NZ Performance Car - - Contents - WORDS: JADEN MARTIN PHO­TOS: AARON MAI


There’s a dou­ble-edged sword to own­ing any­thing on four-wheels that doesn’t look like it takes 15 sec­onds to hit 100 clicks. They are an end­less money pit that can bring a lot of en­ter­tain­ment, both through­out the build and when driv­ing. How­ever, the other side of this is that those with even the slight­est hint of mod­i­fi­ca­tion draw at­ten­tion — se­ri­ous amounts of at­ten­tion, be it from the red and blues, or just the com­ments from young bucks hang­ing around in the car park of your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket. But if there’s one kind of heat that mod­i­fied cars draw most it’s that from those look­ing to prove that their own is big­ger, bet­ter, harder, and faster — even if you ain’t out look­ing for it, this kind of trou­ble will al­ways find you.

Rac­ing the streets of ‘Mex­ico’ has be­come the un­of­fi­cial bench­mark for many mod­i­fiers — a prac­tice con­ducted in se­cret in the deep of night and with chang­ing lo­ca­tions to avoid the sus­pi­cion of the lo­cal law­man. How­ever, on rare oc­ca­sions, chal­lengers may ap­pear in un­ex­pected places; a sim­ple drive home from work that turns into a rolling re­cre­ation of Su­per GT. And for Welling­to­nian Johnathan Bui, this is what sparked an unas­sum­ingly tough Evo.

“I had just fin­ished build­ing my DC5 Type R [ fea­tured in NZ Per­for­mance Car Is­sue No. 210] and was be­gin­ning to re­ally en­joy what I’d spent two years cre­at­ing,” says Johnathan. “Driv­ing home on the mo­tor­way one night, an Evo VII pulled up next to me. I rec­og­nized the car from the re­gion and he sig­nalled that he wanted to hit the Mex­i­can streets.”

“Tak­ing into ac­count that my Honda was mak­ing 163kW and the Evo put 220kW to all fours, los­ing by one car length was more than rea­son­able for me, but, when he slowed down, it wasn’t a thumbs up and ‘thanks for the fun’, it was rude com­ments about my car and Hon­das in gen­eral.”

This en­counter left Johnathan hun­gry to get his own back, and, with an ex­ist­ing temp­ta­tion to jump into a big­ger-bod­ied, four-wheeldrive, it wasn’t a hard de­ci­sion to put the In­te­gra in the garage and free up a few pe­sos for an Evo. He knew that by ap­ply­ing the same rule of thumb that saw the In­te­gra fin­ished, he could achieve the same re­sults in Mit­subishi form — and it didn’t take long to find a VII for sale at a Mit­subishi ser­vice cen­tre

How­ever, it was miss­ing a few key fea­tures, such as the spoiler, cor­rect badges, and wheels. So, af­ter ex­chang­ing cash and keys, the 19-inch Wolfs were quickly binned, as were the mis­matched badges, and a wing sourced from the orig­i­nal owner was fit­ted.

Johnathan tells us that the first pass­ing lane that pre­sented it­self on the drive home made for the per­fect test­ing stretch — only it wasn’t quite what he wanted to dis­cover. The boost gauge was read­ing 28psi and climb­ing: “I thought to my­self, some­thing must be wrong … turns out the boost con­troller had faulted and the car couldn’t hit full throt­tle with­out cutting.”

While this meant that the mo­tor prob­a­bly hadn’t seen much of a thrash­ing, the turbo was tired and would need to be re­placed soon. This didn’t de­ter him, though, and, even with the ail­ments, a quick re­tune to get the boost un­der con­trol and air–fuel ra­tios up to scratch saw the VII putting out 216kW at all fours — not bad for a nearon stock ex­am­ple.

Six months of solid driv­ing would en­sue be­fore Johnathan re­al­ized the list of “cars I lost to” was slowly grow­ing af­ter ev­ery Mex­i­can mis­sion. To com­bat this, a fresh Forced Per­for­mance 71HTA snail was or­dered out of the States, to re­place the tired fac­tory unit, and now sits

Only weeks into own­er­ship, the stock clutch blew and was re­placed by a Com­pe­ti­tion Clutch stageth­ree unit with Com­pe­ti­tion Clutch light­ened flywheel, both of which are still go­ing strong

atop a Sinco twin-scroll man­i­fold with Tur­bosmart gate. This was the point at which Jonathan re­al­ized that he was “be­gin­ning the real build”.

