-mile at over 115 mph.

Only a guy with a Pro Street Camaro could be dissatisfied with performance like that. And so the EVO went back to the shop for the kind of all-inclusive makeover that would make Dr. 90210 look half-ass and eventually net 838 whp. Luckily for Armando, there was already a tried-and-true formula in place for pulling off such a feat. All he had to do was check all the boxes and wait for the end product. Based on his list of modifications, there wasn't a box he didn't check.

0711_turp_05_z+mitsubishi_lancer_evolution_9_mr+fuel_system Photo 4/15   |   Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR - El Original

Intensive work started when the almost-new 4G63 was yanked out of the engine bay. An array of Automotosports (AMS) goodies, sourced through Predator Performance, made up the brunt of the changes. Forged AMS pistons grasp Pauter rods in the bottom end, while a ported and polished head from Techno Tools Machine Shop houses GSC's S1 cams and a Fidanza exhaust cam gear. The whole high-pressure hunk of metal sandwiches a Cometic HD headgasket and is held together with ARP head and main studs.

Mating to the back of the head is an AMS VSR intake manifold. The design allows more air to enter the intake tract at a substantially higher rate of speed. The incoming air should be substantially cooler, too, thanks to an AMS Race Intercooler and corresponding 3-inch piping leading right up to the throttle body. The piping has been specifically designed to mate up to the VSR throttle body and comes flanged for a TiAL blow-off valve, something Armando has two of.

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0711_turp_09_z+mitsubishi_lancer_evolution_9_mr+gauges Photo 7/15   |   Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR - El Original

All the hot air pushes its way into the intercooler courtesy of an AMS GT37R turbo kit. The GT37 is said to spool just slightly later than stock and offer more than 450 whp on 93-octane gas. As in the case of Armando's car, this all changes when using VP Import and a 100-shot of NOS. The true beauty of the turbo is that it allows high horsepower output when needed but remains streetable when Armando isn't out racing, unlike some of its bigger brothers. The big snail exhales through a GReddy Ti exhaust system.

Fueling the monster is a 1,000hp fuel system from AMS. The kit is comprised of dual Walbro 255lph pumps and comes with all stainless lines, an Aeroquip fuel filter and Aeroquip fittings. It's said to support 1,000 hp. RC Engineering 1,200cc injectors pulse out the fuel rammed downline from the dual Walbros.

While the engine was out, the chassis received the supporting goodies that it would need to cope with the newfound horsepower. A Koyo radiator along with Samco radiator hoses was mounted up front, while an HKS DLI12 ignition box found its way to the firewall along with a Moroso Can Cooler.

0711_turp_07_z+mitsubishi_lancer_evolution_9_mr+blowoff_valve Photo 8/15   |   Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR - El Original

A Shepherd Stage 2 transmission and transfer case now sit alongside the engine, perched on AMS polyurethane motor mounts, while an AMS scatter shield protects Armando's family jewels in case things go wrong at speed down the 1320. The transmission sends power through Driveshaft Shop's Level 5 (950hp) rear axles and a Tilton Carbon Clutch regulates the chaos.

Armando's EVO is one of many that now uses the lightweight front brake kit developed by AMS and Wilwood. It's designed for drag racers and actually uses smaller than stock rotors and calipers. While road course nuts may see it as sacrilegious, it shaves 32 pounds of unsprung weight from the front suspension.

Inside the cockpit now sits the required Christmas tree of electronics, headed up by a set of Defi gauges and an AEM wideband air/fuel gauge. AEM is also responsible for the fuel management ECU. Being street driven, the EVO still retains niceties like air conditioning and power steering. Kike Trans Shields built the rollcage, parachute and did all of the necessary welding.

0711_turp_10_z+mitsubishi_lancer_evolution_9_mr+strut_bar Photo 9/15   |   Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR - El Original

We're happy to say that despite the insane engine, the exterior of the EVO has remained tasteful. That's a rarity in these post-The Fast and the Furious days. Most of the body modifications come from APR, including their GT200 wing, carbon-fiber rear diffuser, front air dam and front bumper canards. Ganador Carbon Super mirrors round out the package and a custom paint job from Armando's own body shop set this EVO apart from the crowd.

Armando's EVO is just one of many examples of speed that have come from Puerto Rico. We're sure there'll be many more to come.

Mitsubishi Evo Ix Mr
Power Output: 838 Whp
Engine
AMS GT37R Turbo Kit
AMS 1,000hp Fuel System
Aeroquip fittings & Lines
Dual Walbro 255lph fuel pumps
AMS VSR Intake Manifold
AMS Race Intercooler Kit
Dual TiAL BOV Setup
AMS Specs Forged Pistons
AMS Spark Plug Cover
AMS Mini-Battery Kit
AMS Polyurethane Motor Mounts
Pauter Rods
ARP Head & Main Studs
Cometic HD HeadGasket
GSC S1 Cams
Fidanza Exhaust Cam Gear
Koyo Aluminum Radiator
Samco Radiator Hoses
HKS DLI2 Ignition Box
Denso IKH24 Spark Plugs
Moroso Can Cooler
1,200cc RC injectors
Ported & polished head
Dual 12.8 pound Carbon-Fiber
Nitrous Bottles
NOS Nozzles (100 hp)
Peter Port Solenoids
GReddy Titanium Exhaust System

Drivetrain
Shepherd Stage 2 Transmission
Shepherd Stage 2 Transfer Case
AMS Scattershield
DriveShaft Shop Level 5 (950 hp)
Rear Axles
Tilton Carbon Clutch

Suspension
H&R Springs
AMS Bushing Kit

Brakes
AMS EVO IX Wilwood Lightweight Brake Kit

Exterior
APR GT-200 Wing
APR Carbon-Fiber Rear Diffuser
APR Carbon-Fiber Front Air Dam
APR Front Bumper Canards
Ganador Carbon Super Mirrors
Garage Armando Custom Paint Job
Parachute & Welding by
Kike Trans Shields

Interior
Defi Gauges
AEM Wideband
AEM Fuel management ECU
Kike Trans Shields Rollcage

Wheels/Tires
Street:
235/35R18 Toyo T1R
18x8.5 Volk CE28
Drag Racing:
26x9.5R16 Hoosier Quicktime
Mazda RX-7 16x8 twin-turbo wheels

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By Brad Elsinore
3 Articles

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