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High Carbon Diet

It’s easy to appreciate such a sexy, taut and power packed feature seen here. Mind you, i’m not even talking about hannah t, although she does manage to overshadow the Lancer Evolution seen here with those same qualities. Not that it was done on purpose but if we really need to have something or someone that can overwhelm a 330+hp beast, it might as well be her. Don’t you think so?

At what point should car manufacturers deem themselves as too good for imitating a rival? I for one find it funny that even with all the success that Mitsubishi has enjoyed through their Lancer Evolution series, only Subaru has kept up with the technological marvel regarding the mesh of four wheel drive all-around traction and everyday usability. Never mind the fact that that particular car probably has saved the manufacturer’ coffers (and image) more than a few times after posting less than expected sales for fiscal 2006. Not to say that the Evo proved to be their best seller but as a flagship car and technological showcase, almost nothing beats the turbocharged Lancer in cementing their capabilities.

No other sedans come close when talking about pure unadulterated performance in a four-door package that is priced the way it is. It’s like buying a Nokia Communicator that actually comes packed with Sony PSP. Or Microsoft Word that helps to finish all your articles. It’s the stuffs of dreams folks; only in Mitsubishi’s case, they’ve made it available for more than a decade.

Which explains why everyone has one. Well, not exactly everyone, but most guys and ladies that i know of does wish for one. The fact that last month’s HKS CT230R cover story was also an Evolution sort of justifies this claim, not to mention the other five dozen times it was featured in Hypertune. Speaking of last month’s cover car, i’ll be the first to admit that we, and probably including any other publication for that matter, will have a hard time in doing better than that. After all, that car was fitted with a lot of parts that is still under development. For a more reachable goal, Evolution owners or generally those who has deep lust for properly tuned cars can have this feature as a comparison.

Truth be told, i am quite impressed how this car looks menacingly beefed up to portray exactly how much power it whips out at the crank. Although many still consider the III to V variants as the ones that are built toughest, the VII still has more horsepower with the VIII putting out more. If that is not enough, you really should hear the noise it makes. If pent up anger only has a single specific sound, that should be it.

We actually spotted this car at Skyzone garage which happens to be located just a few doors away from the Hypertune office. This particular Evo 7 actually has a more colorful history as i was told. It has done more than a few laps at Sepang being the owner’s weapon of choice in his few excursion to circuit. It must be said though that he is not a serious track enthusiast and uses this ride as a casual everyday driver. Based on the provided dyno charts, i guess you would have come to the same conclusion. I mean, 336 horsepower is not exactly a fear inducing figure at Sepang. But there is more to it than i first thought.

While Skyzone pretty much shoulders the responsibility to keep the car in check these days, the building and tuning process was actually done in another world so to speak. The owner actually took the liberty of taking this Evo 7 all the way to Thailand and had it beefed up there, most probably because of the level of tuning expertise those crazy Thais have been known to demonstrate over the years. Not to put any of the local boys down but we do have to admit that when talking about crazy mechanical modifications, those guys have been doing it right with great consistency.

For that matter, the car originally had an output of more than 400 horsepower credit to the original tuners but after some time and some tinkering, it has dropped to the number mentioned before. But considering that it is not meant for competitive use, the situation has not bothered the owner much. In fact, it makes it more hospitable for town driving.

The turbocharged 4G63 has received some very careful upgrades to find that delicate balance of performance and drivability. The drive bay itself is quite blunt in hinting of the power it has, proving that the ridiculously aggressive exterior is in line with the car’s true character. Even the usually ominous air filter looks discrete over here, with the HKS Super Power Flow element almost overwhelmed by the rest of the carbon fiber rich engine bay. The massive gulps of air it inhales is further complemented by a racing suction kit from HKS.

From there on, the charged air, by now more dense thanks to the compressor is mixed with a fine combination of petrol. The Sard fuel regulator ensures a steady constant feed flows from the Walbro 255 fuel pump into the HKS 680cc injectors. Frankly speaking, i expected a larger capacity fuel injector and this is definitely a factor to look into if the full potential of the engine set-up wants to be exploited. In any case, high performance Super Fire racing spark plugs welcomes the AF mixture into the combustion chamber with a bang.

There is also a boost in this aspect in the form of an X-Power unit from Japan based Sun Auto. According to Skyzone’s owner, this contraption helps by maintaining constant and maximum spark when at high revs. Since the manic high speed vertical motion of the pistons might cause for slight deviation in spark occurrence, the X-Power keeps everything in control and even contributes to a (very) slight increase in power. Not to forget, little factors such as this also help in prolonging engine life.

Short of using a stroker kit, this Evolution 7 has received quite a boost for the internal parts. Starting it off is the use of piston upgrade kit consisting of slightly larger and forged HKS pistons in each of the four cylinders which includes the rings as well. By now you must have realised that this cover car packs a lot of aftermarket parts from HKS but this has nothing to do with sponsorship or anything, like that. But like the saying goes, if you want to do something, might as well do it right- and choosing a reputable name such as HKS does save you a lot of headache on wondering whether the individual parts will last or work as claimed.

Even the valve springs are from HKS now. But what intrigued me most was the inclusion of aftermarket valve guides. To tell you the truth, i’ve rarely seen it being performed, and that includes fully track prepped rides. The valve’s timing have been modified through the use of 272 degrees cams from HKS and this was certainly noticeable when the car first appeared at Paintshield Asia Pacific’s business premises in Glenmarie. Although the engine had very little trouble during idle thanks to the F-Con V Pro, it still required just a few kick during low engine speed as ‘favored’ by high cams. This is one of those cars that demands attention just from the sound alone.

