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Friday, August 7, 2009

Evolution of a Lancer

In the world of car tuning, most people are happy with bolt-ons and simple aesthetic mods. Few enthusiasts take the route of changing their car to become something else. We’ve all seen how creative people here modify one brand of car to look like a totally different one, but few have gone the painstaking route of a conversion of this caliber.

At first glance you might think that this is a normal Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen edition. The truth is, this car is a humble 1997 automatic transmission Lancer GL daily driver that was painstakingly converted to an Evo TM edition. The reason behind this was because the owner found the license plates to have sentimental value. But before we get to the details, a quick history of the Evo TM edition is in order.

The Evolution VI Tommi Makinen edition is a limited edition run produced by Mitsubishi in 1999, named after the famous rally driver. Difference from the standard Evo 6 include a larger intercooler, redesigned front bumper, high performance muffler, special tarmac tuned suspension, redesigned alloy wheels, a titanium turbo tuned for better low end response, and special Recaro interior. These changes produce subtle improvements in acceleration and handling.

The owner of this lancer was fortunate enough to get his hands on complete TM Edition EVO parts. Some of the things changed include the fenders, flares, bumpers, hood, doors, and trunk. The interior was also converted to full TM edition. But the most remarkable thing is that the entire powertrain and drivetrain from the Evo 6 was swapped in to this normal Lancer. The work proved difficult and required several modifications to the chassis. The end result however, is an Evo that you wouldn’t even imagine was a normal Lancer a few months back. The entire 4WD drivetrain, Evo suspension, and 2.0 turbocharged engine was swapped in. Even the paint matches and a set of the special WRC-red livery on real deal Evo 6 TM editions was ordered from Japan to make it complete. Right now the car is still stock save for an upgraded exhaust system, HKS boost gauge, and some Cusco chassis stiffening parts, but plans are underway for more modifications.

“This project was quite a challenge for me. But I am very proud of what it has become. This painstaking conversion also required getting some parts from another Evo which we were luckily able to source to make it complete. We really wanted the conversion to be right, no shortcuts,” said Mr. Adel Ayroso, who took charge for the conversion of this vehicle to a monster.

The owner spent quite a significant amount of time and money on this conversion, but the results speak for themselves. This is one Evo I wouldn’t mind having.

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