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2004 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII - AWD + Turbo + Lots Of Boost = Victory?

Peter Tarach
Nov 1, 2009

Rolling into K&N's dyno compound the day of the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge, I was a bit nervous about the whole event. I really shouldn't have been, though. I wasn't driving, nor was I really competing, but with the magazine's name on the line and the fact that we won last year's Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge had me sweating a bit.

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I knew that we were going to be up against some of the best street cars in the country, but I also knew that Martin Musial brought a well-prepped car. Or so I thought. According to Martin, it was a last-minute scramble to get everything done and make the long haul from Chicago. The StopTech Brakes were installed in a mad frenzy a mere 24 hours ago. "But we're good right?" I asked. "Oh yeah, sure," Martin answered with a bit of a nervous laugh following the response.

I immediately went to check out the competition. The 350Z that Super Street brought looked amazing and with a twin-turbo setup would surely spit out a huge dyno number. The eurotuner S4 also looked like it was capable of 600+ whp figures. I was a bit surprised to see the 5.0 Mustang entry-it looked very tame. After all the hype, I thought for sure they were going to bring something with monster power behind it.

Without spoiling all the results (you can read about all of them and the entire competition next month), my sense of uneasiness was laid to rest when our EVO VIII belted out an unbelievable 688 whp on the AWD dyno. I'd like to write what I said when I saw those numbers, but that could potentially cost me my job. I think everyone stood around for a moment and looked in awe at how much power the pesky little 4G63 just made.

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If you remember reading the previous Syntec Top Car articles, you'll know that our secret weapon for this competition was that we were running E85 as our fuel of choice. Great detonation resistance and a cool charge plus 36 psi of boost enabled Martin to really push the limits of the engine on the dyno. Sure the EVO made great horsepower, but could it get past the stringent emissions test? With nasty Kelford 272 deg cams, there was no way this EVO could be the best of both worlds-powerful and emissions-friendly-or could it?

Unfortunately, I'm going to leave you hanging for another month, at which point you'll be find out whether we could use all 688 whp effectively to out-accelerate, out-corner and out-brake the competitors all while being friendly to the environment.

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By Peter Tarach
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