Its secret lies under the hood
For someone who considers his childhood years as the most difficult part of his life, Miguel Garcia can lay claim that hard work and perseverance actually pays off big time. Having been interested in cars at a young age, his longtime dream was to be able to own many cars. Despite having already achieved that goal, there was a particular car that he had to have. This was his boss’ heavily modded Lancer Evolution VII, as he vividly recalls, “Ever since I was given the chance to take it for a test drive way back in 2014, I have been waiting for him to sell it to me.”
When the seventh iteration of the Lancer Evo first came out in 2001, it heralded the start of another generation of Lancer Evo’s with a different body style. Largely based on the Cedia platform, it somewhat grew in proportions. But what’s important is that it still retained the good old original recipe that avid Evo followers yearned for. A close to 300-horsepower turbocharged engine, a close ratio manual transmission, and an impressive all-wheel-drive system. But wait - there’s more this time. An electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, an Active Center Diff (ACD) with Tarmac, Gravel and Snow settings, plus hollow camshafts to name just a few. Sounds impressive enough to make anyone want to own one. But it wasn't just for those reasons alone that Miguel lusted after his boss’ Evo VII.
This is because this Evo VII literally brought out the big guns in terms of power by yanking out the stock engine and replaced it with an HKS crate motor. Such a serious mod simply speaks volumes about the nature of the vehicle and the former owners’ pursuit to have the best power plant possible no matter the cost. It’s not the notorious CT230R engine that powered their time attack car, but it’s still based on Mitsubishi’s 4G63T engine. The block features a stroker crank that bumps up its displacement to 2.2 liters. The rest of the balanced reciprocating parts are all HKS items such as the pistons and con rods while the prepped cylinder head utilizes a pair of HKS camshafts with adjustable cam gears and a cool looking clear cam cover. A Tomei Expreme exhaust turbo manifold keeps the HKS GT32 turbine in place while a very hard to find ARC intake pipe sends the charged gases into the throttle body. With all that power, a multi-plate Ogura clutch makes sure the entire grunt is fed to all four wheels. Orchestrating how the engine works is a fully programmable MOTEC ECU that’s been tuned by noted race engine builder and tuner Mato Tan to a neck-snapping 410 whp and 387 lb-ft of torque.
With more horsepower comes the need to upgrade the other mechanical components in order to match the car’s newfound levels of power. First on the list are the stock Brembo brakes were tossed in favor of AP Racing calipers and larger rotors at the front and back. Because stopping is equally as important as going fast. Next up were the stock struts that were upgraded with TEIN coil overs with EDFC to make it handle well on the track or a long winding road. Keeping it firmly planted on the pavement are meaty, 18-inch Bridgestone Potenza tires shod with lightweight Volk Racing Time Attack wheels finished in double black color. With the exception of a pair of Bride seats, an array of Defi gauges to monitor the engine’s vitals, a Ralliart shift knob, and a double DIN Pioneer stereo, the interior remains as is. On the outside, a Voltex 2 body kit adorns the otherwise stock body with a Voltex GT hood, twin carbon fiber canards, side splitters along with a rear diffuser/undertray that greatly adds character to its Cyber Evo, time-attack inspired theme. I reckon the only thing missing here would be a 6-point roll cage, a proper race seat, and probably a Racpack digital dash display to consolidate all the analog gauges into one neat LCD display panel.
The good news is that Miguel proudly owns this highly volatile AWD machine, although he is quick to note that his boss, whom he also refers to as his mentor, is the reason behind all the detailed upgrades on this Evo, as he adds, “Every accomplishment that this Evo gets, I owe it all to the original owner. Before, I would always say that I was miserable and underprivileged because of the life I had. But now at the age of 30, with a complete and happy family, career and business partners on my side and solid friends from in and out of my affiliates like BMW SBG club, LanEvo club and AWD squad etc., I can honestly say that I am at the right phase of my life.” How we all wish we had bosses just like yours.
2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
4G63T HKS 2.2-liter Crate Engine (Rebuilt by Bogs Dela Rosa)
HKS Performance 2.2 stroker kit, pistons, con rods, HKS Performance camshafts, adjustable cam gears, valves, valve springs, HKS GT32 Turbine, HKS Blow off Valve, HKS Wastegate, HKS Timing Belt
TOMEI Expreme turbo manifold, ARC Intake Piping, Trust Intake Tube, TOMEI 1000cc Fuel Injectors, Greddy Intercooler, ARC Ignition Module Cover, HKS Air Suction, Blitz Aluminum Radiator, Billion Radiator Hoses, Greddy Oil Catch can, HKS Silicone Hoses, Cusco Battery Bracket, HKS Full Exhaust
MOTEC ECU tuned by Mato Tan
410 whp, 387 lb-ft of Torque
Ogura Multi-Plate Clutch Disc
AP Racing 4-pot Calipers and Rotors
TEIN Coilovers with EDFC, Cusco Strut bars and Braces
Volk Racing TE37 Time Attack (Double Black Finish) Wheels (18x9), Bridgestone Potenza Tires (255/40R18)
Bride Carbon Bucket seats, Defi Gauges, Ralliart Shift Knob, Pioneer Stereo
Voltex 2 Body Kit, Voltex GT Hood, Voltex Double Carbon Canards, Voltex Side Splitters, Voltex Rear Diffuser/Undertray, Craft Square Side Mirrors