With the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge only two weeks away, Martin Musial's Evolution VIII street car was in need of some major tuning to be a legit contender. We've heard that the Mustang guys are bringing a serious pony car and are confident about beating the rest of the "imports." That means we needed to ensure we brought a well-sorted and properly set up car. After all, there's no doubt all of the competition will be ready.
Despite packing quite a bit of power, Musial's EVO has spent most of its time running down the quarter-mile and eating unsuspecting victims on the street, but this competition needs a car that is powerful yet corners well. That meant quite a bit of work needed to be done in a short period of time. Thankfully, Martin had help. Scott Priebe and Greg Larson worked morning till midnight for a week straight changing out a host of parts, including replacing the turbo for a smaller, more responsive unit better suited for the track. They also converted the EVO from gasoline to E85. The advantage of ethanol is that the car will run cleaner, meaning less emissions, but it performs like race gas. This is one upgrade we hope the other teams didn't think of, because typically the more power your car makes the worse it is on emissions. With E85 we get the best of both worlds.
In the suspension department, a set of JIC FLT RS coilovers were added while a set of 18x9.5-inch Enkei RPF1 rims shod with Michelin Pilot sport cup 265/35/18 tires were installed. The combination seems like it will be a great dual-purpose drag and track setup. Even though the stock EVO's Brembo calipers are good, Musial didn't want to take any chances and upgraded to a full StopTech front and rear big brake kit.
Lastly, to keep Martin safe and strapped into the four-cylinder turbocharged missile is a Buddy Club Racing bucket seat. With the speeds this car has the potential to reach, it's already on the scary side of things with no rollcage. At least the bucket allows for a five-point harness rather than a stock seatbelt, which would be suicidal in a car with this much power.
As we near the Challenge, be sure to pick up next month's issue to read about the final results and how we fared against the stiff competition. Our EVO is ready, though, and you can bet that it's going to pack a big punch in the horsepower department. Whether it can hold its own in the other parts of the competition is the big question.
Specifications & Details
'03 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII
AMS-built 2.0-liter 4G63 engine, CNC ported race head, wet sump oil pan, VSR intake manifold, complete motor mount kit, and Kelford 272 camshafts
AMS surge tank fuel system, fuel rail, FPR kit, Precision Turbo 1,200cc injectors (x4), runs on E85
AMS GT850R turbo kit including: tubular header and O2 housing; Tial 38mm wastegate and 50mm BOV, AMS race front-mount intercooler and 3" piping
AMS 3" downpipe, high-flow cat, and after-cat exhaust
JIC FLT RS coilovers w/ AMS/JIC alignment, Whiteline roll center adjust kit, AMS rear trailing arm bushings, Whiteline bumpsteer correction kit, Cusco rear sway bar, AMS moustache bar eliminator kit, AMS tubular front crossmember
Stock EVO VIII trans, Carbonetic 1.5-way rear differential
Wheels, tires and brakes
Enkei 18x9.5" RPF1 wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 265/35/18 tires, StopTech big brake kit w/ ST60 front calipers and ST20 rear caliperse.
Seibon carbon-fiber doors front and rear, AMS carbon-fiber roof, Fiber Images hood and trunk, APC GTC300 rear wing
AMS harness bar, Status Racing 3"5-point harness, Buddy Club bucket seat
Electronics and Gauges
AEM EMS and UEGO wideband air/fuel gauge, Auto Meter Phantom II boost and oil pressure gauges
Road course: 24 psi
Dragstrip: 29 psi
Dyno: 31 psi