When I flew from South Africa to Sydney, Australia with my family for a month over the New Year break, I didn’t intend to do much work. In fact, the only time I had planned to pull out my camera for car-related duties on the trip was during a bucket-list visit to Summernats.
Unfortunately, that never happened; Australia’s devastating wildfires were still causing havoc at the time, and I just couldn’t risk becoming stuck in Canberra. But as the Summernats door closed – luckily Matt was able to capture all the shenanigans – other opportunities to go Speedhunting in Sydney presented themselves. And that’s where this Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X MR comes in.
Faced with my Summernats dilemma, I’d made a few calls to friends and was put in touch with Powertune Australia, a local company known for building some serious track and street cars. As it turned out, the team at Powertune had just finished putting some finishing touches to a serious Evo X.
The 10th generation Lancer Evolution was available in nine different exterior colours, but baby blue was definitely not one of them. Originally, this particular car was Wicked White.
When I first saw the Evo X MR and its colour, I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it. But the more I looked, the more it grew on me; the light and bright hue works really well with all the aftermarket black accents.
Those start with a black-detailed Original Runduce lip spoiler and carbon fiber canards on either side of the front bumper, and end with an APR Performance carbon fiber GT wing out back.
From factory, the Evo X MR was specced with a nice set of 18-inch BBSs, but this build required something a little more special (and wider) – RAYS Volk Racing CE28 RT Black Edition wheels (a very limited 2014 release) to be precise. Here they’re wrapped in 265/35R18 Falken Azenis FK453 rubber.
The suspension has seen changes too, with Tein Flex Z coilovers fitted and Whiteline sway bars and a roll centre adjustment kit added. Dixcel sport brake pads are used, and more recently, DBA 4000 Series rotors were fitted.
It’s obvious from the way that it looks that this is not your average Evo X MR, but all the aero add-ons and the more aggressive stance belie the car’s real party trick: its hard-tuned powertrain.Power Hungry
The engine is complete build featuring Darton sleeves, forged pistons and rods, and a billet crankshaft that together have strengthened the 4B11 while increasing capacity from 2.0L to 2.3L. Up top, the DOHC 16-valve cylinder head has been ported and outfitted with big valves and 270-degree cams.
In the turbo department you’ll find a huge BorgWarner EFR 9174 twin-scroll turbocharger, with a custom Plazmaman intercooler arrangement delivering the cool charge via an 82mm throttle body. On the exhaust side is a custom manifold running into a 4-inch exhaust with a Varex end muffler.
There’s obviously a large appetite for fuel here, and that’s fulfilled through a twin rail setup utilising eight injectors, supplied by a custom surge tank and dual fuel pumps. A fuel cooler is also used.
Powertune has a lot of experience with MoTeC engine management, and for this particular build they went with an M130 ECU and E888 expander module. The result after tuning was an impressive 697.3hp at the wheels, which you can see in the dyno run video below.
A key component to realising this number was a new gearbox. To give you a bit of history, prior to this fresh build, Powertune had upgraded the Evo with a 400hp package. The engine setup worked well over the two years the car remained in this state of tune, but the same couldn’t be said for the Mitsubishi’s Twin Clutch SST gearbox.
In going down the big power route, it was obvious that the SST had to go, which is why you’ll now find a Holinger MF-E10 6-speed gearbox and ATS carbon triple-plate clutch in the mix. Even cooler, gear changes are still made via the Evo’s factory paddle shift system, something achieved through an electronically-controlled pneumatic shift upgrade for the Holinger.
In the centre console, where the SST gear lever originally sat, is now a MoTeC five-button rotary dial keypad, where traction and launch control, boost level, and shift settings can be selected from.
The cabin is also home to an ultra-widescreen MoTeC C1212 dash/logger that Powertune modified with a custom mould to fit perfectly in the OEM location. Powertune also created a custom display for the unit, which looks really slick.
Despite all the power it’s packing, the fact that this Evo X MR can still be driven like an stock one is the really impressive thing. With low boost and careful use of the loud pedal it’s docile enough to driven down to the shops – and with some special mapping the gearbox can even shift by itself in auto mode – but it’s an absolute animal when you’re in high boost and absolutely on it.
To me, that is what a fast street car is supposed to be, and Powertune Australia have created something truly special in this Evo X MR.