Dreaming With A Stormtrooper
Not nervous

As a child I was hooked to the TV screens whenever some form of racing was broadcast. In my little mind, race cars were what road cars grew up to be. Because of this, I always got a little too excited on the inside every time a manufacturer suggested their newest offering to be a race car built for the road.


I never had to confront this idea of an up-close race car until last week when I got in touch with Alex Wutzke of Import Racing in Germany, and asked him if he wanted to take out one of his track toys out for a little drive.


Import Racing is a name frequently seen at Tuner Grand Prix event at Hockenheimring. Essentially, it’s aGerman version of the UK Time Attack series and Alex’s team are regular top performers in the Street Legal class.


One of his front-running cars in the Tuner GP series is this incarnation of the famous Cyber EVO. Not only did Alex build the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, but through witchcraft and sorcery he has somehow managed to get it street legal in Germany too. With the country’s increasing amount of rules and regulations when it comes to cars, that’s much easier said than done.


Just a couple of days back on a visit to our friends at KW Suspensions I discovered part of a stretch of road called Idyllische Straße, or ‘Idyllic Road’. What better car to take out on an idyllic drive than a race spec Evo? Right?


Alex is a guy who dislikes mapping his cars on a dyno, saying they lack a certain level of realism. Since I just had a couple of hours with the car, I asked him to show me his favourite driving roads. We quickly stitched together a small route along the towns of Neulautern, Spiegelberg, Sulzbach an der Murr, Großerlach, Mainhardt and Wüstenrot.


Armed with a couple of suction camera mounts and a spare car, we got to it. This Evo is set up to run on high-octane and cool-burning E85 ethanol, so first stop was to find the only gas station in town that sold it from the pump.


On the phone I was told that I had to be careful because the car was quite low. This doesn’t look like much, but getting such a low ground clearance past the German TÜV requires much of the aforementioned witchcraft. Judging from the state of the carbon splitter though, it was obvious Alex has clipped quite a few curbs on his track outings so far.

My first time

Armed with my gear and the chase car we set off. All of the towns we planned to drive through were fairly tiny with somewhat poorly maintained roads. A car like this is incredibly rare in Germany, even in the stock guise, let alone in its wide and winged incarnation. I had kids and elderly alike stopping at each traffic light and zebra crossing, wondering what on earth had landed in their sleepy little villages.


One of the things that becomes blatantly obvious while driving a beast like this through small towns with narrow roads is just how wide the car is. Each time a bus crossed over the centre line I was half prepared to hear a loud CRACK if the splitter hit the curb on the passenger side.


But soon the road opened up in all its glory, and I could put my foot down and let loose each one of the 550 horsepower the 2.0L turbo four had to offer. With permanent all-wheel drive there is a reassuring planted feeling while literally putting the pedal to the metal.


Even when corners come up, the amount of mechanical grip simply boggled my mind.


Much of this is down to the increased track front and rear. From the production set up, the car is 140mm wider than stock at both ends.


It’s also lower – around 60mm more-so than a standard equivalent. I think it sits just right.


Look underneath and you’ll find a custom KW Clubsport three-way adjustable coilovers with adjustable strut bearings.


Much of the boost builds up at around 4500rpm and then it’s on, peaking at 2.2bar (32psi) at full tilt.


All the power in the world is nothing without those small four contact patches that connect you to the asphalt. Soft compound 295/30R18 Hankook Ventus Z221 semi slicks did a great job of biting into the tarmac and keeping the car in line as if it was on rails. And against the Evo’s stark white exterior, how good to those black RAYS Gram Lights 57DR wheels look?!


The additional Voltex carbon fibre winglets and canards play a significant role in improving front end grip at speed.


The Voltex rear wing is just as impressive. Alex had waxed lyrical to me about the aero grip this car produced at the faster sections of Hockenheimring. It’s pretty obvious how…


Underneath the car there are more panels that channel air to aid brake cooling. All these little details add up to a big difference to the overall package.