The mailman would de­liver a Mount Ever­est–sized pile of good­ies over the com­ing weeks that would see a Tomei O2+ front pipe, HKS stain­less mid-pipe, and STM Tuned stain­less muf­fler combo take care of spent gases. Fresh oxy­gen is de­liv­ered via a cus­tom plenum mated to a Mac­bilt three-inch in­take pipe and cooled by an Ex­treme Turbo Sys­tems (ETS) front-mount in­ter­cooler, and fuel is fed by Fuel In­jec­tor Clinic (FIC) 1050cc in­jec­tors and an AEM pump. The rest, bar the SpoolinUp coil-on­plug sys­tem, re­mains rel­a­tively safe and makes use of up­graded OEM op­tions for reli­a­bil­ity. It’s a pack­age that now sees the dyno spun up at 280kW with 466Nm of torque, all on 30psi of boost, as tuned by Phil at Dynotech In­dus­tries.

A wide-mouth Evo VIII front bumper was added to feed in the most air pos­si­ble, and, to match, the bon­net was switched out for a VIII unit, while the rear bumper was re­placed by a IX piece, with car­bon-fi­bre good­ness added all over. The afore­men­tioned Evo VIII spoiler wasn’t liv­ing up to what was re­quired of it, and, af­ter a few wild rides, it was re­placed with a car­bon-fi­bre GT wing for op­ti­mal down­force.

In its new lethal form, Johnathan ex­plains that he was torn be­tween looks and func­tion­al­ity come time for the V 4&Ro­tary North Is­land Jam­boree: “I couldn’t de­cide if I should en­ter the Show and Shine or Su­per­lap; [if I should] present the car for oth­ers to en­joy or en­joy it my­self.” He opted for Su­per­lap, be­cause who doesn’t want to thrash the liv­ing hell out of their car af­ter a fresh re­build? Cos­met­ics would take a back seat for the time be­ing as more money was sunk into an area that had oth­er­wise gone unat­tended: han­dling. Rock­ing noth­ing more than OEM re­place­ment shocks, King springs, and a gag­gle of old bushes, there was a lot of po­ten­tial. Stage one

saw Swift Spec-R springs, White­line sway bars, and a mix­ture

of White­line and En­ergy Sus­pen­sion bushes fit­ted, mak­ing for a nearly four-sec­ond drop in lap times from 2016 to 2017 — hold­ing a cur­rent per­sonal best (PB) of 1min 20s at Man­feild Cir­cuit. This set-up would later be sur­passed by a set of Oh­lin coilovers, which are yet to be tested on the track.

“I was su­per happy with the car, but, be­cause I was tun­nel vi­sion­ing to­wards out­right per­for­mance on track, the cos­met­ics took a ham­mer­ing … slip­ping a little too far for my lik­ing,” he says.

The car had re­mained a sub­tle balance of black and white, al­beit slightly dirty and marked up from on-track abuse, un­til Johnathan taught him­self the art of paint correction and bolted on a set of 17x9-inch (+15) TE37s shod in 245/40 Potenza RE11 rub­ber, op­tioned in eye-catch­ing elec­tric blue. With the coilovers set so low, align­ment took three shots to get right, and cam­ber and toe arms were needed for cor­rect ad­just­ment, but the re­sult­ing stance was near per­fect ac­cord­ing to its owner’s tastes.

In­side the cabin, things were kept strictly com­fort. Evo IX seats adorn the rear, while Re­caro SPG buck­ets look af­ter the front oc­cu­pants, with the driver treated to a car­bon-Kevlar ex­am­ple. The dash has been hit with OEM car­bon pieces from the VIII and IX gen­er­a­tions, and the only ad­di­tional gauges needed, ac­cord­ing to Johnathan, were AEM boost and air–fuel ra­tio.

