As time goes on, many enthusiasts bow out of the sport compact scene due to the need for more practical daily transportation. But cars like the Evo and STi have changed the rules and offered tuner car performance in practical packages. These 4-door sport sedan rockets offer alternatives to (gasp) minivans or passenger friendly econo boxes. When needed, these AWD rockets tackle snow, mud and anything in between with ease. When done right, a Mitsubishi EVO can easily outrun and lap sports cars costing twice as much. The EVO is a factory missile that needs very little to go fast and still have street cred…lots of it. Enter this particular EVO VIII, which we know you haven’t seen since it hails from under a rock known as Provo, UT. Not exactly the hub of the tuning universe, but still owner Dallin Felton has poured in an estimated $20,000 over the purchase price to end up at this point. It appears he spent his money wisely since it is a clean project that deserved
a closer look and earned a spot in this issue.
What first attracted us was the Voltex widebody kit adorning the sides of the car – just enough width to show off but not excessive for unwanted attention. This rare Japanese kit was complimented with a Voltex rear diffuser and Ganador motorized mirrors. Then a load of Seibon carbon bits topped it off, including a vented hood, trunk and vortex generators. After everything was fitted up, the car was sprayed in factory white to keep it squeaky JDM clean.
The attention turned to the rolling gear, which had to be light and of course super strong. When you are looking for the perfect blend of the two, you don’t have to shop much further than Enkei that use the M.A.T. forging process. A set of classic Enkei RPF1s were selected all around in 17x10-inch with a hefty +18 offset. Then the wheels were cloaked with Hankook Ventus 275/35R17 tires on all four corners which took some science to tuck them in with no rubbing issues.
The exact wheel fit was achieved with BC Racing coilovers that provided the right adjustability for height and dampening to prevent contact. The suspension was further improved by a Hotchkis rear sway bar, Perrin end links and a GT Spec frame brace.
Inside the EVO are a handful of improvements to an already solid factory interior. The stock seats were pulled in favor of NRG Innovations carbon fiber racing buckets draped with 4-point Takata harnesses. An AEM UEGO gauge was added to keep tabs on the mix, while Defi Blue Racer gauges (Boost & EGT) reside in a Perrin steering column pod.
Beyond the styling of the vehicle, Felton wanted some go fast goodies. Anyone who owns an EVO knows it doesn’t take much to make them pull … hard. And pull it does with 524whp documented on the rollers, remember that is 6000 feet above sea level! The engine was freshened up with new gaskets, timing belt and an HKS metal head gasket clamped down by ARP studs. Inside the head, the core was ported and polished and refilled with Brian Crower springs and retainers as well as aggressive 272° cams. The bump comes from an ATP GT30-40R turbo upgrade bolted to a Buschur ported manifold. The exhaust heads into a Garage HRS 3-inch stainless exhaust straight through. Meanwhile on the cold side, a GReddy R-Spec intercooler and piping kit was added to bring the air temps down. The cooling was also ramped up with a Koyo Aluminum radiator and SAMCO 4-ply silicone hoses.
We have to hand it to Felton for delivering a slick daily driven project that photographs real well. He describes it as quiet and comfortable to drive on demand, but raise the boost levels and put the dampers on super stiff and you have a no compromise ride that will definitely keep it gangsta.