Mr. Koyama and the crew at JUN Auto have long been sitting at the
top of the tuning game in Japan. Whether it be time attack, drag
racing, top speed contests, or pro drifting, JUN Auto has built record
setting machines that have done it all. The guys at JUN are no
strangers to the Mitsubishi Evolution, and their Evo work includes the
Hyper Lemon Evo V which set Tsukuba Circuit on fire back in the late
’90s, as well as the current Evo IX driven by Nobushige Kumakubo in the
Last fall, when the totally redesigned Evo X went sale in Japan,
people watched with anticipation as the tuners got their hands on the
new model. What would JUN do with the new platform?
At Tokyo Auto Salon in January, JUN debuted their new Evo X, already
decked out in full JUN livery and sporting a host of modifications. The
car had been transformed into a full fledged tuning machine before the
new car smell had even worn off. For those who were unsure about the
potential of the X, the JUN car at TAS did a lot to win over skeptics.
I know this because I was one of them.
While the car certainly looked the part, the real question was, “how will she run?”.
Turns out we wouldn’t have to wait to long to find out.
In February we were able to catch the car in action at Tsukuba
Circuit where it was undergoing a shakedown session. For the task of
dialing in the set-up for this new machine, Koyama-san had none other
than Nobuteru “NOB” Taniguchi behind the wheel.
Among the car’s spec sheet you will find-
-Increased boost pressure
-Trust exhaust system
-F-con V Pro management system
-Endless Function brakes
-Endless Function suspension
-Bride bucket seats
-Sard GT Wing
When looking under the hood, you can see that the valve cover has been redone in JUN’s signature paint scheme.
While the mod list may not seem like a lot at first glance. Just
watching NOB lap the track, I could tell that the car moved with a
thrust much greater than the stock car and around the corners, the
Endless suspension gave the car much flatter cornering ability.
Obviously, JUN had put their work in all the right places.
At the end of the day, NOB managed to run a best lap of 1:01.638, which
improved on the stock car’s lap times by about five seconds!
At the Hyper Meeting at Tsukuba last month, JUN brought out the X
again. The car was now equipped with the shop’s original aero parts
including the front carbon lip spoiler, side and rear diffusers, and
original aero mirrors. For JUN-built cars, Advan is the wheel of choice
and the X has been equipped with various Advan wheel models depending
on the situation. The wheel in this photo is the Advan RS, barely
covering the massive Endless stoppers.
During the Hyper Meeting, the JUN car was pitted up against a full
grid of tuned Evo X’s and new model Impreza’s. During the time attack
session, the car improved its best lap time to a 1:01.309, enough to
easily claim the title of fastest Evo X in the land.
The new Evo has drawn criticism for being too “soft” and for its use
of the 4B11 engine as opposed to venerable 4G63, and I can see why some
people may not have warmed up to it. However, after seeing JUN’s X in
action, it’s quite obvious that just under the new, grown-up skin of
the car, there is a monster waiting to be unleashed. That monster may
turn out to be even meaner than the ones that came before it.