Business In The Front, Family In The Back
Unexpected

It wasn’t the ideal car to start with.

After it made its way across the oceans of the world, from Japan to Ireland, the Blue Mica Lancer Evolution IX Wagon never stood a chance. Rare anywhere outside of Japan, just 2,500 examples were produced, the CT9W survived a couple of months in its basic trim before it was tore to pieces and built back up into its ultimate evolution.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-5

Originally, the car was a 5-speed automatic GT-A version which also meant that it was fitted with a non-MIVEC Evolution VII engine and equipped with a smaller turbocharger for better low RPM performance. It was the presence of the automatic gearbox which was the instigator for the change that would come.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-48

The Evolution VII GSR 5-speed transmission swap, complete with an ATS/Carbonetics Twin Carbon clutch, should have been the beginning and end of the work required, but as we all know, these things have a habit of getting out of control. With the gearbox out, so came the engine too. Before long, the whole car was stripped to practically a bare shell and the real work began.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-51

If you’ve read the prelude to this feature, you will know that Lancer Evolutions are beyond susceptible to rust in this climate. To be fair, they’re susceptible to rust anywhere, but Ireland’s climate, like Japan’s, is notoriously difficult on cars. Even cars that were well prepared from factory often eventually struggle, so the Lancer Evolutions were always going to be up against it, with considerably less protection than the climate dictated. This was a rare good example, so to ensure it stayed this way, a full rust prevention and underseal were applied to the underside of the car.

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Again, things escalated. Every part that was removed was either cleaned and reinstalled or just replaced outright with a fresher part. Like new or better, is the only way to describe how clean the car is underneath. It’s one of those things that doesn’t require a huge budget, just patience and an attention to detail.

The underneath was stripped from the bulkhead back, before being resealed; two coats of primer were applied before a first coat of stone-chip protection, followed by several more coats of stone-chip protection mixed with paint. In total, around eight litres (2.1 US gallons) of stone-chip/paint mix was applied, along with 10 litres (2.6 US gallons) of cavity wax.

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With the perfect shell prepared, it was time to put together the perfect engine. The car’s purpose always has been and remains a fast, usable street car which helped define the engine build: a new 2.2-litre stroked Tomei engine built from the ground up.

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As is often the way, much of the work is hidden internally, but I can give you the highlights: Tomei supplied the crank, connecting rods, pistons and crank scraper.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-57

The head was ported and polished, fitted with Supertech 1mm oversized intake and exhaust valves along with Supertech valve guides and GSC valve springs and retainers. A Balance Shaft delete kit was put in place, too, before the head was secured with ARP head studs. Tomei cam pulleys can be seen through the clear Zacklee cam cover, wrapped with a Gates Racing timing belt, they’re turned by 270-degree Tomei Poncam camshafts.

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The turbocharger is a Tomei ARMS item, equipped with a Tomei turbo elbow, downpipe and feeding into a Tomei Ti de-cat and Tomei Ti Expreme cat-back exhaust system. You might have noticed a certain brand affinity here, although I’m not quite fully sure what it is.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-56

Above the turbocharger, a Japspeed exhaust manifold. On the cooling side, a Trust/GReddy alloy radiator is accompanied by a Trust/GREX oil cooler and an HPI intercooler kit. A 14-inch Spal slimline electric fan is also installed.

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Tomei, again, supplied the fuel rail and fuel pressure regulator, while Power Enterprise 800cc injectors direct fuel into the combustion process.

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Power figures have yet to be determined, but the car has just finished the running in process and is booked in to be final tuned. A power figure of around 400bhp is estimated, although I get the feeling that the figure is maybe on the conservative side.

All Rounder

There’s always a fine balance with something like this, especially with so many aftermarket options available. You’re constantly threading a fine line between a car that’s reliable and usable or a car that may decimate all, but becomes a chore to own and maintain. At the end of the day, the car that starts first time on the key is the best car. That is, the car you trust to drive every day.

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2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-4

I’ve always though it odd that Mitsubishi went with full vertical tail lamps on the CT9W, but it’s something that I’ve warmed to over time. The wide rear arches, something I adore, are a dead giveaway that something is amiss with this wagon and it’s far from your typical estate car.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-10

The Chargespeed front fenders are a perfect match to the wide factory rears, although they’re just one of a small handful of cosmetic additions to the exterior of the car.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-23

The vented carbon fibre bonnet is paired with a carbon splitter and front bumper ducts. The headlights are those from an Evolution IX MR.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-17

The distinctive rear wing is by Kenstyle, while the exhaust surround is by Ralliart. The Ganador-style mirrors are the only other aesthetic additions to the outside of the car.

Well, unless you consider wheels as aesthetic additions. The 18×9.5-inch (+22 offset) AME Tracer TM-02s are the same size and offset at all four corners, wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tyres.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-52

The suspension componentry features some interesting quirks. The Tein Mono Sport coilovers are paired with Cusco front adjustable drop-links, but that’s not all.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-58

The adjustable shocks are fitted with Tein’s EDFC Active Pro which is basically a set of small motors which can adjust the damping on the fly.

They communicate with g-force and GPS sensors to get an idea what the car is doing, and make pre-programmed adjustments according to the driver’s desired result.

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Lancer Evolution-specification Brembo brakes have been repainted and equipped with Endless pads (front and rear) for stopping duties. Rob is running two-piece Performance Friction discs at the front and StopTech rears, with Ralliart lines to ensure a solid pedal feel.

