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Mitsubishi’s EVO-VIII is arguably the hottest-performance car on the planet priced around $30,000. All-wheel-drive combines with the classic 4G63 turbocharged power plant to deliver the ultimate tag team. In stock form, the EVO performs well. However, the EVO truly shines in the hands of a capable tuner. Text and Photos by Michael Ferrara // Published on 6/28/04 in DSPORT Turbotrix: DSM Tuning Turbotrix has proven itself once again as an extremely capable tuner thanks to the company flagship which graces this month’s cover. This metallic-orange EVO not only became the first EVO into the 10s on U.S. soil, it also…

BUILDING PROJECT CARS IS RARELY A SMOOTH PROCESS, AS THERE ARE INEVITABLE BUMPS IN THE ROAD, unexpected errors and stages of the build that simply don’t go according to plan. Even well-thought-out builds can encounter hardships and adversity. But the reward for perseverance can make it all worth while. Mike Sullivan, the president of Mishimoto Automotive, wanted to build a “show stopper” for the 2008 SEMA Show. In his search for a suitable booth car, he found a JDM Nissan Silvia S13. Mike’s original plan was to build the car simply for show. This plan took a radical turn when…

AS A MASS OF COLD AIR COLLIDES WITH AN AREA OF WARM AIR, the difference in air volumes creates instability. This atmospheric volatility sets off a chain reaction so immense that energy rips through the sky igniting the very air it passes through. So much happens in such an instant that the only evidence of this reaction is a flash of lightning followed by a bone-shaking rumble of thunder. A built engine, massive air and fuel delivery along with precise tuning can produce thunderous performance from a vehicle. Ivan Vallejo’s 2004 Mitsubishi EVO VIII is one example of the Tropic…

SEEKING ADVENTURE AND TRAILBLAZING INTO the unknown is embedded in Norwegian DNA. The Vikings of yore had no problem sailing uncharted territory. Perhaps this explains Fredric “The Norwegian Hammer” Aasbo’s interest in the new Toyota GT86 (sister platform to the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ). While the GT86, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ have been the hot topic for the better part of the last year, it’s too new to have comprehensive aftermarket support. In fact, the first FR-S wasn’t delivered stateside until May 2012 and Norway wasn’t expecting its first production unit until June 2012. Text by Richard Fong…

IT’S NO SECRET THAT THE LAST FEW YEARS HAVE seen a sharp increase of V8 swaps among Formula Drift competitors. Sure, these drivers offer compelling reasons like a broad power band, reliability and more horsepower. However, to the legions of JDM purists, putting an American V8 engine into a Japanese chassis is just blasphemy. Interestingly, some of Formula D’s other drivers also share this sentiment. For Formula Drift and DMCC competitor David Briggs he choose a S14 with a built SR23VET. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Go With What You Know David’s decision was simply to stick with what…

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MANUFACTURERS and the tuners has evolved with the incredible growth seen in the aftermarket tuning segment. In years past, enthusiasts and tuners would anxiously wait for secretive new platforms to be released, and then begin prototyping and testing once they were able to acquire one. Fast forward to today, and one will notice that marketing strategies have radically changed. While the launching of new platforms still warrants a veil of secrecy, Mitsubishi has stepped up with outside-the-box planning. Prior to the release of the Lancer Evolution X, details and specifications remained vague. But Mitsubishi strategically provided…

COMPETITION IS A DRIVING FORCE FOR EXCELLENCE. Excellence means achieving nothing less than the best. When challenged by competition, the true competitor finds that extra motivation to push his limits to exceed expectations. It is when aiming for excellence that records are broken and true competitors rise to the top. Quirt Crawford, the owner and engineer at Crawford Performance in Oceanside, California has tuned competition vehicles for just such a purpose, to set records and win races. Involved with Subaru engines since the late 90’s, Quirt has worked hard to extract the best from Subaru platforms for high- performance street…

