It’s the finer details that make this JD Mitsubishi Evo IX MR completely boombastic…
Is there a more popular car for performance tuning than the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution? It seems every show is packed with ’em, and every one is making a billion horsepower. Because of this it’s easy to become a bit jaded by them. They’re everywhere and most of them are track cars, or are in the process of being turned into one. That’s why 25 year-old, race mechanic Aaron Palmer’s immaculate Palma Red Evo IX MR stopped us in our tracks.
Firstly, he’s been clever in picking the right base car. Aaron explains: “I saved up for years to buy an Evo IX. It was my dream car.” He didn’t want a cheap banger though. He’d been driving around in a modified Corsa while saving up and he wanted to do it right. The car he bought had to be special in some way, although he probably didn’t realise at the time just how special.
There are many different versions of Lancer Evolution to choose from; GSR, FQ, RS. And they all have slightly different specs and power output. Aaron found this JDM MR version for sale with just 38,000 miles on the clock. It had been imported from Japan almost from new and featured a load of bits that weren’t available on UK cars.
“It had an electric sunroof, polished side sills and chrome detailing around the blower vents. The piano-black dash inserts are unique to this model too – the UK cars got fake carbon fibre instead. I’ve tried to maintain the black, red and chrome theme throughout the whole car. I get compliments on the interior, but I think it’s all relatively subtle stuff. Like choosing a steering wheel with red stitching to match the factory-fitted Recaro seats.”
It’s a similar story under the bonnet. Ignoring the performance tuning for a moment, this is one sexy engine bay. Aaron has gone to a lot of effort to make sure the engine looks as good as it performs. For example, the JM Fabrications exhaust manifold has been Zircotec ceramic-coated to keep the heat in, reduce under-bonnet temperatures and keep the engine working at maximum power. However, Aaron admits that the Primary Black coating was also chosen to match the AMS F1-I inlet manifold.
The engine bay is packed with custom parts too. As a race mechanic for a European Formula 3 racing team, working at circuits including Spa and Monza, Aaron knows his way around the performance side of things. Initially he fitted some bolt-on parts and had the factory ECU mapped by Simon Norris at Norris Designs. The engine made 397bhp initially, then rose to 405bhp after fitting larger fuel injectors and a larger intercooler.
Then he moved from Southampton to Silverstone for work, so he was right on the doorstep of Indigo GT. “They’ve been really helpful,” admits Aaron. “They’ve got contacts all over so I was able to source parts from Japan and America through them. I bought several bits at a time to earn discounts.”
When it came to get the car remapped for the current list of mods, there was a problem…
Want to know more? Check out the full feature on Aaron Palmer’s Evo IX MR in Fast Car magazine issue 383 on sale now in all good shops, the Fast Car online shop or alternatively download Fast Car magazine 381 now.