Can We Still Use The ‘S’ Word?

Stance. There, I said it.

It’s the one word that always provokes a response from the automotive community. I won’t go into the semantics of why this is ridiculous – we’ve been there before – but it always seems to get people riled up, especially when it’s an approach that’s applied to a performance model. Such as a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR.


But can a car like this be ‘stanced’ (shudder) and still offer a great driving experience? Personally, I don’t see why not. I’ve driven (and owned) cars with low offsets and moderately stretched tyres before and, while it might not be the optimum setup for track handling, you can certainly still drive them within the limits of what’s possible on public roads.

Along with my blatant abuse of the ‘S’ word, I know we’ve come into a bit of stick in the past for not featuring Mitsubishi Evos enough on the site, so I made it my mission to find an Evo at Players Show last weekend to bring to you. There are almost definitely more wild builds than this out there, but I was drawn to Aaron Palmer’s 2006 Evo IX MR initially because of its US-inspired styling and subtle body modifications.


Actually, I tell a lie – I was first drawn to it because he was parked nicely in line with a huge Speedhunters banner and I thought it’d make for a nice image.

There’s a top car show tip – park under branding if you want photos of your car.


But after getting the shot I wanted, I had a closer look and found lots of nice details worth sharing. Like, for example, that this is an imported model Evo IX MR with lots of little options that you don’t find on the UK cars, such as a sunroof, and the part leather/part Alcantara Recaro seats.

Aaron purchased the car almost four years ago as a standard import and, as is commonplace, quickly got carried away with making one or two changes to it.


Under the bonnet, the later-spec MIVEC-equipped 4G63T has been upgraded with some choice bolt ons. An A’PEXi air filter with 80mm custom intake provides the TD05 turbocharger with sufficient clean air, before boost is pushed through a GReddy intercooler, S90 throttle body and AMS F1-I inlet manifold.


Fuelling is courtesy of and AMS fuel rail, Sytec FPR and 1,000cc injectors. A Link G4+ engine management system achieves a healthy power figure of 436bhp and 425lb/ft torque at 1.5bar (22psi) boost, complete with the benefits of anti-lag and launch control.


Removing many of the unsightly ancillaries, along with relocating the loom and battery and a host of engine dress-up parts, makes the engine look as good as it performs.

The exterior is set off by the car’s aggressive stance, which Aaron says tends to annoy the average Evo enthusiast. Three-piece Work Wheels Meister S1s adorn each corner, measuring in at 18×10-inches with an offset of +5. The body is brought down to ground with MeisterR Zeta R coilovers.


The IX is one of my favourite generations of Evo, and there’s not much needed to improve upon the model in my opinion. Aaron’s stuck to this ethos too, with an APR carbon front lip, Varis rear diffuser and a selection of carbon lips and extensions from Rexpeed. USDM rear lights and numberplate completes the trans-Atlantic conversion.


The interior is finished off with a set of Takata Racing harnesses, harness bar, Sparco L575 wheel and NRG quick-release hub, and a trio of digital AEM gauges to monitor boost, AFR and oil temperature.


The result is a mean-looking, street-going Evo with more than enough power to keep a smile on your face. If you had it your way, is there anything you’d change?

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
Facebook: Jordan Butters Photography



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Less tire stretch. I think it compromises both function and form.


Some stretch can improve the performance response of a tire. Typically you want a tire that is within the range of the wheel diameter. 225s work really well on a 15x9 for example, 205s on a 15x8 and 245 or 255 work well on a 15x10.


this isnt 1984 and he's not using 305/65/18s
he barely has any sidewall to flex, stretching makes it even worse


This is literally fucking wrong. Summer tires and especially track tires already have very stiff sidewalls for response. That's why they ride so horrible.

This myth has been around for ages. It might hold water with all seasons, but sacrificing total grip for aggressiveness is idiotic anyway. There's a reason tire size is limited in omly one direction in racing.


Your measurements are off. 225s work well on an 8", 205s on a 7".


I can't agree with the blanket statement as the profile may need to be factored in also. The BL Liberty sported 215/45R17 rubber on 17x7.0 wheels, an older Subaru WRX sported 235/45R17 rubber on 17x8.0 wheels, and the last revision of the 350Z sported 225/45R18 rubber on 18x8.0 wheels. Assuming the profile is maintained, I'm guessing you'd be on the limit with your suggestions. I'm no race engineer, but I tend to work within design tolerances.


Exactly what I was thinking. A maybe a tad more high. But only by a few inches.


Yeah, if the car was about three inches higher, and the wheels had more inset, the tires would have more meat and maintain rigidity in the shoulders, and the face would be flush with the fenders. You'd also have a more comfortable ride on the daily, and wouldn't have issues with speed bumps etc.


I'd say inch and a half. 3 inches would be half a hand gap/oem 4x4 status.


Haha perhaps so if you didn't run a wider tire with a higher profile! I prefer a 40 profile as I find 35 is a tad too aggressive.


With you. I ran 225/40/17 on my Prelude with a finger and half gap and it looked/drove sublime.


