Black Thunder: Mitsubishi Evo X Build
As lifelong car enthusiasts, my partner and I needed something we would both enjoy on a daily basis and complement our weekender. My name is Ashlee, and this Mitsubishi Evo X that I share with my partner Sharni perfectly complements our Evolution VI.
The last of the Evolutions were designed to be easier to drive, equipped with a Twin Clutch Sport Shift Transmission that eliminated the clutch and manual gearbox. It also featured a brand new engine codenamed 4B11, ending nine generations of the previous 4G63 engine. Based off the current generation of the CJ Lancer chassis, the CZ4A received the same treatment as the previous Evolutions.
That meant pumped out, vented guards to fit extra wide wheels and a massive rear wing on the boot. More vents adorned the front bar and the bonnet. The rear bumper has a massive diffuser built in, with stock twin tail exhausts for an aggressive look.
The dynamics of the Evo X are fantastic; the Super-All Wheel Control 2 system putting every horsepower from the turbo engine to good use. It’s not lacking in the stopping department too, with the Brembo brake calipers clamping down on huge two piece brake rotors up front. Inside, the factory Recaros are incredibly comfortable, yet hug you when cornering hard. It’s one of my favourite things about the Evo X.
Buying the Evolution two years ago seems like yesterday. As car nuts, we had the standard, stock car for about two weeks before we set about buying coilovers and wheels for it. Out came the very capable stock suspension for even better brand new BC coilovers. As for wheels, we found Gramlights Xtreme in 18x9.5in sizes for a really good price, and it even came with tyres!
With the basic mods sorted, we drove the Evo X around as is for about a year before we felt it was time for more power. First, the stock wastegate actuator was replaced with a higher rated one to take more boost pressure. Then, a high quality Hypertune exhaust manifold was ordered to increase flow for the turbo. As the stock intercooler is still pretty good, we replaced the original pipes with a Plazmaman piping kit that feeds it more air while looking good in the engine bay whilethe stock air intake was swapped out for a K&N cold air intake kit.
The twin tailpipe exhaust was replaced with a custom titanium single exit pipe, which saves on weight and sounds wicked. We then had it taken to Benchmark Solutions in Newcastle for a tune, and it came back with a staunch 210kW at all four wheels, with 450Nm of torque! It makes the 4B11 sing, crackle and pop like crazy.
Equipped with newfound power, the fantastic, legendary AWD of the Evo X wasn’t keeping it up for some reason. It was cutting power, or get all confused when trying to put all the torque down exiting out of corners. It seemed like the tyres had had it. Even though there was still plenty of tread on them, the compound wasn’t grippy enough to deal with the Evo X’s capabilities.
A good mate who owns a tyre shop recommended the Bridgestone Potenza RE003s when I asked him for advice for an affordable, long lasting tyre that will suit the power upped Evo. At first I was sceptical, as I thought I’d have to purchase a motorsport style tyre to suit the Evolution, but once the RE003s were fitted, my perceptions changed. Right from the get go the Evo X cornered on rails. It was a completely different experience compared to the previous tyres.
My confidence grew as more and more mileage passed under the tyres. Throwing the Evo X at corners and full blasting out of them was fun again, thanks to the RE003’s amazing ability to hook up to the tarmac in nearly any condition. Despite me or my partner abusing them to street legal limits, the tread holds up beautifully too. I can tell that the RE003s will last the Evo X awhile!
As a daily driver, the Evo X may not have been the right choice, but it’s a fun one. There are no future plans for the moment, as I try to dedicate most of my time and money to the project car instead of the daily. However I might be tempted to take it out for a track day, just to see how the Potenza RE003s fare…
For more information on the Bridgestone Potenza Adrenalin RE003, click here
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