The Wangan Wagon
Just Can’t Keep Away From Wagons

After the cool Worx Auto Chevelle Wagon I showed you back in January, you must be thinking I’m going through a wagon phase or something. I’m not. I mean, I love unique station wagons; ones that look cool or have a ton of power to go along with their understated looks, but the reason you are seeing this car right here is mostly out of coincidence. You see, after the Tokyo Auto Salon, Larry and I paid a little visit to Tazawa-san and the guys at Garage G Force in Yokohama. Back at the show I had asked if they could bring out a car that I’ve been meaning to feature since seeing it last year’s TAS, but for one reason or another I never had the chance to.

It’s a good thing that I asked though, because it totally deserved a feature and a place in our Wagon Week theme.


This is precisely the sort of machine we hunt around the world for! Mitsubishi got it so right when they came out with the CT9W Lancer Evolution IX MR wagon; a model that was destined for a very small production run and offered only in the Japanese domestic market.


It would have done well in both the US and in Europe, but we all know how Japanese manufacturers sometimes like to keep the best stuff for themselves. Then the Evo X came, but the rumoured wagon – potentially the first ever turbocharged Japanese performance wagon with a dual-clutch transmission – never materialised. Damn you Mitsubishi! And now the Evo X is officially dead as well! Seriously? But whatever, we aren’t here to talk about that…


No, we are here to showcase a superb CT9W that Garage G Force made even better. The owner of this car actually has another Evo wagon which he drives around on a daily basis, allowing him to really go full-on with this more extreme build. The fact that this guy owns two of these things is crazy in itself, as is the reason he built this particular car.


The exterior runs the complete Varis Evo IX widebody kit, which just happens to fit on the wagon too, obviously with impressive results. The front and rear arches get pumped thanks to overfenders, allowing the fitment of 19×10-inch Advan Racing RGIIIs with 255/35ZR19 Advan AD08 rubber. You have probably spotted the rather serious Endless brake upgrade too: 6-pots for the front and smaller 4-pots at the rear to ensure that the wagon stops on a dot. In fact, if you look at the discolouration of the 2-piece slotted rotors it’s obvious that the Evo has seen some pretty hard use.


The Varis kit is tied together with a menacing TFH vented front bumper, while the side skirts have been given a more fitting design to truly blend in.


Look at the car long enough and you will soon start spotting things that you normally wouldn’t find in a station wagon. Here’s a clue, look through the rear glass…

Not Really A Hauler

Upon a closer look, this is what I found. Okay, now this is getting really interesting, right? This wagon has pretty much sacrificed all of its hauling capabilities with everything rearward of the front seats stripped back to bare metal so that a custom-fabricated rollcage could be bolted and gusseted in.


Open up the gate and you get a better view of what the rear of this machine is all about. Everything that wasn’t needed has been removed. The large aluminium box on the right houses the battery, which itself was relocated from the engine bay to free up space where it’s most needed.


On the opposite corner is a custom surge tank in which one of the pumps from the complex fuel system lives. Hard lines make their way under the car towards the engine bay where they plumb into the fuel delivery pipe that feeds massive 1000cc/min Sard injectors.


The Evo runs on 2-way adjustable Öhlins DFV coilovers, and there’s a Cusco carbon fiber strut brace to add a touch more torsional stiffness – something the the open structure of the wagon suffers with a lack of, in comparison to the Evo sedan.


I just love the way this car sits – it’s all dictated by function. It’s not low to the ground as you would expect, because despite being built for one purpose only, that isn’t track work. This car has only one duty to fulfil, and that is to be the most capable Wangan racer it can be.


That’s why there is so much happening under the Varis vented bonnet – the 4G63 stroked with a JUN 2.2L bottom end kit and sporting a ton of big boy upgrades. Back when I first laid eyes on the Mitsubishi at TAS, the engine bay looked even more impressive with a massive GCG/Garrett GTX4294R turbocharger proudly displayed in front of the gold-topped engine and breathing through a carbon fiber intake pipe.


In that configuration it developed 900PS at 7,400rpm and an earth-axis-shifting 726Nm of torque at 5,700rpm. That allowed the Evo to potentially reach a top speed of 200mph, or 322km/h, but the best it’s managed is 311km/h. Close enough!  This setup was used for almost a year, but the power delivery was a little too peaky for the owner, despite having punch right through to the top end.


