There is something so motivating about being an underdog. Hundreds of people see Eagle Talons on a daily basis, but they don’t truly know the potential it carries. Is it an Eclipse-wannabe? Is it a Chrysler? Is it just another ‘90s car? To those we say it is an AWD 4G63-powered monster in disguise – someone simply has to unleash it. In 1989, the first generation (1G) of the Eagle Talon was introduced, and soon after, import drag racers realized what this platform has to offer at such a low price. Talons like the Red Demon are the perfect example that you don’t need big displacement muscle cars to dominate the dragstrips, you just need the right car.
Text and Photos by Bassem Girgis
How it Started
The Eagle Talon was engineered by Mitsubishi, designed by Chrysler, and built in America by Diamond Star Motors (DSM). Diamond Star is a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler. The collaboration was focused on producing performance vehicles at an affordable price. Upon its debut, the Talon TSi all-wheel drive weighed around 3,100 lbs while delivering 190 horsepower from its 2.0-liter turbocharged 4G63 engine. In 1995, the second generation (2G) Eagle Talon debuted with a 50% stiffer body and a longer wheelbase to improve handling. At this point, the Talon TSi AWD was producing 210 horsepower with the five-speed manual transmission, or 205 horsepower with Mitsubishi’s four-speed automatic transmission. The chassis rigidity along with the potentials of the 4G63 inspired a movement in the import drag racing scene, and high-horsepower examples were born.
Although the Eagle Talon packs a ton of potential in its chassis, having a 4G63 engine makes it one of the more promising platforms for drag racing. The 4G63 made its first appearance in the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. It was later found in the legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (1 through 9 generation). The engine features a high-flowing aluminum head, and stout iron block form the foundation for power production. The DOHC 2.0-liter engine set itself high on the list of best engines, thanks to its reliability, durability, and hunger for more power. Devin Schultz, owner of Boostin Performance, engine tuner, and drag racer, realized the potentials in the Eagle Talon, and he decided he wants to break some records on this platform.
The Red Talon
Before owning the Talon and turning it into the Red Demon, Devin was racing a front-wheel drive 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby, then a rear-wheel drive 1995 Dodge Dakota Sport. Although both cars were quite capable, Devin was sick of the wheel-spin upon launch. Once Devin drove his friends’ AWD Eclipse and Galant VR-4, he was hooked on the traction that the all-wheel drive system offers. Not too long after, his friend was selling his 1996 Eagle Talon TSi AWD, so Devin jumped on the opportunity and the Red Talon was born.
Turning the Red Talon into the Red Demon was no easy task. “When I first bought the car, I loved everything about it. Once I got more serious with racing it, I learned to hate the drivetrain and transfer case,” said Devin. When he was first building the car, the aftermarket support for this platform wasn’t as common. However, as the project evolved, more companies started offering great products for the Talon, which helped Devin finally reach his goal of producing reliable power. The 4G63 block was modified to a Bullet Race Engineering billet block to withstand the 80-85 psi of boost. Keeping the same 85mm x 88mm bore and stroke, the engine’s displacement remains identical to the factory’s. With the internal engine components replaced with quality, durable parts, the billet 4G63 engine is forced-fed air through a PTE 8684 turbocharger. The turbocharger features an 86mm compressor wheel and an 84mm turbine wheel. With the help of the supporting modifications, the Talon delivers 1,600 horsepower to all four-wheels, and 1,200 lb-ft of torque, making it the Red Demon.
Throughout the journey, Devin was able to figure out what the industry needs for this platform. To address one of the weaker links, Boostin Performance collaborated with Magnus Motorsports to make a billet housing for their new transfer case program. This car serves as the blueprint for building a successful, reliable drag Talon. With the engine making the power Devin wanted, and with the suspension set up to complement this power, it was time for him to go out there and race the Talon. Devin was able to place first in numerous well-known races, like the DSM/EVO Shootout, King of the Streets and TX2K. His latest record-breaking run, however, took place last month at the 2018 Shootout when he reached his personal best speed of 215mph, which also marked the highest speed at this year’s Shootout.
The Eagle has Landed
In order to promote Boostin Performance, Devin set some goals for his Red Demon. Here are some of the record-breaking accomplishments the Talon has achieved.
• First to make a 10-second pass on a 16g turbo (2007)
• First 8-second pass on a 35R powered setup (2008)
• Quickest & Fastest AWD 2G DSM (2012)
• First 2G DSM in the 7s (2014)
• Quickest & Fastest 4-Cylinder AWD
• Quickest & Fastest H-Pattern Manual Transmission
The Road to the 6s
Reaching 215mph drag racing in the quarter-mile (NOT roll-racing) may seem like the end of the road for an Eagle from the ‘90s, but this is just the motivation Devin needed to pursue even bigger goals. As of right now, the Red Demon has a best time of 7.04 seconds running on M5 Methanol and M/T 25/8.5/15 tires, but this only translates to one thing for Devin. If the 2,300-pound Talon can reach this time, it only means it can go in the 6-second territory. The new goal doesn’t sound too far-fetched for the Red Demon, however, and with the billet block, the 4G63 has been nothing but reliable with over 1,600whp coming out of it.
Best is Yet to Come
As the owner of Boostin Performance, Devin is constantly evolving his Red Demon. When we asked him what he would do differently if he can go back in time, he answered, “not a damn thing.” Aside from breaking records and putting most competitors to shame, the Talon has served as testing grounds for the business, allowing Devin’s shop to offer real solutions for such builds. So, what is next for a 1,600whp Talon with a redline RPM of 11,500? Devin answered, “We have dominated the “stick shift” classes for a long time, and we really don’t have any good competition. We plan on changing up the setup a bit and running more 1/8-mile grudge-style events with the Domestic guys.” So, for any V8 racers in the 500-mile radius, beware of the Red Demon.