MITSI EVO VIII
THINK MITSUBISHI EVO AND CHANCES ARE THE CAR YOU PICTURE IS SOME ARCHED, CAGED, RALLY WEAPON. RICH COLBECK’S LIQUID YELLOW TAKES THOSE PRECONCEPTIONS AND UNCEREMONIOUSLY KICKS THEM TO THE CURB!
What do you do if you love Evos but Renault’s Liquid Yellow is your favourite colour? Simple. You build a Liquid Yellow Evo.
It’s funny what immediately draws your eye when you first spot a certain car. Often what you opt to focus on says a lot about what you find most interesting about cars in general – and perhaps, more often than not, your preconceptions as to what a specific car should and shouldn’t have done to it.
This Evo VIII you see here is a fine example. Built over the last five months by Rich Colbeck (we’ll get to that in a moment), there are almost certainly two things about it that catch your eye: the lack of the trademark rear wing, and the colour – Renault Liquid Yellow.
“I’d always wanted an Evo and always fancied painting a car in that colour, so introducing the two made a lot of sense,” recalls Rich. “I finally got the cash together and bought the car from a friend. Back then it was still yellow, just an OE coat of 50 shades of yellow!”
Clearly not one to hang around when it comes to modifying cars, Rich pretty much dived right in with the bodywork tweaks you see here, starting with lashings of genuine carbon fibre. Rich readily admits that he got a tad carried away here, with his first purchase, the bonnet, swiftly leading to both front wings, the front splitter, and to visually balance things out somewhat, the boot. The ironic thing is that as Rich’s Evo is a GSR, a model sold with lightweight aluminium front panels from the factory, the carbon fibre components actually weighed fractionally more than the ones they replaced!
Rich’s desire to run the Evo as close to the ground as possible, something that doesn’t sit especially well with the vocal Evo community by the way, also forced him to cut away the inner section of his new carbon front wings, then roll the rear arches. It’s a move that must have been fairly galling at the time, yet it’s one that has allowed him to nail the sump-bothering stance his car now boasts, one of its defining traits and one
“I knew I wanted to paint the EVO an eye-catching colour”
which certainly sets it apart from the massed ranks of more modestly lowered Evos at shows.
That extreme stance took a fair while to perfect. The Tein coilovers at all four corners were wound up and down more than a few times before Rich found the setup he was happy with. Part of the reason it took so much fettling was because he still likes to drive this car in the manner it was intended – hard and fast. The various minor adjustments, spacers and polybushes were all employed in an effort to make this possible and to prevent the car from bottoming out. And we’re happy to report that they’ve worked.
As for the Liquid Yellow paintwork. Well that actually made an appearance a mere four weeks before TRAX. Rich is no stranger to cutting it fine.
“I knew I wanted to paint it an eyecatching colour, but for a long while I couldn’t make up my mind. I even cancelled my slot at Elite Bodyworks only to come back a few days later intending to paint it dark brown after some Google inspiration!”
We’re glad that he stuck to his guns and went for Renault Liquid Yellow though, as it’s a colour that’s simply impossible to not love. The fact that it changes depending on how the light hits it, coupled with the way it contrasts against the lashings of carbon fibre, helps make this one of the most striking-looking Evos in the country.
There’s more than enough power to back those waspish looks up though, with Rich’s Evo now pushing approximately 380bhp to all four wheels via the stock transmission. The internals remain exactly as Mitsubishi left them, but the turbo setup, induction and exhaust systems have been treated to a host of revisions, including a Tial BOV, GReddy intercooler, a custom screamer pipe and three-inch straight-through exhaust. Not forgetting a stainless threeinch intake pipe, an alloy radiator and a
remap by Simon Norton. All told, it’s enough to leave Rich with a very potent car indeed. Though not so extreme as to run the risk of grenading itself.
“It’s generally reckoned that the engines in these are fine if kept below 400bhp. Over that and they really do need forging in order to stay reliable,” muses Rich. “I opted to focus on the exterior first, at the expensive of out-and-out power, but I’m sure it’ll come in time.”
The interior also bristles with neat little touches, the modified centre console with a boost gauge neatly nestled within it being one of our favourites. There’s also a custom harness bar, an addition that Rich opted to fit the night before a local show and had to paint himself with mere hours to spare – you’ll have noticed a theme here – and we think it’s turned out pretty damn well.
It’s important to remember that everything you see here was achieved in a little over five months. What started as a stock Evo with faded paint has been turned into a showstopper of the highest calibre, a car that really can visually hold its own against almost anything you care to mention, and it’s all down to Rich’s keen eye for paint choice. And his love of carbon fibre. Top work.
Rich’s modifying might not gain approval from Evo purists
The seats take Bride of place
Everything you see here was achieved in about five months