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!

Fast Car - - Contents -

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

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