This is a very important ingredient to building confidence, because when a car exceeds your expectations you start developing a level of trust with the machine. You begin to think that maybe it isn’t trying to kill you after all. Cornering was so raw that many of the photos shot with the in-car mounted camera in landscape format turned out as portraits, because the built-in accelerometer couldn’t figure out which way was up.


Luckily the Corbeau Revenge seat with built-in head restraints was a super-snug fit. I barely moved, although my sides did take quite a bashing.


Belts are from the house of Schroth Racing and come in the form of six-point units.


This being a race car that just happens to have license plates, safety was key. A bolt-on cage from Hermann Motorsport has been installed to take any bumps or large scale nudges on the race tracks.


Since I had just hopped out of a super soft BMW E46 diesel estate, my first braking attempts were a bit embarrassing to be honest. But after few corners, I eventually got the hang of it. Braking hard into the tight ones, the car squirmed for a split second but then immediately tracked straight and true. It really feels it needs to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and driven.


Stopping power is provided by Alcon, with 6-piston callipers and 365x32mm rotors up front, and a 4-piston calliper, 300x25mm rotor package at the back.

Getting under the skin

As I found my rhythm, the character of the car slowly started to shine through. There is a saying that the faults in a car are what makes it seem like it has a soul, and I can sort of see it here.


See, this is no war machine from ground up, but something its owner created for the simple joy of driving.


The Evo hasn’t really been lightened much. No metal has been cut out and only the carpeting has been removed, exposing bare metal underneath and occasionally melting your shoe soles.


It doesn’t have the spec flat underbody panel either, because that becomes a nice gravel catcher if you accidentally leave the track.


At some point there were talks about installing a sequentially-shifted dog box, but Alex decided to stick to a factory 5-speed Evo VIII transmission with an Exedy twin-plate clutch. At first I doubted whether he was taking this build seriously enough, but he did have a point. The cheaper the setup, the less money you’ll spend when you break it!


I say when rather than if because for a car that sees as much track action as this, it is a only really a matter of time before he takes it to the next level. There’s close to 50,000km on the odometer and a vast majority of that was accumulated on racetracks.


Imagine seeing this in your rear view mirror on a wet trackday, diving in and out of the rooster tails…


When I lifted the bonnet, at first I couldn’t quite believe what I was confronted with. I’m used to seeing super-fancy and shiny engine bays with a lot of accents and what not, but this looked remarkably stock. Alex wanted to have a sleeper engine bay and that is exactly what he built. I’d bet hardly anyone would guess that’s a 550PS/650Nm 4G63 power plant sitting there all so innocently.


It started to drizzle so I decided it was time to get a move on. Onwards we went.


Once the exhaust was warm enough, it banged and spat flames out the back, echoing through the forest like gunshots.


The Tomei titanium exhaust was heat treated from the factory until that thick blue rim you see on the right. The rest is thanks to the flamethrower it is.

The despicable returns

We got slightly off-course once again but at this point I didn’t really care anymore. The detour meant I suddenly had some tight sections at hand – a perfect opportunity to judge the power-out characteristics of the Evo. I was properly surprised at how early I could step on it through the slower corners and let the diff figure out the rest.


I’d experienced something similar in a stock Evo X a while back, but this was on a different level.


While the deserted forest roads were so inviting to let the ponies loose, I had to keep an eye out for deer. Slamming into Bambi at 100km/h will leave quite a scar on it and the car, and that wasn’t something I wanted to add to my test drive repertoire.


The sun was coming down so it was time to head back to Import Racing HQ and call it a day.


I always have a sinking feeling towards the end of my Dream Drives, for I know that I won’t be shooting another story with the same car ever again.


Over the period of a drive I develop a certain connection, knowing full well that once I’m done, the car goes back to the owner. Why can’t we do week or month-long Dream Drives, I ask myself…

Alok Paleri
Instagram: rennworksmedia



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Stormtrooper you say...


@EvanFitch  The Rising Suntrooper?


AlokPaleri Thats my FC drift car, aptly named : The Dark Slide.