Die-hard fanatics boast the strongest faith and resolve when it comes to being loyal, for better or for worse. That is, of course, until that subject of loyalty gets crushed by a mind-blowing revelation. This happens with regularity when hardcore domestic fans get beaten by imports with smaller displacement, turbocharged engines. Text and Photos by Richard Fong John Firth grew up a domestic fan, thanks to his father’s influence. His social circle didn’t broaden his interest in anything other than American iron either, especially since his friends all drove Camaros, Mustangs or Trans Ams. Even though Firth graduated high school…

IT IS OFTEN THE CASE THAT NEW COMPETITORS WILL ARRIVE AT A CONTEST, start at the bottom and progressively inch their way toward the top with each successive event. On the other hand, there are also competitors that will set their initial sights on the top. Of course, reaching the top on a first attempt requires the knowledge and experience that can be found only at the top tuning shops in the world. Invision Performance in City of Industry, California, had aspirations to reach the top in the Redline Time Attack series. They contracted some of Japan’s top chassis and…

PERFORMANCE OR LOOKS. IS ONE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE OTHER? Do you buy an exhaust and intake or a new set of wheels first? Every tuner has a different list of priorities when it comes to a vehicle buildup. While the original plan for a buildup may not include addressing both performance and looks, nearly all projects reach a point where a car performs too well to look stock or looks too good to run like a stocker. Such was the case with this Nissan Silvia S15. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Judged by Ito Tomoya Ito was drawn…

LOYALTY TO THE LABEL. Many die-hard fans of specific brands will stick with them to the bitter end. Like many sport compact veterans, brothers Robert and Richard Wong have their roots in Hondas. Hondas were affordable, powerful and widely supported. Building serious Honda platforms was a hobby that delivered results. When they were faced with the dilemma of building a new project, the brothers wanted to venture into the world of the rear-wheel drive. The Honda S2000 featured everything they desired: rear-wheel drive, balanced chassis, sleek body lines and the “H” badge on the front bumper. Text and Photos by…

Insanity is to try something over and over again, expecting a different result. Matt Smith knows a thing or two about insanity, having spent five years trying to run a nine-second quarter mile pass in his EVO VIII. Over the years he invested valuable time, effort and money into the project, and in turn gained unforgettable experiences, lifelong friends and family. Text by Stanley Yee // Photos by Aaron Eusebi, Richard Fong and Wes Taylor Sky’s the Limit For his latest build, Smith chose Buschur Racing’s top-of-the-line 2.4-liter engine kit. Forged connecting rods, pistons and a crankshaft from Manley Performance…

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU LOSE A STREET BATTLE? If you can’t beat them, do you join them? About 12 years ago, Dusty Womack was on the prowl in his modified 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX. Tuned to deliver 400 all-wheel horsepower, the GSX broke off Corvettes and Mustangs at will. There were no cars on the streets that could challenge the 4G63 rocket. It was the ultimate street predator. At least that’s what Dusty believed until he attempted to pounce upon a large-winged import on the highway. Positioned broadside to the vehicle, Dusty downshifted and mashed the gas. The…

Japan’s twisting mountain roads are famous for being the birthplace of drifting, long before the days of professional drifting competitions. Back then, drivers favored balanced lightweight platforms over outright power. This ethos inspired the Team Toyo Tires Drift/Trust Racing to collaborate on a Toyota 86 drift demo car. Text by Stanley Yee // Photos by Rob Shaw Just like the cars that pioneered the early days of drifting, the GReddy 86 has shown its propensity for sliding around Japan’s mountain passes. Toyota’s engineers deliberately channeled the original AE86’s character when designing the new 86, giving it plenty of pedigree. Just…

Everyone knows that guy that never drives his car. You know, the friend that has a sick car but never drives anywhere. On occasion, he might bring his car out for a Sunday cruise but that’s about it. The car rarely leaves the garage. Either he’s scared of theft or after buying all those parts, he can’t afford the gas. Rawgie Tagle of Orange County, California is the exact opposite of that guy. Rawgie can be seen rolling his Integra sedan to the racetrack, grocery store, work, anywhere and everywhere he needs to go. Heck, he even cruises with a…

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