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Money Can’t Buy!

The venerable Mitsubishi Evo was a jack of all trades and managed to master them all simultaneously as well. It was a speedy sedan with none of the shortcomings a traditional two-seater coupe came with, chiefly room and space in the rear for the kiddos.

But what if you wanted a two-door Evo? Mitsubishi wasn’t going to make you one. Simon Norris of Norris Designs in the UK had the same desire and went about making himself one by cutting an Evo chassis and shortening the wheelbase to essentially create an Evo coupe as the company’s demo car.

Archie Concon wanted one in his garage as well after he saw the movie “Who am I” which saw Jackie Chan piloting an Evo on the silver screen. His obstacle was that Mitsubishi didn’t sell the Evo in the good ol’ US of A.

At that time, he already owned a Mirage coupe and after consulting the all-knowing Shaman known as Google, he quickly realised that the Mirage chassis was based on the Evo 4,5 and 6 shells.

So of course he decided to build himself an Evo.

Starting with a black slate is always best, especially when it involves a build of this magnitude. The shell was stripped bare in preparation for the most complicated and integral part of the build, adapting the all-wheel drive system onto the Mirage’s shell.

In went a floor pan and fuel tank from an Evo 6 for the rear to accommodate the differential and driveshafts. At the steering end, an Evo 5 generously donated its front suspension arms and transfer case that would fit the Mirage CJ4A chassis like a glove. The rear drivetrain and crossmember came from a newer Evo 8.

Now to sort the engine. TrevTec Motorsports delivered their 4G63 engine package that consisted of an Evo 8 block with 2.2-litres of displacement. The additional volume was courtesy of Manley Performance billet 94mm crankshaft, Manley Performance turbo Tuff conrods and Manley Performance 10.5:1 pistons with ACL race bearings.

The head is a Curt Brown port and polished piece equipped with GSC Power Division S3 camshafts, Tomei adjustable cam gears, Manley SS valves and Kigly’s provided the valve springs, titanium seats and retainers.

Finally, the head is bolted onto the block with a Cosworth head gasket sandwiched in between and locked in by ARP studs. A Frontline billet valve cover adds some show to go along with all that… go.

Boost is courtesy of a Precision 6466 billet ball-bearing turbo sitting on a TrevTec manifold with a Turbosmart 46mm wastegate and Tial 50mm BOV for company. Cooling the charge is an ETS 4.5-inch intercooler kit with a TrevTec custom downpipe. Exhaust gases are channelled out via a Merrill Performance 3.0-inch titanium system.

Fuel is fed to the engine by an Aeromotive Eliminator pump through stainless steel lines regulated by an Aeromotive regulator and squirted into the chambers by Fuel Injector Clinic 2150cc units before they’re ignited by plugs hooked up to Sparktech coils.

The ancillaries comprise an AMS oil pan, CBRD Speedfactory radiator with ARC cap, TrevTec oil catch can and a balance shaft eliminating kit.

You can tell it makes a tonne of power, 850hp to wheels and 615Nm of torque on the 2.6 bars of boost generated.

In order to not grenade the transmission, an Evo 4 box was upgraded with Shepherd Transmissions Stage 3 kit and Exedy HD triple disc clutch set, as was the Evo 5 transfer case sitting in the middle. The front utilises Evo 5 ware mostly while the rear houses an Evo 7 RS subframe and the complementary suspension linkages. A Quaife LSD splits between the front wheels while the rear makes do with an Evo 7 diff. Finally, Driveshaftshop two-piece driveshafts send power to the wheels.

Said wheels are Volk Racing TE37s in hyper gold and measuring 18×10.5 with an offset of +15 all around. The accompanying rubbers are BF Goodrich T1S rollers in a 285/30R18 sizing. They fit snugly under the Varis Asso body kit on Ohlins DFV coilovers and hide some large Alcon 6-pot (front) and 4-pot (rear) brakes with Alcon braided brake lines.

Things are equally as spiffy inside with some inspiration from Tommi Makinen in the shape of an OMP steering wheel and Recaro seats in the name of the rallying legend. A Works Bell steering boss allows the wheel to be fitted and the NRG quick tilt eases ingress and egress.

Takata handled the shoulder pads, harnesses and harness reinforcement plates. Merrill Performance welded in the four-point cage and trunk bars to stiffen up the shell, seeing that the Mirage wasn’t designed to handle this amount of power from the factory. Completing the interior is a 10000rpm instrument cluster.

It wouldn’t be a true Evo conversion if the car didn’t mimic the appearance outside. Also, Archie wanted to be the first to install the Varis Asso kit on a Mirage and that necessitated converting the front end into an Evo 5.