So after much debate it was decided to step down in turbo size and aim for a more useable and linear power curve, but still have enough power for late-night Wangan outings.


So onto the IR 45mm stainless steel manifold a smaller GCG GTZ4088R turbo was fitted, controlled via an HKS GTII external wastegate. With 2.0bar (29.4psi) of boost dialled up power has dropped to 715PS, but torque didn’t suffer too much, and with 703Nm of the stuff on tap it all makes for a far more easy to live with setup. If you look at the top left picture you can see that the positioning of the wastegate doesn’t leave much space for the radiator, which is why the car runs the tiny half-sized item you see in the bottom right. As long as the car is travelling at speed, the G Force mechanic assured us that there’s no need to worry about overheating. The turbo dumps gasses into a custom titanium twin-exit titanium exhaust that was fabricated at the shop.


And it now breathes in slightly cooler air thanks to the sealed-off airbox on the corner of the engine bay. Check out the quality of welding on the titanium intake pipe that connects the GCG turbo to the air filter!


The massive HKS intercooler has the job of cooling the hot compressed intake charge, but that is no real issue as the car is always travelling at some serious pace on the Wangan when it’s asked for all its might.

The Last Of The Great

Despite being located in one of the busiest areas of Yokohama city, we were able to take the car out for a short drive while Larry hung out of our Lexus RC F press car to grab some rolling shots. The mechanic wasn’t too shy about stepping on the gas either, and we got to see first-hand how quickly the brick-like Evo can build boost and catapult out of sight.


Seeing this is still a ‘street’ car, some interior creature comforts have been retained, like all the stock trim and dashboard.


The factory Recaro seats are more than up to the job of holding the driver and passenger in place at speeds over 300km/h, plus let’s not forget there aren’t too many corners along the Wangan!


I found this pretty comical. This car must be so damn loud at full noise, so earplugs come in handy!


On top of the dash-mounted radar detector – a must have for any serious Wangan racer – the HKS A/F Knock sensor takes centerstage. With so much invested into the powerful engine, it’s better to keep a close eye on the most important readout of them all.


Some Defi and GReddy gauges reading boost, water and oil temperatures, and oil pressure are mounted onto the dash in a nice carbon fiber meter panel.


The A/C has been removed and the audio system – albeit still there in part – is pretty much useless as you can’t hear yourself think over the sound of the engine.


Along with the concoction of engine and exhaust sounds, the unsuspecting shifter hides the fact that this car runs a straight-cut Pfitzner Performance Gearboxes replacement dog-engagement gear set inside the stock transmission casing. We could hear the whine from the PPG gears even while following the car around Yokohama! The Nismo titanium shift knob if a pretty cool addition, and I had no idea it fit an Evo shifter!


Juggling all that power and torque is a triple-plate Exedy carbon clutch, while the front and rear diff housings are fitted with Cusco RS limited slip items.


It all makes this Evo IX the most menacing wagon I’ve ever had the pleasure of featuring, and a true testament to the awesome work that Tazawa-san and his crew at Garage G Force do.


I’d love to see what this wagon would able to do around Tsukuba circuit. It may need a few adjustments in the suspension department to get those Neovas to dig into the smooth surface, but the engine in its latest tune with the slightly smaller turbo makes it a true weapon wherever its owner cares to take it!

And on that ultimate wagon note, we wrap up our Wagon Week theme. Make sure you check out the rest of the stories.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino

Additional Photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto



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not sure about the MR (unlikely), but we had the regular IX Evo wagon here in the U.S., and while neat I don't think they sold very well haha.


I love these things, ever since I saw this vid :


@researchisyourfriend I am pretty sure the evo wagon was only sold in Japan, and New Zealand.  Research is your friend....


@researchisyourfriend No we didn't. We didn't get the Evo GT-A either.


A few facts:
The base car is an EVO IX MR Wagon
The side skirt & overfender are from Voltex
The hood should be a Monster Sport item


I always wanted a Wagon Evo. It loooks fantastic!


