Mitsubishi Evo VIII MR
398 LB-FT Of Torque
When it comes to explosive performance out of the box, the Lancer Evolution has always been right up there with he Skyline GT-R and Toyota Supra. But like all cars of this nature, it's the limitless tuning potential that has made them so popular. Just take a look at what the likes that the Cyber Evo has managed to extract from the 4G63, and even now that the Evolution X has arrived, real diehard Evo fans wouldn't trade up to save their lives. The owner of the Evo VIII MR you see here is exactly this sort of person, appreciating what Mitsubishi has done with the X but preferring to stick to previous-generation models. He has gone all out and literally created a street-going Cyber Evo replica with the help of the folks at Unlimited Works and Voltex. The result is one of the most intimidating cars we have come across lately. It's a car that means business even while sitting quietly on the show stand at the '08 Tokyo Auto Salon, where we first laid our eyes on it.
The idea behind this project was very simple. The owner wanted his Evo VIII MR to be a great all-rounder, by performing well on track as well as on the road. Every aspect of the car had to be tailored to his demands, which as Sato-san of Unlimited Works said, "wasn't going to be an easy job, to say the least." Since the car had to be shown on the Unlimited Works stand at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon, the first thing on the cards had to be the exterior. Unlimited Works looked after the incredibly fast Time Attack Cyber Evo and, with this in mind, the idea came to create a kind of road-going version of the track car. Voltex was called into the project and supplied all the necessary body parts to transform the already aggressive Evo VIII MR into something very special. So on went the street-version model of the Cyber Evo front bumper, featuring the same aggressive design as the one-off track version but with more ground clearance. The massive center opening allows the intercooler to breathe easily thanks also to the two thin rectangular openings below the main grille. The opening also allows all the frontal surface of the intercooler core to get good airflow. The driver side opening feeds the oil cooler while on the passenger side a custom carbon intake scoops up air and feeds it into the airbox. It's then up to the massive carbon front lip spoiler and double-sided canards (again made in carbon) to help keep the front planted on the ground. The frontend conversion doesn't end here, far from it in fact. It is then up to the wider Voltex fenders to beef up the wheel arches. The Voltex aero hood not only weighs a fraction of the stock aluminium items but features a large central air outlet as well as side vents to help keep the engine nice and cool. Pinning the hood securely down are the flush fitting Aero Cacth latches, which is the current trend in JDM tuning. The angular Voltex side skirts keep with the whole Cyber Evo feel and, like every part in the Voltex kit, have some air outlets, which in this case are there for the sole purpose of design, rather than function. The rear arches look like they are on steroids, thanks to the Voltex over fenders that widen the rear section to match the front end. Again the air outlets are there only for looks. The stock rear bumper remains but is joined by the Voltex carbon diffuser as well as a carbon exhaust protector. Keeping rear downforce in check is the massive rear Voltex carbon GT-wing that can be adjusted in two positions, while the Craft Square mirrors add a final touch of carbon fiber to the profile of the car. A set of chromed 19-inch Advan RS wheels were chosen for street and show use and are wrapped up in massive 275/30-19 Bridgestone Potenza R-01R tires.
With experience gained in building, setting up, and looking after the Cyber Evo, Sato-san of Unlimited Works knows all the secrets behind improving the Evo's handling. It wasn't a hard decision to go for the brand-new Öhlins DFV adjustable dampers, which are specially valved and gased to Unlimited Works requirements. They are joined with a set of Bestex springs: 17 kg/mm front and 15 kg/mm rear. A set of lighter, stronger Evolution X lower-front arms were thrown in, as well as some Unlimited Works toe-control arms for the rear. With this setup the Evo VIII MR keeps its very neutral factory feel but allows the driver more mid-corner adjustability on the throttle. To add to the handling setup, the ACD ECU has been remapped by Cyber Evo, offering a more aggressive power split characteristic on each of the three settings. The stock Brembo braking system has been upgraded with a more track-oriented AP Racing kit featuring six-pot front calipers and four-pot rears that bite down on two-piece slotted rotors. This offers fade-proof performance out on the track and unrivaled stopping potential on the road.