Fitting the carbon fibre hood and trunk was easy, same of which could be said about the Varis Asso front bumper, V2 front diffuser, front canards and GT fenders. It was a different story altogether for the rear end however. Seeing that the Varis Asso kit was made for the four-door Evo, fitting the rear pieces required some creative solutions.

The body shop had to mould some of the pieces together and make adjustments to the Varis Asso rear overlays to overcome the missing rear doors. The rear diffuser went on without much drama. A Voltex 1700mm Type-4 wing sits on the trunk and APR GT wing mirrors slicken the side profile.

Everything was covered in a shimmering layer of Custom Kandy Deep Oak Burgandy mixed with 50 per cent Kandy apple red and 50 per cent Kandy Gold.

Was it all worth it? According to Archie, the crowning glory of the build was when he picked up the coveted Builder’s Award handed out by Mitsubishi executives themselves at their show. The execs were considering building a two-door Evo for the show themselves but then Archie showed up and showed them how it was done.

Creating a two-door Evo is a financial mistake but one-upping Mitsubishi-USA is undoubtedly priceless.

Car – Mitsubishi Mirage 2000

Engine – TrevTec Motorsport 2.1-litre EVO VIII 4G63 engine, Manley Performance billet 94mm crankshaft, Manley Performance turbo Tuff conrods, Manley Performance 10.5:1 pistons, ACL race bearings, ARP L19 race head studs, balance shaft eliminating kit, Cosworth EVO8 race head gasket, Curt Brown port and polished race head, Manley SS valves, KIGLYS Valve Springs, KIGLYS Titanium Seats and Retainers, GSC S3 Race Cams, Tomei Adjustable Cam Gears, ETS Turbo Kit, ETS 4.5-inch intercooler kit, Precision 6466 Billet Dual BB Turbo, Turbosmart 46mm Wastegate, Tial 50mm BOV, TrevTec Motorsports Intercooler Pipe, TrevTec Motorsports Custom Down Pipe, Merrill Performance Custom 3.0-inch Titanium Exhaust, TrevTec Motorsports Custom oil catch can, AMS race oil pan, Frontline Billet valve cover, ARC radiator cap, CBRD EVO 5 radiator, Fuel Injector Clinic 2150cc injectors, TrevTec Motorsport intake manifold, Aeromotive ELIMINATOR Racing Fuel Pump, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, stainless steel fuel lines, Sparktech Ignition coils, ARC ignition cover, ARC EVO6 titanium radiator shroud, Odyssey Battery, Cusco Battery Cut-Off Switch

Electronics –

Transmission – Evo 4 transmission with Stage 3 Shepherd Transmissions upgrade, Evo 5 Transfer Case with Stage 3 Shepherd Transmissions Upgrade, Quaife Evo 8 LSD, Driveshaftshop Custom 2-piece Driveshafts, Evo 5 Front Axles, Evo 5 Control Arms and Knuckles, Complete EVO 7 RS Rear Subframe and Suspension Linkage, Exedy HD Triple Disc Clutch Kit, Evo 7 rear differential with LSD, Evo 5 K-frame

Chassis & Handling – Ohlins DFV, Energy Suspension bushing kit, complete Evo 5 arms + mounts + bracings

Brakes – Alcon 6-pot (front) 4-pot (rear), Alcon braided brake lines

Wheels & Tyres – Volk Racing TE37 18×10.5 +15 in hyper gold, BFGoodRich T1S tyres 285/30R18

Interior – Takata 4-point harnesses + Shoulder Pads + Harness Reinforcement Plates, Works Bell Boss Short Steering Hub, OMP Tommi Makinen Edition Steering Wheel, NRG quick tilt, Merrill Performance Custom weld-in 4-point roll-cage (ceramic coated), Merrill Performance Custom Trunk cage and support bars, Custom upholstery suede, Recaro Tommi Makinen Edition seats, Recaro brackets and rails, Mivec 10,000rpm instrument cluster

Exterior – Custom Kandy Deep Oak Burgandy mixed with 50 per cent Kandy apple red and 50 per cent Kandy Gold, carbon fibre hood + trunk, Evo 5/6 front end conversion, Evo 5/6 Stanley taillights, Varis Asso front bumper + V2 front under diffuser + front canards + GT fenders with CF canards + rear fenders overlay, CF Vortex Generator, CF rear Diffuser, Voltex 1700mm Type-4 CF Wing, APR GT side view mirrors

Power – 850hp and 615Nm at 2.6bars on E85 fuel