That's similar to the setup I had on my old Liberty (Legacy).




i love the instagram touch near the intercooler :D :lol: strange but "cool" ( bad pun i know :P) at the same time


Love the work wheels, style and its very cool as a static show car... buuut it looks like there's only 30-40mm of wheel travel until the tyre wall hits the fender.. would ride like a proverbial Mcnugget and you can see where it's impacted the body in the pics. Probably should roll that bad boy out! Bit shady and dangerous but hey! Every generation seems to love different pointless mods. Eg. Pump up shocks on the rear of muscle cars


I'd change it to the base model Lancer so that it actually makes sense...


To me stance is such a misused word. Theres many different stances; because a stance is the way a car stands in this case. So flush, dropped, slammed, paddiflush, etc.


As Paddy put it nicely in his article "but at some point someone misappropriated the term to mean cars with aggressive wheel fitment". Adding on to Paddy's: Cars with -10+ camber


Regardless of who appropriated the term, the fact of the matter is that the word is now defined as "form over function". And that's why people dislike that style of modification, especially on performance cars. Whoop-de-fucking-doo you have an 800HP Evo/STi/Golf R/whatever, good luck getting more than 300 of that to hook on UHPs that are too narrow for the wheel you're running.


if its mine, airlift, there is nothing wrong with stance , cars are built to satisfy the owners to make them smile by just the glimpse of their pride and joy. Not for anybody else.


and this one is very well executed.


So tired of hearing all these cliquey terms in the car industry that seem to flood the Japanese scene. Onni camber, stance, blah blah blah. Just build a car to work well and perform and stop trying to categorize everything. "Stance" is a ridiculous fad that is followed by people who don't know how to properly setup a car. That's all it is and all it ever will be.


YES I AGREE lets make everything simple for the little babies!
fuck off and take your anti-intellectualism with you


So let's stop coining terms like Hot Rod, Dragster, Gasser, Low Rider, bagged, stroked - do you see where your logic is flawed? This isn't just within the Japanese scene, so I'm going to have to address your generalization there as well. Stance has been adopted more predominantly by euro car owners than anyone else, but of course has now become so wide spread, it can be attributed to conversation about any type of car these days.

Your opinion over a single collection of enthusiasts is valid, because it's your own, but to blanket statement that people don't know how to properly set up a car because they enjoy the aesthetic appeal of a car that they would refer to as "stanced," really just shows your assessment is based solely off bias and ignorance. This would be akin to saying "you don't know how to human because you have tattoos and piercings, those are ridiculous and only adopted by people who don't know how to be human."

It's a show style, and show cars transcend a vehicles point of origin. Literally every community has their form of show cars. This is just one of them. And you're right, it will always remain a style. That's the point of style. It intrigues people, it turns heads for good or for bad, and that's what people love about it. It is it's own form of pushing something to the extreme, seeing just how much they can achieve with suspension and wheel/tire set ups.

People categorize because, well, if we don't, then how else would we identify something? What's the problem with categorization if it helps to further filter and accurately identify ones interest? Stop categorizing art- it's all paint and graphite and charcoal, it's ART. Again, do you see where your logic is flawed?

You can absolutely disagree with a scene and what their goal is out their participation, but the audacity to blanket something as ridiculous and generalize the participants as people who don't know how to set up a car, is quite frankly, bullshit.


If I would change one thing, I'd put it on performance air suspension so it can go low for shows, and then lift up to actually drive it anywhere.


I almost thought you were gonna say Small again I was like oh god here we go again.

but then I saw stance.

then I saw the evo and I was like <3

perfect, its just subtle enough to standout.


Stance as a proper noun and stance as an improper noun are two completely different things. eg that car's stance vs that car is Stanced.

You sound like an idiot to anyone who isnt as green as you when you try to debate something that doesnt need debating because only people with limited years in the hobby still think they mean the same thing.


Stance in yer pants.


Are you sure it's TD04HL-15G? Even stock TD05 turbo is bigger, with this one you wouldn't even get 300HP :P


Yes, that's an error in the article.


Its a nice car, looks like a good all rounder. Certainly has a nice look and feel of quality to it. I'd quite happily drive that!

MPistol HVBullets

excessive negative camber is the enemy of all things automotive - if excessive negative camber is "stance" to you, you're the problem - stretched tires are PROVEN to be dangerous, yet it's encouraged and celebrated - SMDH

don't use the term "stance" to describe the specific issues that plague the culture - get specific - actually let's get a reputable tire engineer in here to do a Q&A about stretched tires


I'm fairly certain people who participate in the scene understand that stretching tires is entirely against the engineering of said tires, so really, no one is asking the opinion of a tire engineer here. I've stated similar in a comment above already, but you're entirely wrong about it being the enemy of ALL things automotive. The "stance" scene is a scene within the automotive world, and is absolutely an aesthetically driven scene. So, while it may hinder performance severely, those in the scene are not feigning in ANY way that their set ups are purpose driven for performance. Literally no one has said that. This is solely a STYLE, and while it may be hard to digest for some, understand that the underlying principles are exactly what have lead to the evolution of the car scenes that many of participate in and love - whether they lead to legitimate performance capabilities or not.

