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Evo in the Nines

An Evo 2 Lancer that cracks 9 second quarter miles and delivers up to 705hp (671kW) at the wheels!

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

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At a glance...

  • Japanese spec Lancer Evo 2
  • Performance built 4G63
  • PPG four-speed dog box
  • Best time of 9.67 seconds at 151 mph
  • Up to 705hp (671kW) at the wheels!
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There’s nothing unusual about a fast Evo Lancer. Even in stock-standard from, the mighty Mitsi pushes about 280hp (208kW) at the flywheel and sprints down the quarter mile in the 13s. But this example is in another league. You’re looking at a Lancer with an estimated 900hp (671kW) at the crank and proven 9 second quarter mile performance on street radials! That’s a Lancer Revolution!

Owned by Rob Barac, this machine is a genuine Japanese-spec Evolution 2 rather than a tarted up Australian-spec Lancer GSR. That means it comes with Mitsubishi’s ever-green 4G63 turbo engine – an engine that, evidently, can generate monster power.

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The Evo 7-bolt block and crankshaft remain standard but pretty much everything else inside the motor is aftermarket. With all engine assembly and development performed by Brisbane’s Advanced Performance Centre, the 4G63 currently boasts Eagle rods and CP forged pistons providing a surprisingly high static compression ratio – 9.0:1. A lower compression ratio was employed in previous incarnations but the current set-up seems to be performing every bit as well and provides some extra flexibility.

ARP heavy-duty studs mount the DOHC head which has been given a mild ported and polish job. Oversize valves, Crower springs and retainers, custom grind camshafts and adjustable AEM sprockets complete the upstairs section. A Kinetic three-layer head gasket forms a perfect seal between the block and the head without any need for O-ringing.

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A custom intake manifold (with a large volume plenum) and a Holley 85mm throttle body accept airflow from a turbo system that’s configured for some serious pressure and flow. At the heart of the system is a Garrett GT35R turbo using a 1.06 exhaust housing and a huge 60mm HKS external wastegate. Both are mounted on a custom tubular exhaust manifold. A 3 ½ inch mandrel exhaust and single rear muffler help tame the beast’s snarl.

On the intake side, the turbo inhales through a large K&N filter and blows through a Garrett 600 x 300 x 150mm core with custom fabricated end tanks and high-flow mandrel bent plumbing. Interestingly, there are twin TurboSmart blow-off valves on the return pipe to the engine – these were installed when the engine was configured to run a lower compression ratio together with higher boost and there hasn’t been any reason to change them.

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The fuel system is as you’d expect in a semi-drag prep’d machine – it’s all new. At the far end of the system are a Jazz fuel cell and a SX 1000hp fuel pump while the engine bay contains a SX adjustable pressure regulator, custom rails and elephant-like 1600cc injectors. The ignition is controlled by the Haltech E11 Version 2 programmable computer and benefits from the addition of a MSD DIS 4 booster. The rev limit is set to 9500 rpm – about 2000 revs higher than factory. Boost pressure is controlled by a TurboSmart e-Boost.

With an elevated rev ceiling and some serious engine airflow, you can expect some big power numbers. On 22 psi boost and pump fuel, the Evo eases out 510hp (381kW) at all four wheels but fill the tank with C16 and up the boost to 30 psi and you’ve got an instant 670hp (500kW) at the wheels (measured on a Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno). Ye-oow!

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A nitrous system was previously installed and, with a 75hp shot, the car recorded an amazing 705hp (526kW) at all fours. This equated to a best quarter mile time of 9.67 second ET at 151 mph. At that speed Rob claims it’s the country’s fastest four-cylinder on street radials.

Rob says the engine has been extraordinarily reliable. Sure, it receives new bearings and some component crack testing after the end of each season but there has been no need for major work after three consecutive hard-charging seasons. Amazing, the radiator and lubrication systems remain standard.

The same can’t be said of the driveline.

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According to Rob, the gearbox and diffs started breaking quite regularly once the nitrous system was fitted and output went beyond 600hp (448kW) at the wheels. With a no-slip NPC twin-plate clutch, the standard Evo ‘boxes couldn’t hack it – the car would break a gearbox during dyno tuning and then another at the track... Fortunately, a PPG dog box has taken over the role and is performing faultlessly – but, due to the extra gear width, there are only four forward gears instead of five. The ratios were carefully chosen so the car crosses the timing beam with the shift light glowing in fourth gear. The rear diff is the last piece of the driveline that’s still giving troubles – it’s replaced with standard parts whenever it breaks. Rob launches the car by revving the motor to around 8000 rpm and letting the clutch out gradually – with some familiarity, Rob says it’s quite consistent.

Launch performance was recently improved by replacing the standard type suspension with Tein adjustable coil-overs which are set near their firmest. This has improved the car’s 60 foot time from around 1.7 to 1.4 seconds. Rob says the car used to squat off the line and would hunt for front tyre grip – now it simply bolts! Tyre grip is not a problem thanks to BF Goodrich street-legal Drag Radial TAs in a 235/60 15 size.

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Rob says he doesn’t drive the car a lot on the road but it remains road registered and it’s easy to remove the rear parachute and race rubber. Street cruisin’ calls for slick Koya 19 inch alloys wearing 235/35 rubber. The body is kept fairly mild with an Evo 3 bonnet kit and a carbon fibre bonnet. The Evo 3 rear wing was recently removed to reduce aero drag and resulted in an easy 4 mph top-end gain. The paint is a custom yellow and there are plenty of sponsor stickers to make sure everyone who deserves attention receives it – namely, Advanced Performance Centre, Castrol and BF Goodrich.

You might guess that the interior is stripped out in an effort to minimize weight. And you’d be wrong. Rob has kept the standard dash, door trims, rear seat and has switched to a pair of race seats in the front. The electric windows and central locking remain operative and, combined with a welded roll cage, are guilty of contributing to the 1364kg total weight (including Rob who says he’s a “healthy 125kg”). The cage extends to the rear suspension towers to help improve rigidity of the Lancer chassis.

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The obvious nest step to improve ETs would be to strip out the interior but Rob’s not interested in that. He says it’s all too easy to get caught up in the competition and lose sight of why you started it all. To have fun. With that in mind, you can understand why Rob will soon be converting the car to front-wheel-drive for some amusement at the next Jamboree.

Yep, channeling that level of grunt through just the front hoops sure will be fun!


Advanced Performance Centre +61 7 3341 7223

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