Spanning nearly a quarter of a century and a total of ten universally venerated generations, intertwined with the odd special and limited editions therein, the now discontinued sports compact legend – Mitsubishi Motors’ Lancer Evolution have become the de-facto yardstick for performance cars far beyond its class, its stellar dynamics and superlative chassis being reason enough for many of Japan’s world renowned tuning extraordinaire, and Time Attack specialists, to prefer the EVO above the rest.
Just take a quick look-see on that ever more indispensible multiple function handheld you’ve got gently squeezed in between your fidgety restless palms and you’d inevitably concur. Not only had HKS stayed true to the EVO over a number of Time Attack seasons, transmogrifying from one ‘primed for performance’ version of the Evo to the next, as in the successive Evo lineage thereafter – from Evo III, to the one after and the next and so on.
When you think about it when most of the major speed hungry players looked to the Evo as their default time attack platform, apparently dumping the rest of the JDM protagonists without so much as a courtesy farewell, the obvious nuances and reasoning involved invariably outlined a number of key rational therein: first up the most abundantly vivid plus point – its tuner friendly persona, perpetually receptive and adaptable the Evo has a natural disposition to receive anything from a mild tweak to a full on four figure power hike.
As for the main story right here the Evo VIII resides upon a rightful pedestal of best Lancer Evolution of all time, being ranked second only to the last in line Evo X for obvious reasons. It wasn’t by chance Mitsu Motors decided to cease production with the Evo X finale, as critiques and fans alike murmured nothing but awe and admiration of the tenth version superlative dynamism. While the VIII which possessed every quintessential hardware reengineered so sweetly in the X – an adjunct to a ‘declassified’ performance compact nirvana, it differs in a number of key essences, number one being its iconic pre millennium ‘raw as you like’ compact saloon looks.
In any case which Evo is deemed to be best matters not at this very juncture as this fluorescent glow in the dark example is an eighth, so it’d be best to keep this narrative on the Eighth yes? Of course observing the ‘if it aint’t broken why fix it’ principle, a subtly tweaked 4G63T continues to perform its forced inducted magic in the VIII; and while manufacturers hp quotes have become a joker card play of sorts among competing makes, the now famous JDM gentlemen’s agreement as per capping an agreed ‘under or thereabouts 300 ponies’ official output, they’d play it down like waaaaay down for the most part. The supposed official output remained at 280ps and approx 360Nm like that.
Yeah well since we are at the deep end of a perfunctory modified car magazine, stock figures have pretty much become null and void, pretty much detrimental to our eventual progression. I mean so such and such motor does such and such power, soon as such ride’s Hyper appearance is confirmed, an altogether higher, mightier and more glamorous presence would pretty much necessitates some measured increment therein. And if said increment were not at play, certain verbal justification would be forthcoming. Not that this mobile beacon of an Evo has any ‘misappropriated’ tech work to its name.
Appropriately enough the 4G63T in this here VIII were given a carefully researched list of aftermarket components covering all the critical power upping (and sapping sometimes) bits – from the stock turbo itself, to the manifold, the intakes, fuel delivery, cooling system, exhaust, the electronic brain, and then some, they’ve all had their OEM parts ditched in favor of their highly enhanced, speed focused aftermarket versions. The brands at play from Garrett to GReddy to HKS, Apexi, Cusco, Motec, are all indicative of the owner’s class and wisdom.
Thereafter the rest of this Lancer Evolution VIII adopts the familiar universally adopted pattern of ‘replacing the most critical parts only’ from the OEM clutch in the transmission (OS Giken twin plate clutch), handling (BC Racing suspension kit), and brakes (Dixcel rotors plus Endless pads).
The style personification though, that’s entirely another matter altogether. What was it they say ‘a done up ride is the embodiment of the owner’s personality?’ or something along those lines. In any case, the restyling quest right here while markedly at the owner’s behest, still maintains the classy premium vibe indicated by the premium brands at play: the bodywork had numerous Varis aero parts, Voltex and the requisite carbon fiber bits, while a mishmash of accessories and parts sprinkled about in the cabin kept it purposeful and ‘correct’.
Ditto the P1 Racing wheels and the Toyo PROXES.
Car: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
Engine Mods/Performance: Garrett A/R.70 M24 EC1, Greddy blow-off valve Type R, Tial wastegate, Tonnka manifold, S90 throttle body, Apexi air filter, Cusco oil catch tank, Works fuel pressure regulator, HKS fuel rail, HKS intercooler, HKS oil cooler, HKS exhaust w/ 3 inch pipes (custom), Motec M800 ECU, AVS Radiator
Transmission mods: OS Giken STR twin plate clutch
Handling mods: BC adjustable suspension
Brakes: EVO 8 brake caliper, Dixcel rotors, Endless brake pad
Wheels & Tyres: P1 racing wheels 17×8.5 front 17×9 rear; Toyo PROXES R888 235/45/17
Exterior: Varis Front Bumper, Varis Carbon fiber Air Duct, Varis Side Skirt, Voltex Carbon fiber Hood, Voltex Wide Fender, Voltex Rear Fender, Ralliart carbon fiber Side Mirror
Interior: EVO 8 dashboard and door trim, EVO 8 Recaro seat, EVO 8 Momo steering, Caro carpet, Defi ZD, Defi controller, HKS EVC, HKS turbo timer
ICE: Pioneer single DIN inside dashboard
Photos: Kenny Yeoh