@EvanFitch AlokPaleri  Now that I like!


Now to get that painted on my cam covers...


Sweet Asics dude


Sweet ride and it might not look overly special to some but seeing something like this in Germany is WAY more rare than seeing a Veyron doing skids. In someones front garden.


maxproof  The TÜV can be quite tough :)


RBJKT  Onitsuka Tigers! :)

Gianluca FairladyZ

In my country ( Switzerland ) we would go to jail if you'd drive such a car on the street...... Such a pain in the .... that we can't have TÜV regulations....!!!


do you guys know what are the brand or model of the shoes in the first picture? thank you.


Brand is Asics (or Onitsuka Tiger in some countries), no idea about the model


@linker  They're called ULT-RACER

turbo BEAMS ae86

more like this!!!


this caught and kept my attention.

i love builds like this, you can tell its was built for self not recognition.


great story stunning car.
As others have said built for the owner not for the magazines.

"Hard driven not Hard Parked"


5MT but use 6MT gear knob ? :P


Gianluca FairladyZ  Hi, get yourself an German License Plate, like a lots of Austrian People do it in the past ;-) Or do you lifing so far away from the German / Switzerland Border?


my car was build with the purpose of having fun, not getting trophys @ show and shine contests....  thats why i build it that way and thats why it has small scratches here and there....it give character to a car to have mistakes....i could easily put in a sequential gearbox.....but honestly i have more fun shifting conventional plus it will not make the car that much faster on track compared to the money i would need to throw in....1 sec faster for 20000€....i can get a lot of gas and trackdays for that sort of money....car stays as it is,as its perfect for me like it is...if someone wants to see it in action on racetrack,here is a youtube link to one of the fastest laps around the Hockenheimring ever driven on semislicks by a car with number plates:



Great, that's how cars should be, how the owner wants them and mainly for having fun and actually being driven properly.
Also what you say makes sense, if you are having loads of fun with a manual gearbox why spend so much on a sequential to catch less than 2 seconds a lap, its unlikely it would make it any more fun.
I see you were pulling up to 1.5G in the corners, that's very impressive.


looks like a very well rounded build - anywhere to see the full buildsheet?


Nice to see the Evo again back on the road since it´s always half apart when I`m over (which sadly is not often...) while you do this and that to it, so for me it`s kinda hard to believe when you say it will stay like it is (is it the 3rd or 4th set of wheels that´s on now? :D ), but it´s a good thing since the car keeps getting better every time. 
I am curious since when are you running the Evo on E-85? 
Cheers Max!


@EvanFitch AlokPaleri  Best name ever.


Two words: Boner inducing.


A dream car for many.  Such a well done car.


AlokPaleri  Thank you mate !


Great write up Alok! The evo's on here are just utterly amazing. I'm hard pressed between this and the Ross Sport Evo.


My only gripe is that race car and bolt-on cage don't belong in the same sentence. We call them murder cages down here, for a reason.


Husa,you are right,the bolt in cage isnt the best safety feature,but im not racing the car in professional raceseries, its mainly a trackday tool to have fun and to run the German Tuner GP...when i strip it down for a respray i install a welded cage(but a very light one again) and paint the cabin....like on the real Cyber Evo,which was my inspiration for this build when i was in Japan for Superlap Battle in Dez 2007.


Nice one! One of the best Evos in Germany.

BTW you are welcome to drop by the Evo-Forum now and then Alex :)


wheatgod AlexanderWutzke  Yes it is.


Nice semi-slicks. What are the size of them? 295/30R18 also in the front? That's wow...


amazing build! great job to the owner of this beauty.


greenroadster it would be, all wheel drive cars freak out when you put a different wheel sizes on them such as a 9.5 rear and an 8.0 front. The speed censers don't like it. This is what i have heard but please correct me if i am wrong :)


I would love to know where all of the body work is from or at least the brand and where you got it from. This is my dream evo 9


How did this pass a tuv test?? Awesome car.