Now I know: Garage G-Force makes my favourite CT9x chassis Evos! Thanks Dino Dalle Carbonare for this feature!


nice to see another evo IX wagon with some serious mods.  the last one i've seen online (but did not get a feature) was a Macross Frontier-themed evo IX wagon (which looks bone-stock).  and before that, a yellow and blue ralliart evo IX wagon that was featured in a magazine (forgot which one, it's somewhere in my pile of reading material at home).


So looked forward to this! An amzing car and just looks sexy as hell! I would be so proud if I was the owner of this to own such a capable machine like this!


I've waited so long for a 9 wagon to be featured. Oddly, I'm not feeling this one at all. Far more function than form, which is fine. But, it feels very 'hacked' together.
The wagon has a much different feel to the sedan. And it feels like this is a high horse power sedan build applied to the wagon because they're basically the same platform. Which is a shame because these start off so unique, why make them like just another high horsepower Evo build with a body kit?

Can you tell I stare at mine for way too long thinking this exact thing?!
Because I do.

As always, thanks Dino for article. You always provide lots of interesting content to digest.


smithadamb An unusual platform for such a build, yes I agree. But that's precisely why he did it. Plus he has another wagon lol!  Thanks!


nugundam93 I wonder if people have forgotten this one! It was 5 years ago lol


jay8393 Dino Dalle Carbonare My pleasure!


@researchisyourfriend Nope was only a JDM model


Mfabs Yep!


speedhunters_dino, found out that there was one in town that had been imported. I guess I saw that and figured it was an option no one took from the factory haha.
in any case, I kind of wish I knew how rare of a sight that was to see every morning back in college.


any more info on the GTZ4088R? i've never heard of it

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

It's funny to think that these are rarer than F40's (100 built against 399ish F40's) and that it's even rarer now that a few have been written off or built a way that can't be reverted back to stock too easily. Future collectable? Maybe.....


Chris 'Haffy' Hafner to my knowledge they made around 2400 of these. In various trims. I'd like to believe they made only 100 though. My stock 6 speed would be the one to have.

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

Did some looking around and yup around 2400-2500 were built. BUT 100 6 speed MR wagons were built, that's what I must have read a while ago.


speedhunters_dino nugundam93 Never saw this future Dino....
Looks great too!


Chris 'Haffy' Hafner Yeah fewer of the MRs


this is super awesome!!!!!
shame the OE head unit looks like a $2 part from a 90s era econobox, ecen tho as you said its essentially useless


speedhunters_dino nugundam93 thanks for bringing this up!  :)


speedhunters_dino Is there a video of this car?


This wagon is awesome too. Did you feature it yet? I don't recall :/


speedhunters_dino smithadamb I think it's a matter of perspective. While lots wont agree, I personally love the look of this wagon :)


About that :''Then the Evo X came, but the rumoured wagon – potentially the first ever turbocharged Japanese performance wagon with a dual-clutch transmission – never materialised.'' Did you forget about the ralliart sportback?
Not an EVO but still got the 4b11 and awd, with the AWC (tri mode transmision control)


Is this the same IX wagon covered in Option magazine over the last year or two? The build spanned from relatively stock to a HKS3037 then 2.2L and PPG box all in the name of Vmax.
If it is it's great to see it still evolving and punching along side the 800-1200ps supras/x110s/gtr-s that make up the rest of the list of 300kp+ cars.


Evl_T в моем случае это буханка уазик


yusa_l проходимецъ!!!)))


I think this could be a little bit lowered :D


Love me some evo wagons.  

Front bumper is most definitely not a Voltex piece though; it's a Technical Factory Hirano Front Bumper Circuit Spec.  I have the Street spec sans the canards and slits beneath the side air ducts.


I had the Sportback Lancer with a 2.4L engine and loved it... The only reason I gave it up was for the Evo X, and even though it has more power, and a fantastic love of snow, I still miss being able to put a snowboard in the car. This would have been a better option, even fully caged.

Thanks Dino, for once again showing us how North America misses out on some really interesting cars from Japan. :)


@researchisyourfriend The closest we ever came to this beast was the 2004-2005 Lancer Sportback Ralliart.


Mfabs It was! Although we didn't get very many here - which sucks because I want one once I'm done with my VI.

Nebojsa Toyota Cacak

I like wagons, and this is an amazing car, but stripped out with roll cage, this isn't a wagon anymore, it' just another pair of windows at the back...