That camshaft is further governed by the HKS adjustable and lightened crank pulley set to make calibrating easier as well as doing away with some weight for better response. The original gasket has been replaced with a metal HKS unit measuring a tough 1.2mm.

The turbocharger of course has other demands that needs to be met and this includes management and cooling. For the first issue, a HKS Racing Type II blow-off valve ensures of better turbine life since the pressurized exhaust gasses can also cause trouble just as much as it create excitement. Earlier on the turbo gas flow, the wastegate is helped with Jun actuators. For the cooling requirements, the charged air is made denser thanks to the intercooler complemented with HKS piping kit while the engine oil temperature is kept at respectable levels with an aftermarket oil cooler from the same manufacturer. Interestingly, an oil thermostat switch is also incorporated giving the driver the option of choosing when the oil pump actually directs hot fluids back through the cooler.

For general engine cooling, that task is taken care by a thick tri-core aluminum radiator from Koyo and every joint is connected using Samco hoses. As for the exhaust flow, considerable changes have given this ride a totally different character in terms of noise generated. The custom fabricated extractor serves perfectly well for the turbocharger and the HKS muffler, dishing out an eerie low rumble suitable for the look it gives out. The same muffler gets an added boost in making it more prominent by the fitted bumper heat protector from Ralliart.

Since this Evolution is the seventh variant, of course it comes with the five-gear gearbox that is supposedly fuzzy logic equipped. Whatever that means, it still means that highway cruising may not be the car’s forte but it comes with other benefits. In any case, the gearbox has been improved using the HKS GD Max clutch mated to an imported oversized clutch pump. Even the minor details have not been left unattended, with Redline’s racing gear oil and original MMC Active Yaw Control fluids keeping the mechanism neat.

No shortcuts were taken when it came to the braking system with awesome 6-pot AP Racing calipers dropping anchor at the front while the rear features 4-pot variants. These are further aided by high performance rotors by AP Racing and Project µ for front and rear respectively. Such is the reputation of these brakes that even the Skyline GT-R Nismo alloys used here can’t hide their convincing presence. Falken Azenis 265/45/18 rubbers provide contact and traction to the tarmac. These impressive equipment rests on equally capable Tein monoflex dampers for handling improvement and the lowering effect.

I’ve always had this thing against the Evolution when it comes to differentiating between each variants. This issue is even more apparent for versions 7 and so on. This car here makes it worse, since it hardly tells which variant it originally is. Extensive use of bodykit has rendered what type it is as redundant especially when it is simply this gorgeous. Varis products are prominent with the famed body styling manufacturer’s kit used all around the car. This includes front grille and Hyper canards. The high carbon diet of this car is glorious with that stunning bonnet matching well with the Varis dry carbon radiator cooling plate that extends to the front grille. Even the fenders are carbon fiber although it has been concealed over a layer of paint that is in unison to the rest of the frame.

An Evolution 9 bumper is used at the rear, as proven by the sleek lower diffuser. CF again makes a presence with a Varis bonnet and in my book, one of the best looking GT wing by any manufacturer. Of course, that wing support base made of the same lightweight material contributes significantly to its lip smacking good looks. A vortex generator makes up for the final addition to the cars rear exterior. Open up the trunk and there’s quite a bit of additional chassis strengthening effort in there for less body flex. If that’s not enough, a room bar across the passenger area floor helps out whenever needed.

While some cars are put high up on an imaginary mantle because of more romantic reasons, the Lancer Evolution is there because of pure lust alone. There is no point in denying the presence it has even in stock standard form. The car featured here is in another class of its own. A commendable power delivery is boosted by massive weight saving measures through lightweight carbon fiber additions. This is one car i would hate seeing in my rear view mirror, even though it probably won’t stay there long.


4G63T, HKS Super Power Flow air filter, HKS Racing suction kit, HKS intercooler piping kit, HKS oil cooler, Samco radiator hose, Koyo tri-core aluminum radiator, HKS 1.2mm metal gasket, JUN actuators, HKS camshaft 272°, HKS lightened cam pulley, Strengthened valve guide, HKS piston upgrade kit, HKS valve spring, HKS Racing Type II blow off valve, Walbro 255 fuel pump, Sard fuel regulator, HKS 680cc injector, HKS fuel delivery kit, HKS Super Fire Racing spark plug, HKS oil thermostat switch, Custom extractor, HKS Hi Power muffler, Sun Auto X-Power

HKS F-Con V Pro, GReddy boost controller

5-speed manual, HKS GD Max clutch, Oversized clutch pump, Redline racing gear oil, MMC AYC liquid

Tein Monoflex damper

Front: AP Racing 6-pot calipers, AP Racing rotors
Rear: AP Racing 4-pot calipers, Project µ rotors

Skyline GT-R Nismo alloys, Falken Azenis 265/45/18 tires

Varis front grille, Varis Hyper CF canards, Varis dry carbon radiator cooling plate, Varis CF bonnet, Varis Aero GT CF fender, Varis CF GT-wing & support base, Varis CF trunk, Evo IX bumper, CF vortex generator, Ralliart exhaust heat protector

Ralliart meter cluster, Blitz boost meter, Defi link display, Varis CF shift knob

Max. Power: 336hp / 6778rpm
Max. Torque: 428Nm / 4308hp

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