And, with the build com­plete, what else was there left to do? Yep — de­liver that sweet serv­ing of re­venge to the driver who had sparked this en­tire jour­ney: “I went to a car gath­er­ing with some friends to find that ex­act car parked across the car park from me. I told my friends the story about what had hap­pened, and one of them snuck off to propo­si­tion him for a race. By the time he had re­sponded ‘no’, I re­al­ized what was go­ing on and got in the car ready to do it,” ex­plains Johnathan.

“I think he re­al­ized who I was and changed his mind quick. We lined up on the ‘Mex­i­can’ tar­mac, and, straight off the line, I smashed him … three to four car lengths ahead. He came back into the car park and de­manded a re­match with no pas­sen­gers in his car. So, we got back out there, and he was done, again. That was one of the best nights with the car — I had got­ten my re­venge.”

So, af­ter nearly four years of own­er­ship and build­ing, the Evo had ful­filled its des­tiny and, through­out its ten­ure in dif­fer­ent forms, had not once seen the back of a tow truck, even with the hand­ful of fail­ures along the way. It is now liv­ing out its days as a very ca­pa­ble track weapon that sees its fair share of street driv­ing — be­cause you never know when a new chal­lenger is go­ing to ap­pear on the streets of Mex­ico.

DRIVELINEGEAR­BOX: Five-speed CLUTCH: Com­pe­ti­tion Clutch stage-three FLYWHEEL: Com­pe­ti­tion Clutch light­ened DIFFS: Fac­tory AYC and ACD OTHER: Braided clutch line, drive­shaft tun­nel bushes, rear diff bushes, Torque Solutions shifter bushes, Torque Solutions shifter base-mount bushes

HEART EN­GINE: Mit­subishi 4G63, 2000cc, four-cylin­der BLOCK: Fac­tory HEAD: Fac­tory IN­TAKE: Cus­tom plenum, three-inch Mac­bilt in­take pipe, STM Tuned hose and fil­ter. STM Tuned throt­tle-body seals, 2.5-inch ETS fac­tory-route in­ter­cooler pip­ing fin­ished in wrin­kle black, 3.5-inch ETS front-mount in­ter­cooler, OMNI Power 4bar MAP sen­sor EX­HAUST: Tomei O2+ front pipe, three-inch test pipe, HKS stain­less mid-pipe, STM Tuned stain­less muf­fler TURBO: Forced Per­for­mance 71HTA, Sinco twin-scroll man­i­fold WASTEGATE: Tur­bosmart Comp-Gate 40 BOV: TiAL Q 50mm FUEL: AEM pump; FIC 1050cc in­jec­tors; FIC re­sis­tor plug; new OEM fuel-pres­sure reg­u­la­tor, cra­dle, and fuel fil­ter IG­NI­TION: SpoolinUp coil-on-plug sys­tem, NGK irid­ium plugs ECU: Fac­tory COOLING: Fac­tory ra­di­a­tor, Ral­liart ther­mo­stat, Ral­liart 1.3bar ra­di­a­tor cap, Cas­trol Edge coolant, fac­tory oil cooler EX­TRA: Oil catch-can, Evo IX spark-plug cover, air duct­ing, cam-an­gle-sen­sor cover, De­sign En­gi­neer­ing, Inc. (DEI) heat tape, mag­netic drain plugs, Kig­gly Rac­ing HLA pres­sure reg­u­la­tor IN­TE­RIOR SEATS: (F) Re­caro car­bon-Kevlar SPG, Re­caro SPG3, (R) Evo IX STEER­ING WHEEL: Evo IX IN­STRU­MEN­TA­TION: AEM air–fuel ra­tio gauge, AEM boost gauge AU­DIO: Pi­o­neer MVH-X565BT head unit, JBL GX600C front speak­ers, Orion Cobalt CO693 rear speak­ers, Dig­i­tal De­sign (DD) DM500 amp, eight-inch sub­woofer EX­TRA: Grimm­speed three-port elec­tronic boost con­troller, Torque Solution gear knob, car­bon-fi­bre speedo trim, Evo IX car­bon-fi­bre dash trim, Rex­peed car­bon-fi­bre cen­tre con­sole cover, fire ex­tin­guisher STRUTS: Oh­lins Road and Track edi­tion coilovers BRAKES: (F) four-pot Brembo calipers, End­less MX72 plus pads; (R) two-pot Brembo calipers, End­less MX72 Plus pads EX­TRA: DME rear lower con­trol arms, DME rear lower toe arms, White­line 24mm rear sway bar. White­line rear end links, White­line front and rear sway bar bushes, En­ergy Sus­pen­sion rear trail­ing arm bushes, En­ergy Sus­pen­sion front lower con­trol arm bushes (in­ner and caster), White­line roll-cen­tre ad­justers, White­line bump-steer correction kit, White­line front sway bar bushes, Tein front strut brace, Beatrush rear strut brace SUP­PORT

