What do you get when you cross a potent powerplant, four-wheel-drive powertrain, lightning-quick handling, four doors and aggressive bodylines? The Mitsubishi Evolution VIII.
For those of you not in the know, the EVO VIII was Mitsubishi's answer to the Subaru WRX. Although slightly more expensive than the original WRX, the EVO came with added features that included factory Recaro seats, Brembo brakes, higher engine output and Enkei wheels. To counter Mitsubishi's efforts, Subaru released the STi version of the WRX. Not only did the STi come with similar features to the EVO VIII, it generated more power--300 hp to the 287 hp in the EVO VIII. Critics have compared the STI and EVO VIII rivalry to the yesteryear matchup of Mustangs and Camaros, and rightfully so. Their destinies were sealed from the first and today we see camps of EVO VIII owners and STi owners going head-to-toe at dragstrips, road courses, rally events and even on the streets.
We don't play favorites, but we were fortunate enough to get our hands on the new Magnaflow Ti titanium performance exhaust system for you Evolution VIII guys out there. Made in Japan, the Magnaflow Ti system caught Turbo's attention at the 2003 SEMA Show; we were blown away by how good the system looked. We had to look twice at the Magnaflow logo before we believed it was actually made by a U.S. company.
The system utilizes Japan-style slip-fit connectors with coil springs to hold the system together. The trick system is constructed entirely from titanium, with the exception of the two hollow cadmium hangers and stainless-steel hardware. Titanium is extremely light; the entire system barely tips the scale at 11 pounds, compared to the factory system that weighs 34 pounds. The 23-pound weight reduction should be reason enough to get the Magnaflow Ti system. Our biggest surprise is how quiet the system is compared to many other titanium exhaust systems we've tested. Instead of the tin can sound we were expecting, the Magnaflow system's muffled resonation is much more tolerable.
On XS Engineering's Dynamic Test Systems four-wheel-drive dyno, the Evolution VIII registered 284.1 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel in stock trim. Once the Magnaflow Ti system was installed, we were able to generate 293.5 hp and 291.6 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 9.4 peak hp and 13.6 lb-ft of peak torque. The largest horsepower increase was realized at 6800 rpm with a gain of 18 hp. On the torque side, the largest increase was realized at 4150 rpm, with a jump of 15 lb-ft. On the street, the EVO VIII was able to reach peak boost much quicker and pulled all the way to redline; previously, the engine would flat-line after about 5500 rpm.
The Magnaflow system not only makes more power, but also reduces the overall weight of the EVO (for all you Atkins dieters out there). Reducing the fat and making more power; isn't that what everybody's after these days?