The same sentiments you're expressing over stance, are the same sentiments expressed around various trends during the days of Hot Rods. Low Riders would fit into the same analysis, but they have become more widely accepted over time.

You can choose to remain in the negative and oppressive mind set that those who participate in a certain scene are somehow below the rest of us who aren't, or you can choose to understand that the beauty of the automotive world is that it is so colorful and varied in style, and functionality. Aesthetic is a form of function- it evokes emotion, good or bad, it evokes pride out of those who see it as achieving what they set out to do. The function is happiness and enjoyment in the car they love. And that looks different to absolutely everyone. If anything, the narrow mindset you and others share and inject into the scene, is the true plague and disgrace to our automotive culture.

MPistol HVBullets

it's a lil disturbing that your response directs the pitfalls of the culture at me......... am I that big of a person? Or is the fact that a "welcomed mod" of stretched tires, a mod that puts drivers of those cars, and the drivers around them, at risk, not the bigger issue?

This isn't hate I'm expressing, this is NOT prejudice, this is actual concern that people that are new to the "style" might not dive into this mod with a reasonable approach to it. Time hasn't changed that. The fact that my younger self did these things, and was a witness to the direct results of my misguided approach seems to get lost as "hate". LOL.

I'm happy to distance myself from it. I'm happy to see it actually reach it's trendy end (but hating it hypes it doesn't it?)........... but above all things, I'm happy to speak about the reality of the danger.

I mean what is this "scene" if we aren't out here sharing opinions on ill advised modifications that could truly get people hurt???

Forget about whatever time in car culture came before, because it's unrelated to the exponent of dangers on the streets right now. It's hard to get kids just to take the drivers test seriously, and they want to run out here and run a 215 tire on 10" rim at 75mph down a freeway!

How about I put it this way - DO THE STRETCHED TIRE THING - DO IT TO YOUR HEARTS CONTENT - I don't have to celebrate it. It's not even about me - the only thing in car culture about me is my own damn car anyway - but jeezus kryst educate some kids along the way - because they'll end up with some scars from a stupid story they could've prevented.............. or worse

(got me out here sounding like "super protective dad" and sh*t)


I see you say that stretched tires puts road users at risk but that's a pretty broad statement. If the contact patch on the road is larger than the stock tires then the car is actually safer, despite the stretched sidewall. Continuing on that tangent, if you have a car with 300hp on a whatever sized tire and you then increase its horsepower to 330hp, you are making the car more dangerous because the ratio of grip to power has decreased, and now it's easier to have the thing break traction. That is just as bad, but completely accepted in the automotive world.

TLDR: Leave the stance kids alone.


I did not single you out, I stated the mindset is what plagues our culture. Your statements are valid when it comes to tire safety, but lets be honest, a vast majority of Stance scene participants are not running hyper stretched tires. While this is dangerous and I appreciate where you're coming from on this, a great majority of those building cars for this scene in particular are going with more subtle stretches, and while any stretch could technically be deemed against the ideal application, I'd be more interested in hearing what the engineers perspective and verdict is on tires that are 1 or 2 sizes below the recommended profile of tire for a wheel. There are plenty of drivers across the world who don't even bother to fill their tires with air, and continue to drive them. Keep the same set of tires on for over 4 years, and continue to drive on them. Stance participants are a drop in the bucket of potentially dangerous conditions that exist on our roads today, and due to the typically subtle nature of most participants, the idea that ALL stance participants posing a deadly risk to surrounding drivers is misappropriated.

Every scene has their outlying problematic children- and while I don't bring that up to downplay the seriousness of what you're mentioning, my point is that identifying them as a plague and a problem to our culture is absolutely unfounded. You're blanketing these opinions across far too vast a community. It's hard to get people in GENERAL to appreciate the rules of the road, so let's not pretend that Stance is a generational problem that is circumventing the far more dangerous actions that a wide variety of other enthusiasts participate in. It's not unrelated, because plenty of these other trends still exist, and also point to the dangers of cars in general.

My point isn't to condemn your fear for the safety of others, as noble as it is, but to simply point out that you're applying a narrow focus of problem across an entire platform of enthusiasts where it does not apply. Your lack of specificity in an argument you made calling for specificity is the cause of my response. Anything not to spec is considered excessive, in the automotive world. As a mechanic, I can attest to that. I'm all for the education of others, especially on the importance of safety, but there are practices that the majority of those chasing stance that are doing no more harm than any other form of modification, and posing no greater risk.


Only thing that makes me cringe on the car is the bolt in rollcage. But, agian not my car, everything else looks good on ir and owner is happy with it. I personally wouldn't attempt to drive a car with a roll cage, and harnesses on the street especially somthing with a full cage. At least his roll bar/hareds bar comes out.


This one is best-described as either poke or mexi-flush fitment. At least he isn't running crazy camber.


If I had it what would i change? not much... well, maybe put the hood back on XD