It's natural that when it comes to Japanese car tuning, people will tend to look towards Japan for the latest and greatest in car builds. This doesn't mean that there aren't incredible Japanese car builds coming from places of other than Japan. For example, the Roger Clark GC8 Impreza or Martin French's Altezzas that have been featured here on Speedhunters recently. When it comes to American-tuned Japanese cars and Lancer Evolutions in particular, West Chicago's AMS Performance is the top player in the game.
Whether it's their eight-second Evo 8 drag car or their time attack cars, the Evos that AMS builds are some of the fastest you'll find on the planet. The latest project in the AMS garage is this Evo X, which debuted at last year's Super Lap Battle finale at Buttonwillow. The guys at AMS have been documenting the entire build on various forums, and the car is shaping up to be one of fastest Evo X's in the country, if not the world.
This is what the car looked like last year when it appeared at the Buttonwillow Super Lap in the Street Class. With this setup ,the car was good enough for a 1:57.06 lap time – third fastest in the Street Class. The car wouldn't stay "Street Class" for long though…
Right after the '08 season was finished, the Evo X returned the AMS shop for a complete tear-down as it began its transformation from a street car into a complete track monster. This is what the car looked liked just two weeks after the Buttonwillow event as it was prepared for acid dipping.
Anyone who is familiar with the work of AMS knows that they are not the kind of tuning shop that just throws a bunch of bolt-on parts on their cars and calls it a day. During the chassis prep, all of the Evo's unnecessary parts were removed while plenty of reinforcement was added. According to AMS, a total of 153 lbs were dropped during this process.
A custom fabricated cage is part of the heavy interior reworking that AMS is doing to the car. Like most proper roll cages, it not only protects the driver but adds even more bracing to the Evo X's already stiff chassis.
The one-off dashboard and steering column setup hints at just how wild the finished product is going to be. As you can see in the picture, the driver's seat has been relocated far back into the cockpit compared to the stock position.
A view of the fuel cell in the rear, along with more of the chassis fabrication and cage.
The custom fabrication goes beyond just the chassis and interior. AMS is also outfitting the car with a custom set of wide fenders. These will obviously be home to an extremely beefy set of wheels and tires.
This is more or less what the outside of the car looks like as of now. Besides the wide fenders in the front, there are a lot of other body modifications including pinned rear door skins and lexan rear windows.
As an American, I just can't help but feel good when I see high quality builds like this coming from USA-based shops. It's going to be fun to see how the rest of this build develops, and even more fun to watch this car when it hits the track later this season.
More photos and info on the Time Attack Forums.