Car culture is something that may be difficult to fathom, but once you are an enthusiast only then can you truly understand what it is all about. To normal folk these things are simply associated as machines, but to a gearhead a car can be an object which brings joy and purpose in life.
Rodrigo G. Pino (known to friends as Digo) contacted us via facebook and when we heard about his Evo IX we immediately knew that we had found our next cover car. There are probably a handful of people who are as enthusiastic as Rodrigo who are willing to fly over to another state (the Evo was in Florida) to pick up a car and drive a good 30+ hours back home (more common in the states I suppose, not so in Malaysia). But hey, if I had the opportunity to take an epic road trip on full boost I’d happily drop everything and go for it too. Makes for a great story if anything.
Rodrigo has owned this Evo since the February of 2009 and it has been through several changes since then. At this stage this is what it has.
The 4G63 motor owes a lot of its parts to AMS, starting with an AMS 57 Trim Turbo Kit, which goes together with the AMS Full Turbo Back Exhaust, and AMS Race Front Mount Intercooler (FMIC) with intercooler pipes. Air is fed through a custom-made short ram air intake with a K&N air filter, and into an AMS VSR Intake Manifold. GSC S1 camshafts can be found inside the head to better suit the engine’s performance.
The fuel that feeds the engine comes from an elaborate fuel system setup by AMS. It consists of an AMS Fuel Rail with AMS PTE 1000cc Injectors, a Walbro 255 lph Fuel Pump and a Bosch 044 In line Fuel Pump to deliver the fuel, and an Aeromotive A1000 Fuel Pressure Regulator. An AEM Engine Management System (EMS) is used to control the engine’s performance and has been tuned by good friend, Jordan Schreyer to bring out 500 bhp from the Evo on E85 fuel.
Now 500 bhp sounds ideal for a street-going Evo, but its 6-Speed gearbox would need some upgrades to cope with it. Rodrigo contacted Jacks Transmissions for their Stage 1 Transmission Kit, which is able to cope with 650whp reliably. The gearbox is also upgraded with an Exedy Triple Disc Stage 5/6 Cerametallic Race Clutch, and an Authority Short Shifter.
Rodrigo’s Evo runs on Megan Racing Damper Kit Track Series, a name familiar to those of you who follow the Formula D series. The team that participates in a professional drift series are certainly the go-to guys for a suspension setup. For the chassis, the Evo gets a CUSCO Front Upper Strut Bar and a CUSCO Front Power Brace.
Getting grip for all four wheels comes courtesy of Federal RS-R 595 Semi Slick Tyres, which wraps around 18×10 Work Emotion XD9 Wheels In Gunmetal Finish. The Evo still maintains its stock Brembo brakes, but Rodrigo got his calipers custom painted and specially dedicated to his “not so lil” daughter, Aubree Lu.
The Evo’s exterior is about as boisterous, giving off a street-time-attack vibe. As the list goes, it has (deep breath) a: Version Select 2 Front Bumper, Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Side Skirt Extensions, Rexpeed Rear Carbon Fiber Bumper Extensions, Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Hood Dampers, Titek Carbon Fiber Burn Shield, APR GTC 300 Carbon Fiber Performance Spoiler, EVODAVE Wide Mod Front Fenders, Smoked Front and Back Side-Markers, SEIBON OEM Kevlar Carbon Fiber Hood, and various parts from the JDM model. In contrast the interior is pretty mild, consisting of a Sparco steering wheel, Sparco competition quick release, TAKATA 4-point harnesses, and a set of Swoosh Smoky Stepper Gauges.
Rodrigo is far from finished with the Evo, but as for what comes next we will have to wait and see. For now he happy with his ride and enjoys every moment with it. In his own words, Rodrigo would like to give a shout-out to “our crew L:E (Lowered Expectations), it has been an awesome experience with those cool peeps. I cant give enough thanks to GOD, my better half Stephanie and my not so lil Aubree Lu, family, friends and everyone else that gets involved with this type of lifestyle I got (you know who you are). Also HUGE!!!!! thanks to Soo Dak (run by the talented Jaren Timmer) for his assistance, to Jamie Prescott at Touge Factory (www.tf-works.com), the FOTOmotive family (www.fotomotivesd.com) and of course you guys for letting me share this with you. I’m honored guys.”
Thank you too, Rodrigo. Peace and love.
Hyperfacts! Car: 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 GSR Engine: 4G63 2.0-Liter DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Turbocharged, AMS 57 Trim Turbo Kit, AMS Full Turbo Back Exhaust, AMS Race FMIC, AMS Upper and Lower Intercooler Pipes, AMS VSR Intake Manifold, GSC S1 Camshafts, Tial 38mm Waste Gate, Speed Source Under-Hood Stiff Bushings, Poly Stiff Base Bushings, ARP Head Studs, Spoolin Up Coil COP Kit, MITSUBISHI RALLIART Carbon Fiber Billet Oil Cap, TIAL 50mm BOV, APR Cooling Plate, Short Ram Air Intake w/ K&N Air Filter (Custom Made), Hallman Manual Boost Controller, Samco Radiator Hoses, Mishimoto Racing Thermostat, Oil Breather System (Custom Made), AMS Fuel Rail, AMS PTE 1000cc Injectors, Walbro 255 lph Fuel Pump, Bosch 044 In line Fuel Pump, Aeromotive A1000 Fuel Pressure Regulator Electronics: AEM EMS, AEM Wideband Gauge, Swoosh Smoky Stepper Gauges (Oil Temp, Water Temp, EGT, Voltmeter, Turbo Boost, Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure), AGM Top Battery (relocated in trunk), Tuned By Jordan Schreyer At MAP Transmission: 6-Speed Manual, Authority Short Shifter w/ AMS Delrin Shift Knob, Exedy Triple Disc Stage 5/6 Cerametallic Race Clutch, Stage 1 Transmission by Jacks Transmissions Chassis & Handling: Megan Racing Damper Kit Track Series, CUSCO Front Upper Strut Bar, CUSCO Front Power Brace Brakes: Stock Brembo Brakes, Custom Painted Calipers Dedicated To Aubree Lu Wheels & Tyres: 18×10 Work Emotion XD9 Wheels In Gunmetal Finish, Federal RS-R 595 Semi Slick Tyres, ARP Extended Wheel Studs, Muteki SR48 Black Open Ended Lug Nut Kit Interior: Sparco L777 Piuma Leather Steering Wheel, Splash Wheel Hub, Sparco Competition Quick Release, TAKATA MPH Series 4-Point Harnesses Exterior: Version Select 2 Front Bumper, Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Side Skirt Extensions, Rexpeed Rear Carbon Fiber Bumper Extensions, Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Hood Dampers, Titek Carbon Fiber Burn Shield, APR GTC 300 Carbon Fiber Performance Spoiler, EVODAVE Wide Mod Front Fenders, Smoked Front and Back Side-Markers, SEIBON OEM Kevlar Carbon Fiber Hood, Perrin Shorty Antenna, JDM Vortex Roof Generator, JDM Headlight Eyelids, JDM MR Taillights, JDM Window Shields, JDM Rear Window Visor, Custom LED Modification in Headlights, Kaixen 6000K HID Lights, Nokya High Beam Bulbs (yellow)
Words: Sean Eu
Photos: Jaren Timmer (Soo Dak Productions)