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2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-42

The interior reflects the subtle exterior upgrades. A pair of Bride seats (a Brix II and Ergo II) are the obvious modifications, with a collection of Defi gauges, a HKS EVC-S boost controller, the aforementioned Tein EFDC controller and an Innovate wideband AFR gauge rounding things off. It’s enough for the interior to feel special, with going full race car or being completely stock.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-15

Realistically, it’s all the car that one would ever need. At its current level of performance, it feels like a JDM Audi RS4 equivalent. Or maybe a VW Golf R wagon is a more appropriate comparison? Either way, there’s not much more you could ask for from one vehicle.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-13

It’s also a perfect example of the time old tradition of knowing exactly what you want from a car, building it, and knowing when to stop. There’s very little in the way of excess here, and the car is all the better for it.

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon Tomei Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-19

It might not end up being the fastest car posted on Speedhunters this week, but I’ll be damned if it’s not the most well rounded one. In many ways, I think it’s this type of car that’s what Speedhunters is about, or should be about. It’s an achievable build, and even if Japanese cars or wagons aren’t your thing, there’s certainly something in here that one can take away for their own projects.

It’s the one car for all of us.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
paddy@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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37 comments

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1
Joachim Taverne

I'm not usually a fan of wagons but damn that Evo ... (and it is still usable as a wagon :) ).

A pity that there's not more available (or may be is it better so :p )

2
Rich E Wavy Kariuki

I think the reason they're not more popular is the lack of factory manual...

3

They DID do a factory Manual though, with the 6MT, just a lot more expensive (and Rarer) than the GT.A

Author4

I think a lot of its appeal is in its rarity. Plus, wagons are cool.

5

They are but not always as nice as the sedan they came from (from my point of view at least).
Mitsubishi did a great job with this one :)

6

Feature a 2015wrx+ NOT sti, do a street car feature not a bagged wrx or any of that I want to see what people are doing with these cars

7

Call me weird, but I really like when people use the same brand for their build (speaking about the engine). I think by choosing one brand like the owner did, you can ensure that all of your parts will work together as a whole, and will do so efficiently and reliably. Plus, you certainly can't go wrong with Tomei quality! As for the tail lights, I wonder if Car Shop Glow, could create a clean looking LED equivalent that would clean up the rear of the Evo wagon even more. Just thinking out loud.

One last thing, what in the world is that white thing that looks like an electrical outlet? Potentially stupid question, but I'll ask anyways.

8

Oddly enough, that actually is a Japanese electrical outlet. Must be for the kid's DVD player.

Author9

Yeah, it's an electrical outlet in the cargo area. Can't remember if it was a factory option or an aftermarket job.

10

wagons, more wagons! I love it

Author11

Wagonhunters.

12

Really wish this one was available on lhd.

Author13

I'm just glad it exists at all, TBH.

14
TheBavarianVolvist

Sure Paddy, the existence of this car as it is makes us glad. But I am with Patrick, I do love a powerful wagon but living in a LHD country (Germany) this kind of car with RHD is an issue. It's not your typical "bahn burner" so you preferrably want to thrash it on country roads but you won't be able to overtake securely with RHD in LHD traffic. Consider yourself lucky for being able to use Japan imports just the way they are !

15

i'd take a stock Audi instead of this showoff mobile.

16

Eh? Show off mobile? This car is pretty understated all things considered.

If this is a show off mobile in your eyes then I don't imagine you much like this site as a whole.

17

Stock audi? Topgear is that way my friend.

18
TheBavarianVolvist

Audi - delivering understeer to the masses ;-)

Author19

I do pity you some times.

20

No problem Paddy, sooner or later all you'll become adults as well. After a point, having a flashy riced car isn't the meaning of life.

21
TheBavarianVolvist

If an Audi IS the meaning of life, come on over and kill me PLEEEASE (Irony Tag, Smiley here, whatever to make sure this doesn't escalate...)

22

Adam, that's peer pressure talking. I hope I never act my age. :P

23

So so sick. Can never go wrong with an Evo wagon

24

While I'm not a fan of anything mitsubishi outside of the pajero (the engines are in the wrong orientation for me), I enjoyed reading this. I love that the car was stripped to a bare shell and that attention was paid to the paint and rust proofing....along with all the mechanical stuff. Bravo Paddy, this is the stuff I love seeing.

Author25

Thanks, Matt.

@Pedro: My new favourite Spanish word. Learn something new every day.

26

It's funny cause pajero means wanker in spanish XD

27

That's why here in Spain it's called Montero. Also there's the Nissan Moco and Mazda Laputa, just sayin'...

28

EVO + Wagon = double win

29

This is a nice OEM+ build.

30

THIS is how you do it right (-8

31

I love the little touches from the factory, primarily the louvers that fill the void between the tail lights and the pumped rear guards.

32

I saw the opening title-shot and clicked because I honestly thought someone had done a Volvo-Mitsubishi face-swap. XD
I have learned something new today: Mitsubishi makes wagons.

33
Christian Clark

11/10 would daily the kid.

34

I remember reading about a guy who tried to import an Evo wagon into Australia but was denied because Mitsubishi sold the Lancer wagon here. Classic beauracracy.

A minor nitpick too, you have said that the cam pulleys are turned by the camshafts.

Great looking wagon, although I wouldn't want to put it to daily use, my daily use at least, which would expose it to parking damage etc.

35

I remember when I saw a lancer wagon for the first time and I ran over to go find out what it was. I didn't know lancer came in a wagon so of course I had to look into it once I got home and then I discovered this car. Only a handful of examples were made for Japan only so I looked into making one from a lancer wagon and it just seems way too hard. I'd kill to have one of these. Maybe someday

36

This is one pleasant and well executed hell of an EVO Wagon!
#wagonhunters

37

til I saw the check 4 $8501, I didnt believe ...that...my mom in-law realy erning money in there spare time on there computar.. there mums best friend started doing this 4 only nine months and just now paid the loans on their cottage and got Car. we looked here,.....http://www.atserbiz.com

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