Feature: Raymond Leung’s 2008 Mitsubishi EVO X

Simple Physics

Raymond Leung’s 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X

Words: Mark Waterman
Photos:  Ginash George (Synth19 Photo)

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Force = Mass x Acceleration, or F=m*a.  It’s the most basic formula in physics, and with a little rearranging, you can determine the acceleration of an object by dividing applied forces by the object’s mass, resulting in a=F/m.  So in order to increase the acceleration of an object, such as an automobile, you need to either increase the force from the motor or reduce its mass or you can select to do both.  Automotive companies usually use weight reduction in addition increasing power to go racing. However, as seen in cars of the 1960s it works just as well to take a small car and shove the biggest motor available under the hood, and boom!  You have a performance model.  The Pontiac GTO is a prime example of this.  Nearly all automotive makers have done this at some point, but few have had garnered the world wide love and devotion of Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution.  In the current generation, a base Lancer makes 148hp from a 2.0L motor.  The fire breathing cousin that is the Evolution X however, eats the road with 291hp and 300 lb*ft of torque to all four wheels.

Most people who are interested in a manufacturer’s souped up model care less about how much power the car makes when it comes off the show room floor, but rather how much potential the motor has.  Today’s lesson in physics is provided to us by Raymond Leung, the owner of this 2008 Wicked White X.  The Evo became an object of forbidden desire for Ray after seeing the movie Legend of Speed in the late 90’s where an Evo 5 was the highlight of the movie.  But as with most automotive enthusiasts, he had to wait for three grueling generations before Mitsubishi saw fit to bless the United States with the Evolution’s presence.  Sadly, along with the different performance changes, the styling changed as well and the Evo VIII was not to Ray’s liking.  In 2007, while trying to decide what car to purchase after graduating college, he briefly toyed with the idea of jumping from the Mitsubishi camp to the new WRX STi, but again the styling was off putting.  They say that good things come to those who wait and with the introduction of the tenth variation of the Evolution, Ray found the car he had been dreaming about.  Within a month of graduating in May 2008 he was the proud owner of his showroom fresh dream.

The first goal with the new Evo was to pay it off as soon as possible, and with most of his extra income going towards that, it left little for modifications. Once the car was paid off, what little money he had left was spent on an aftermarket exhaust system.  With the desire to gain some extra power and small increase in sound, an HKS Hi Power catback exhaust system was installed.

Unfortunately, instead of a slight noise increase, Ray got what sounded like a full race exhaust bombing down the street.  While he admits he got compliments for sounding badass, it wasn’t what Ray desired. Ray realized that if he were to do this right, the car has to be tame yet exciting and visually impactful for the community of X drivers that he was now situated in.  With such a new Evo platform (CZ4A) chassis and a new all aluminum block engine, (4B11T) new parts are being developed at a snail’s pace. But Ray wanted to be the first on top of everything that’ll showcase the possibilities with the X.  To start out his modding bug, he went in search of the EvolutionM forum to find a vendor that’ll help replace his loud exhaust with something more subtle. While searching the EvolutionM forum, Ray found a local company that had a Greddy Spectrum Elite exhaust in stock and for the best price.  The trip to pick the part up the shop was one that would entirely alter his plans for the Evo.

Giving the car its aggressive look and ability to slice corners with surgical precision are Stance GR+ 2-way coilovers, and Cusco front and rear strut bars.  A roll center alignment kit from Whiteline keeps Ray’s steering geometry leveled with the slammed height.  All of this rides on a set of 19”x 10.5” Advan RG-Ds with a +25 offset shod on Hankook 275/30/19 V12 Evo tires.  The wheels are painted gold giving the classic JDM white and gold color combination.  Ray decided to go with a lipped wheel to make his car stand out even more from more conventionally modded Evolutions.  With the +25 offset, the front wheels were just a touch sunk in for Ray’s liking, so some Ichiba 5mm spacers were installed to give the flush look that was desired.  To finish with the fresh styling cue is a splash of JDM style pin striping and your typical fare of subtly placed automotive vinyl.

On the power adding side of things, an AMS polished intake matched with an Apexi filter draw the air into the stock turbo’s compressor housing.  Getting the burned gasses away from the turbo on the exhaust side are an Ichiba test pipe mated to the Touge Factory’s super lightweight twin tip cat-back exhaust system that weighs in at a feather light 14.6 pounds.  Allowing the ECU to make the best of these breather mods is a Cobb Access Port stage 2 tune.  If this combination of parts were put on a dyno, they should generate in the neighborhood of 300 to 315 WHP.  Since this car is not a high horsepower dyno queen, the power is more than adequate for Ray’s desires.  Under the hood, some dress-up items were applied to enhance its appearance.  More carbon fiber goodies are found including a Titek radiator shroud, Rexspeed exhaust heat shield and a YR-Advance intake scoop.  Some titanium upper intercooler piping sourced from Togue Factory,and a red engine cover from Coltspeed finish the engine bay eye candy.

