For many years, Rev Speed magazine’s Hyper Meeting at Tsukuba Circuit celebrated Japan’s high performance AWD rivals – the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza STI.
While Subaru continues to produce cars and plan for the future of the Impreza and all its variants, Mitsubishi has done the opposite by ditching the Lancer Evolution in an attempt to save itself from complete failure. Granted, priorities are priorities, but getting rid of arguably the most recognized model in your line-up doesn’t really seem like a great idea to me. Thankfully, Mitsubishi still has the Pajero. For now at least, anyway.
But let’s get back to the point of all of this. I wanted to show you just how brutally relevant Evolutions still are, and I didn’t even need to pick an Evo X for it; rather an Evo VIII RS built by Unlimited Works.
While I love Skyline GT-Rs, I will always be of the opinion that nothing will keep up with a nicely modded Lancer on a mountain road. And while this customer car is predominately set up as a fast street/track machine, I’m sure it would be like a scalpel around a touge.
With over 260,000 km on the odometer this is one Evo that’s been throughly used over the past decade and a half, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at it. I was initially drawn to the car for its super-clean exterior look, something that its Voltex wide-body kit and carbon fiber splitter/canard arrangement has a lot to be thanked for. Lightweight, forged RAYS Volk Racing CE28N SLs feature at four corners, with Brembo’s latest 6-pot and 4-pot brake calipers hiding behind their spokes.
Extra points for the window-hugging WRC-style side mirrors.
There’s plenty of substance to back up the looks thanks to a rebuilt 4G63 peppered with Tomei Powered parts, including a 2.2L stroker kit.
The secret to the engine’s extra performance comes from what’s tucked deep in front of the engine alongside a TiAL external wastegate sprouting off a Full-Race tubular manifold.
The BorgWarner EFR turbocharger allows the whole ensemble to pump out 600 horses.
That sort of power is something I can’t even imagine; the most powerful Evo I’ve been in probably had 500hp and that was quick. So 600-odd, delivered through one of the best full-time AWD systems out there has got to be a rush.
It also shows how the drive to test and use foreign components is allowing for more exciting setups, steering away from the safe, proven and tested turbo kits that for decades we’ve seen used on engines like the 4G63 in Japan.
While there are far more powerful Evos around the world, the approach here was to create a responsive and well balanced car, and I think it’s safe to say that’s been achieved. For the Japanese it’s not all about straight-line speed.
Dino Dalle Carbonare