THANKS: The big­gest thanks goes to my part­ner, Han­nah Perry — thank you for sup­port­ing me and my hobby, and do­ing your best to be a part of it; Kevin So, for teach­ing me the stan­dards of per­fec­tion; Jor­dan Mc­der­mott, for al­ways of­fer­ing a help­ing hand at any time (even a few hours be­fore his exam); Dar­ren Galvin, for achiev­ing the im­pos­si­ble and pro­duc­ing what we all see to­day; Matt Pothoven, for mo­ti­vat­ing me to fin­ish the build and find good tyres; Ash­ton Young, for pro­vid­ing me skills and tools to en­sure the car stayed clean, shiny, and pro­tected; Cam VG, for the hookups; Panda, for fur­ther hookups; Ju­lian Dun­ster, for mak­ing sure the car was still there in the morn­ing; Rahul Singh, for sup­ply­ing all the tools I didn’t have but needed; the team at Mac­bilt for al­ways mak­ing time for me; Con­ner at STM Tuned, for en­sur­ing I got what I needed asap; Lawrence Chok, for cap­tur­ing the mo­ments; Ryan Bren­ton, for al­ways do­ing noth­ing; War­ren from Rim­rite; De­tail De­pot; Bridge­stone Tyre Cen­tre, Mi­ra­mar, Fi­nal Touches; Jensen and Moore; Ob­ses­sive Ve­hi­cle Se­cu­rity; Dynotech In­dus­tries; Aotea Pres­tige; RHD Ja­pan; and lastly, to all the friends and fam­ily: Billy Bui, Mengcheu Lee, Cameron Luo, Con­ner Tri­est, Jamie McNee, Shane Simp­son, Aaron Al­gar, Phil Har­ris, Damien Hinch, David Thom­sen, Khrunal Ma­hen­dra, Jesse Clifton, Phil Har­ris, Michael Kim, Jacky Tse, Hamish Liew, Spyro Serepisos, Son Tran, Steven Chin, Aaron Mai, Prashant Pe­tal, Chris Wal­lis, Long Li, David Tang, Michael Clarke, Ju­lian Dun­ster, and Gunna Ra­jen­thran.

PER­FOR­MANCE POWER: 280kW TORQUE: 466Nm BOOST: 30psi FUEL TYPE: 98 oc­tane TUNER: Phil at Dynotech In­dus­tries LAP TIMES: 1min 20.9s — Man­feild Cir­cuit Chris Amon (stock sus­pen­sion) SHOES WHEELS: 17x9-inch (+15) Rays Volk Rac­ing TE37 TYRES: 245/40R17 Bridge­stone Potenza RE11 Rac­ing on Mex­i­can streets ain’t no joke and should be con­ducted un­der des­ig­nated cir­cum­stances only — like beat­ing a chal­lenger at his own game EX­TE­RIOR PAINT: Re­sprayed OEM white by Dar­ren Galvin EN­HANCE­MENTS: Evo VIII bon­net, Evo VIII front bumper, Evo IX rear bumper, car­bon-fi­bre air ducts, car­bon-fi­bre lip, car­bon-fi­bre side ex­ten­sions, Ral­liart mir­rors, Vol­tex Type 3 car­bon wing, APR ca­nards, Evo VIII MR rear tail lights, Evo VIII MR head­lights, Nokya 2500k Hy­per Yel­low fog lights, Nokya 7000k Arc­tic White high beams, Per­rin stubby an­tenna DRIVER PRO­FILE DRIVER/OWNER: Johnathan Bui AGE: 22 LO­CA­TION: Welling­ton OC­CU­PA­TION: Stu­dent BUILD TIME: Two years LENGTH OF OWN­ER­SHIP: More than 3.5 years

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