With such a well-rounded car the only thing that needs attention now is the engine. From the onset the idea was to create the most responsive setup possible, focusing on immediate throttle response at any rpm and a broad explosive midrange torque curve. The recently released HKS 2.3L stroker kit seemed to be the perfect base to begin a build of this nature with the extra 300cc giving more potential for low rpm spool up and strong midrange. After Unlimited Works prepared the block they dropped in the fully counterweighted crankshaft, the H-section connecting rods, and the forged pistons. To add even more strength into the equation some JUN conrod bolts were thrown in along with JUN crank bolts. A lot of work went into the preparation of the head, and many days were spent on the workbench getting polished, ported, and finely tuned to accept the new head components, which include JUN titanium valve retainers and valvesprings, some JUN head bolts, and an HKS metal head gasket. The JUN 272-degree duration camshafts are a perfect choice for this setup, allowing the engine to develop a peak of 55 kgm. Attached to the Unlimited Works exhaust manifold is an Evo IX turbine that's been ported around the flanges for optimal flow as well as the use of a special wastegate actuator. This allows the 4G63 to push out 430 ps at a relatively conservative 1.5-bars of boost. The exhaust system begins with a J-Speed turbo outlet and finishes off with a 90mm titanium exhaust from Unlimited Works. On the intake side of things a custom airbox was made up and is fed cold air from the front bumper side intake. The custom piping kit then takes the compressed air to the HKS intercooler and then onto the Altrack intake manifold through the big diameter Unlimited Works throttle. Keeping the engine topped up in the fuel department are the 800cc/min injectors fed by the Tomei fuel rail. Engine control is through an HKS F-Con V Pro mapped by Cyber Evo for optimal response and midrange torque. In the cooling department a Tabata aluminium radiator is used along with an air-separator system. The Altrack bigger capacity water pump has been thrown in for safety while the Cusco oil catch tank collects nasty oil vapors from the crankcase. As a signature, the 4G63 magnesium alloy cam covers have been painted in Unlimited Works Orange, just like in the Cyber Evo. On the transmission side of things, an Exedy twin plate clutch allows every last kgm of torque to be sent efficiently to the stock transmission while the Cusco one-way front differential helps get on the throttle early when powering out of corners.
Open the driver's door and you are faced with some of the best parts that are currently available on the market. First, we have the Recaro racing bucket seat fitted with a Takata racing harness. The chunky Key!s Racing alcantara steering wheel mounted on the snap-off boss sits in front of the most revered bit of kit on sale today. Of course we're talking about the Defi Super Sports Cluster that's been custom fitted where the original instrumentation used to be. This unit features an analogue boost gauge and 9,000rpm gauge with a large Organic LED display. Here you are able to navigate between four pages of parameters through the small dash-mounted remote control. This unit also doubles as a data logger, writing all the information onto an SD card on the main control unit. Joining this jewel of electronics is the HKS EVC boost controller and the Neko Corporation A/F digital display unit, all arranged around the main dash area. For precautionary reasons the owner has also fitted an Assura GPS radar detector, making sure he is warned in time about upcoming speed traps and speed cameras. A latest-generation Carrozzeria (Pioneer) HD navigation system has been fitted, along with a pop-out LCD touch screen, DVD/CD player, and upgraded Carrozzeria speaker system, which keeps the owner entertained while driving to and from the racetrack. The interior is finished with a Nismo gear knob, a surprising addition in a Lancer Evolution.
The car now performs just like the owner wants, but there is already talk of moving onto a larger turbine because the 430 ps begins to feel like it's not enough. With such a well-built motor, this Evo VIII MR will accept any sized turbine without batting an eyelid, so there is a very good chance it will become even more extreme than it is now.
Engine HKS 2.3L stroker kit (full counter weight crank, H-section conrods, forged pistons) HKS 1.2mm metal head gasket Unlimited Works head port and polishing JUN 272-degree camshafts (in/ex) JUN titanium valve retainers JUN racing valvesprings JUN strengthened head bolts JUN strengthened connecting rod bolts JUN strengthened main crank bolts Unlimited Works exhaust manifold Mitsubishi Evolution IX turbine (custom modified) Cyber Evo uprated turbo actuator J-Speed turbo outlet Unlimited Works 90mm titanium exhaust system Unlimited Works custom intake with sealed off aluminium airbox Unlimited Works custom piping Unlimited Works blow-off valve HKS intercooler Unlimited Works large diameter throttle Altrack custom large capacity intake plenum Big capacity fuel pump Tomei fuel rail Sard 800 cc/min injectors Altrack large capacity water pump Tabata racing radiator Tabata air separator system Billion aluminium power steering reservoir Cusco oil separator tank Grounding system Unlimited Works orange engine cam cover HKS F-Con V Pro tuned by Cyber Evo
Transmission Exedy twin-plate clutch and lightweight flywheel Cusco MZ-type RS one-way custom setup diff Cyber Evo custom setup ACD system
Suspension & Brakes Öhlins DFV adjustable suspension kit (Unlimited Works version) Bestex springs 17 kg/mm front, 15 kg/mm rear Mitsubishi Evo X front lower arms Unlimited Works rear toe control arm AP Racing six-pot front calipers AP Racing four-pot rear calipers AP Racing two-piece slotted discs front and rear
Exterior Voltex Cyber Evo front bumper, street version Voltex Cyber Evo front under wing spoiler, street version Voltex carbon canards Voltex carbon GT hood Aero Catch hood latches Voltex GT aero fender Voltex side skirts Voltex rear over fenders Voltex rear carbon diffuser Voltex muffler cover Voltex carbon GT-wing type 5V Craft Square carbon mirrors Front and rear towhooks
Interior Recaro Pro Racer bucket driver seat with Recaro seat rail Takata MPH-341 racing harness Key!s Racing alcantara clad steering wheel Snap off boss Custom fitted Defi Super Sports Cluster (9,000rpm turbo version) Neko Corporation AF700 A/F digital gauge HKS EVC boost controller Assura GPS radar detector Nismo shift knob Carrozzeria HD navigation system with pop-out LCD screen and DVD/CD player Carrozzeria speakers all round with front crossover