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An Evo’s Evolution…


The last time I saw this car, it still had a full interior and most of the bodywork was still intact. It also had a bodykit which made it look right at home at a time attack event and it also had 17 inch Advan RGII wheels. It was a thing of true beauty which made my pants a little tight every time I looked at it.

Although Cliff’s Mean Green Machine may have gotten a little uglier since I last saw it, it’s gotten a lot angrier, fiercer and more powerful. Cliff decided to turn his beloved street car into a stripped down drag racer to compete in the Sepang Drag Battle and Cliff’s Evo now pushes out almost 1000bhp, making it one of the few Evos in Malaysia to pack that much horsepower under its vented hood.

The decision to convert your beloved ride into a track only machine is never an easy one, but for Cliff it was a necessary thing to do as his Evo would serve as a mobile billboard for his shop, Podium Auto Gallery, which specializes in the import and sale of used and new performance parts.

The most important part of a drag car is, quite obviously, its engine and drivetrain. Drag racing is all about how much power you have under the hood and how well your car can put that power down to the ground and Cliff spared no expense when it came to his beloved Evo’s powerplant.




First, the engine was removed from its home and sent to Toon Engine Shop in Thailand for some serious work. Thanks to Power Qube’s connections, Cliff’s 4G63T powerplant was shipped off to Thailand where it was placed in Mr. Toon’s ultra capable and experience hands. Mr. Toon then shipped the engine off to HKS Kansai in Japan where Mr. Toon left the Japanese specific instructions on what to do with it. The kind folk at HKS Kansai were given instructions to perform all the machining work, such as enlarging the cylinder’s bore, porting and polishing of the cylinder head and engine balancing.

The cylinder head was replaced with one directly from HKS Kansai, complete with HKS cams, valve springs and retainers and a HKS Kansai port and polish job. Keeping a tight seal is a HKS 1.5mm headgasket sandwiched between the cylinder head and the block. The block also goes through a big makeover with a HKS Kansai 2.2-litre stroker kit which consists of forged pistons, forged H-beam conrods and the crankshaft.

With the block and head reunited and crammed full of HKS performance goodies, Mr. Toon could then get down to fitting the rest of the engine’s components. First, a Borg Warner hybrid turbocharger was chosen and fastened to a custom exhaust manifold. The turbo huffs and puffs its intake charge through custom piping and an ARC intercooler, before the charge enters a HKS Kansai intake manifold via an oversized, 90mm billet throttle body.

Inside the combustion chambers, fresh, turbocharged air is mixed with high octane drag fuel supplied by a trio of Bosch fuel pumps, twin surge tanks, a Tomei fuel pressure regulator, a SARD fuel rail and SARD 1000cc injectors. Ignition is handled by MSD plug cables and MSD ignition coils which are helped along by a MSD DIS-2 spark controller. Spent exhaust gases from the resulting chemical reaction inside the engine’s cylinders are then expelled by a custom 4-inch muffler-less exhaust system.

Keeping the engine cool is an ARC aluminium radiator and ARC bubble tank. A bubble tank helps to keep the engine’s cooling system working at top efficiency by removing air bubbles in the system which could limit the cooling system’s cooling capabilities. A custom oil catch tank keeps the engine oil free of fuel vapors which could contaminate the engine oil and an ARC oil cooler keeps the engine oil from overheating. Finally, the whole show is run by a HKS F-Con V-Pro standalone ECU.

The standard 5-speed gearbox handles the task of transferring all that turbocharged power to all four wheels, but the ratios have been swapped out with close ratio gears which have been optimized for the quarter mile or 400 meters. An ARC transmission cooler is also fitted to give the gearbox and differentials a fighting chance against the extreme stresses brought on by all the torque coming from the 4G63 engine.

Since this car is destined only to go fast in a straight line, a set of GAB Prosso coilovers and Cusco carbon fibre strut bars at the front and rear are all the handling this monster Evo needs. Additionally, a full FIA-spec rollcage gives the chassis a little more rigidity while increasing occupant safety.

Possibly the scariest part about drag racing is having to stop as quickly as you can after crossing the finish line. To avoid a situation where the car and driver would become a part of the scenery, a set of Endless brakes were fitted; 6-piston calipers bite down on345mm rotors on the front and 4-piston calipers bite down on 332mm rotors at the rear. A drag parachute from Simpson is also fitted on the back of the car to help with the speed retardation.

Inside, the interior has been stripped of the coveted TME Recaro seats as well as most of the plastic paneling. The seats have been replaced with a lone Recaro SPG seat and the dashboard has been gutted and replaced with a Moroso switch panel. Specially made carbon fibre panels also fill up the air-con vents and where the factory fitted switched would have been to serve as a mounting point for the HKS EVC5 boost controller and the ARK MFD display unit. Finally, Defi gauges and a monster sized Auto Meter Sport Comp tachometer keep the driver informed of the engine’s vitals.

On the outside, the Evo has lost its GT wing and massive canards. Now fastened securely to the carbon fibre trunk from Monster Sport is a custom made drag wing made out of aluminium. Drag wings are designed to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible without creating too much drag, while providing some semblance of stability for the car. Other exterior mods include the Ganador mirrors and the side skirts extensions.

Cliff’s Evo has come a long way from it’s days as a pristine show car fitted with highly coveted JDM performance parts. Stripped down and beefed up his Evo may no longer be street legal, but at least he can proudly say that he holds the keys to a 1000bhp Evo 6.

Hyperfacts!
Car: CP9A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI
Engine: 4G63T 2-litre, 4-cylinder, DOHC turbocharged
Engine modifications: HKS Kansai 2.2-litre stroker kit, HKS Kansai cylinder head, HKS 1.5mm metal headgasket, HKS adjustable cam pulleys, HKS timing belt, GReddy transparent cam pulley cover, 3 x Bosch fuel pump, 2 x surge tanks, Tomei fuel pressure regulator, SARD fuel rail, SARD 1000cc injectors, 90mm billet throttle body, HKS Kansai intake manifold, MSD plug cables, MSD ignition coils, MSD DIS-2 ignition controller, Borg Warner hybrid turbocharger, ARC intercooler, wet-shot nitrous oxide kit, TiAL wastegate, custom made exhaust manifold, ARC aluminium radiator, ARC bubble tank, custom made oil catch tank, ARC oil cooler, silicone hoses and steel braided hoses
Transmission: 5-speed manual with close ratios, ARC transmission cooler
Suspension/Chassis: GAB Prosso adjustable coilovers, Cusco carbon fibre strut bar (front & rear)
Brakes: Endless 6-piston calipers & Endless 345mm rotors (front), Endless 4-piston calipers & Endless 332mm rotors (rear), Endless brake pads, Simpson parachute
Wheels & Tyres: 17 inch Volk Racing TE37 wheels, 235/45R17 Toyo R1-R tyres
Electronics: HKS F-Con V-Pro ECU, Defi gauges, ARK MFD (Multi Function Display), HKS EVC 5 boost controller, Auto Meter Sport Comp tachometer
Interior: Recaro SPG bucket seat, OMP steering wheel, Ralliart gearknob, Moroso switch panel, FIA-spec roll cage
Exterior: Custom drag-style wing, Ganador mirrors, side skirt add-ons, Monster Sport carbon fibre trunk
Tuner: Podium Auto Gallery, Toon Engine Shop (Thailand), Torque Gear