With the outside of the car looking like it is ready to turn hot laps, and some extra power to back up those looks, the inside was updated to keep with the track theme.  To keep tabs on the engine vitals a boost gauge, oil pressure gauge, and water temperature gauge from Apexi were installed on the center dash.  Watching the critical air and fuel ratio is an Innovate LC-1 connected to a Greddy Informeter Touch display.  Keeping Ray’s butt in a stable position in the curves is a pair of Recaro Pole Position seats that weigh in at a mere 15.4 lbs which sit on Buddy Club rails. Takata 4-point harnesses ensure that Ray’s butt doesn’t involuntarily leave the seats.  The stock steering wheel has been dumped in favor of a 350mm Nardi Personal Trophy wheel connected to a NRG quick release and Works Bell short hub.  Being that this Evo is equipped with a clutch, the shifting has been upgraded for nicer, cleaner shifts. Heal-toeing is upgraded with a set of Ralliart Titanium pedals with grip padding on the surface.  A TWM Performance short shifter allows Ray to row his own and a Varis SPL 2010 Maziora phase shift knob made of, you guessed it, carbon fiber that has been painted allow the shifting to be done comfortably and stylish.  A shift boot from Bride brings the shifter assembly all together.

Like most projects, this Evo is far from complete.  Satisfaction comes a long way as Ray has went through his 3rd intake system, 2nd Upper Intercooler pipe, 3rd exhaust system, 2nd set of rims, 2nd set of coilovers, 5th shift knob, 3 blowoff valves, 2nd spoiler, and the list continues on and on as the car is being modded. Currently the car mostly does road and show duties, but Ray is looking to get some track time under his belt by next year. He certainly has the parts for it.  Being added to the car are a set of 18×10 Advan T7 wheels in dark metallic silver, and a set of Bride Stradia carbon fiber-Kevlar seats.  Other carbon fiber goodies that are ready to be installed are a set of hood vents, fender vents, and bumper garnishes, all from the Touge Factory.  In the future he hopes to acquire an Esprit 052 GT wing and Varis rear diffuser for aerodynamics, a FP Red turbo setup for some extra power, and some Bride interior trim to match the seats and shift boot.  Ray admits that all the work transforming his car to its current track-ready state could not have been done without the help and support of Grip Union, Jason from Bulletproof Automotive, Morris taking care of the graphics, Proper+ shop and Mike and Dave from the Touge Factory who put him on the path that Ray follows today.  With the application of high-quality, lightweight parts, and the extra power from the breathing mods, Ray has been able to successfully apply the F=m*a formula for extra speed in a way that would make Sir Isaac Newton proud.


Mod List:

Advan RG-D 19×10.5 +25 with Hankook 275/30 V12 tires
Ichiba 5mm spacer installed up front
Kics R40 Neo Chrome Lugs
Stance GR+ 2-Way coilover
Cusco front and rear Strut Bar
Whiteline Roll Center Alignment Kit
Racing Brakes ET-500 brake pads
Stainless Steel brake line upgrade
RBF 600 Motul DOT 4 brake fluid
AMSOIL MTG 75W90 tranny fluid
YR-Advance intake scoop
Seibon VR-Style Carbon Fiber Lip
Varis Side Skirts
Varis Euro Spec Wing 1430mm with 295mm stands
Craftsquare TC-F Side Mirrors
Coltspeed Red Engine Cover
Touge Factory Titanium UICP
Touge Factory Twin Tip Catback Exhaust System 14.6 lbs
Touge Factory Carbon Fiber Twin Canards
APR Carbon Fiber Vortex Generator
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Hood Scoop
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Exhaust Heat Shield
Titek Carbon Fiber radiator shroud
Version Select Evo 9 Rear Diffuser
Seibon VR-Style Carbon Fiber lip painted half white on top
HKS oil cap
Ichiba Test Pipe
AMS Polish Intake
Apexi air filter
Cobb Access Port Stage 2 tune
Apexi Boost Gauge
Apexi Oil Pressure Gauge
Apexi Water Temperature Gauge
Innovate LC-1 direct connected to Greddy Informeter for A/F read out
Greddy Informeter Touch
Varis SPL 2010 Maziora painted phase shift carbon fiber shift knob
TWM Performance Short Shifter
Bride Shift Boot
AMS Under the hood Solid cable bushing
WORKS Urethane console bushings
Broadway Rear View Mirror
(2) Recaro Pole Positions
Buddy Club seat rails
Takata 4-Point Harness with Takata Gel pads
Ralliart Titanium Pedals
Nardi Personal Trophy 350mm steering wheel
Works Bell short hub
NRG Quick release 2.0
Advan T7 Dark Metallic Silver 18×10 +15  <—- Track Rims

Parts that are still coming in awaiting install:
(2) Bride Stradia seats with Carbon Fiber Kevlar Back
Touge Factory Carbon Fiber Hood Vents  <— to be installed
Touge Factory Carbon Fiber Bumper Garnish <— to be installed
Touge Factory Carbon Fiber Fender Vents <— to be installed

Future Parts:
Eprit 052 GT Wing
Varis Rear Diffuser
FP Red Turbo
Bride interior trim

High Res Gallery:



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