The Lancer coupe has been a success story for Mitsubishi Australia. The pretty two-door is a popular ride to modify and second-hand prices remain very strong – indicative of the high demand. But Mitsubishi left one aspect of the Lancer coupe a little under-cooked. Performance.
Thankfully, there’s a logical solution to the problem – a conversion to Evo power!
This beautifully detailed Lancer coupe is owned by Sydneysider, Michael Vettas. The car was never intended to be the recipient of so much hard work (and so much hard cash!), but when the stock Lancer was vandalised, it was the perfect opportunity to drape the panels in a glamorous colour. The new paint was the first in a comprehensive list of modifications. The colour is based on Audi A3 gold with dashes of pearl and a few other secret tweaks - it’s one of those colours that completely changes character in different light conditions. The ‘CIDER’ number plates reflect the bright sparkle the car has in direct sunlight. Look closely and you’ll also notice the shaved boot lock and deleted aerial.
The body is nestled a coupe of inches lower than a standard Mitsu product thanks to King springs on adjustable coil-overs and you’ll find K-Mac swaybars and a front strut brace. Grip and bling are simultaneously given a boost by Nankang 225/35 tyres inflated onto 18 inch Zepter alloys. Look through those polished spokes and you’ll see Mitsubishi Galant VR4 two-pot front brakes.
About now you’ve probably noticed a couple of eye-catching features that we haven’t mentioned – the Evo 4 bonnet and modified Evo front bar. And yes, there are good reasons for these. There’s an Evo 4G63 Turbo beneath that vented bonnet.
The conversion to Evo 4 power was performed several years ago by BD4s. At the time, the Evo engine and ‘box weren’t available for today’s bargain prices so Michael was forced to pay a tidy sum of money to get his hands on one. The conversion into the coupe was relatively straightforward using standard engine management and a drop-in Evo fuel pump. The standard Evo gearbox had its rear-drive section removed for fitment into the front-wheel-drive coupe. The clutch remains standard.
With 206kW available in factory guise, there’s not much need for extra grunt – but that you shall find. The air intake is free’d up using a HKS pod filter (with under-bonnet heat shielding) and Liverpool Exhaust whipped up a high-flow exhaust using 3 inch diameter pipe. A HKS Hyper muffler gives it a killer sound. Cooling the boosted air from the standard Evo turbocharger is a Plazmaman front-mount intercooler which is gold anodised to match the body colour - the front bumper has been extensively modified to accept the huge core. A HKS blow-off valve is the only other non-standard under-bonnet item.
The car’s show potential was brought out when the basic Mitsubishi interior was stripped and restarted from scratch. Yellow/cream leather has been applied to the door trims, the centre console, gear shift boot, the rear seat and newly installed Recaro SR fronts. Matching carpet and roof-lining help give the cabin an integrated feel. Also prominent are the Momo Race steering wheel, aluminium shift knob and the immense sound system.
Ahh, yes, the sound system...
Michael enjoys quality sounds as evident by the truly head-kicking sound system crammed into his coupe. At the front of the system is a JVC single DIN CD/tuner feeding an AudioControl EQ and Bass Booster, and two monster Orion amplifiers. In-cabin speakers include Boston Pro splits in the front and 6 inch Boston rear ‘fills’ while the boot contains a trio of 12W6 JL Audio subs. The entire boot has been professionally trimmed by Bathurst Livewire Car Sound and those three subs can be viewed through a trick Perspex enclosure. Also in the boot is a Streetwires capacitor.
One thing you might notice absent is a DVD screen. This is a pointer that the car was built a few years ago (in 1999) and only recently has it returned to the road after being defected. Amazingly, Michael has driven only 1000 – 1500km with the new motor in the past seven years – talk about frustration! But, now that everything is back on-track, Michael plans to rebuild the engine with all the good bits in preparation for a big power-up.
Times change; it’s no longer enough merely to have tweaked Evo power...
BD4s Service Centre +61 2 9879 3322