Wide, mean and packing a powerful punch, we check out Devan Shiels’ tuned Mitsubishi Evo X…
In a world where 300bhp+ hot hatches with four wheel drive, differentials trick enough to make Einstein nod in approval and enough electronics to send a man to the moon, it’s all too easy to forget just how bonkers the likes of the Mitsubishi Evo and the Subaru Impreza really were. Twenty or so years ago the performance car market was a much simpler, more regimented affair. If you wanted to go quickly, you needed a Porsche or a Ferrari, a hot hatch at a push.
The former were pricey and exclusive, the latter were fun, sure, but hardly the most complete of cars, and almost all were front wheel drive. Then, thanks to their respective manufacturer’s desire to win in the WRC, the Evo and the Impreza came along and chucked the performance motor rulebook out of the window in unceremonious fashion, bringing with them turbocharged, all-wheel drive performance and making it available to the masses. We’ve never looked back.
The passing of the last two decades have seen the Evo move away from the rally-bred weapon image it once traded on, and this is largely down to the efforts of aftermarket tuners and passionate owners, Devan Shiels being a case in point. She bought the car just under four years ago, just days after her 18th birthday. At the time it was a stock, 30,000 mile car that appeared to have led a pampered life, so pretty much ideal – and one hell of a birthday present, we’re sure you’ll agree.
“I was just eight when the Evo VIII was introduced to the US, and my dads friend at the time bought a wicked white one. I fell in love instantly and had fun getting my hands dirty and helping with the build and learning about cars along the way, so it really did have a big impact on what I wanted to do with my own Evo when I finally got it.”
The stock Evo didn’t remain so for very long, Devan evidently feeling that Mitsubishi’s finest wasn’t quite wide enough for his tastes and deciding to do something about it, pronto. Making Evos ‘girthier’ is evidently something of an American strong suit, as we’ve featured a number of cars with various kits over the last few years.
True as this might be, it doesn’t mean that we’re in any way tired of seeing them, particularly when they end up looking as straight up brilliant as Devan’s car. The Varis Ultimate Widebody Spec D kit, high rise rear wing and rear bumper now grafted to the Evo X don’t just look cool though, they allow Devan to run those timeless Watercooled CC10 alloys, a hefty 12.5in x 19in all round, and all coated in a thin sliver of Falken rubber.
“The bodywork was the most daunting and time consuming part of the build, no question about it. I started out by pulling and teasing the stock arches out as far as I could, just far enough to fit the wheels. The downside to this was that it ended up looking like a bit of an eyesore, though luckily the wide body kit covered it up!”
The somewhat snaggle-toothed arches might’ve been hidden from view by the addition of the Varis gear (‘out of sight, out of mind’), but this still left Devan with a multicoloured Evo. It was time for paint, with a number of hues, tones and shades considered in depth before Devan finally plumped for the deep red you see on the car now, a colour that really helps highlight the sheer width of the aforementioned kit.
The engine side of things progressed swiftly, Devan evidently deciding to go all out at once in order to net as much power as possible. The Evo X’s motor is hardly short of firepower in factory form, but it’s also undeniable that relatively simple, bolt-on parts can take things to the next level, hence why the car now features a Moore Automotive custom intake and intercooler piping, and an ETS 3.5in intercooler and ETS Extreme V2 straight pipe. It might not sound like much, but it’s enough hardware to imbue this Evo with the kind of power that’s traditionally been the sole preserve of supercars.
“Engine wise, it was mainly an ‘all at once sort of build.’ I wanted it to be balanced overall though, so just enough pull for a daily driver but not eating my bank account at a gas station.”
We should probably take the time to highlight the interior of this particular car, partly as it’s so special, partly as it’s Devan’s favourite aspect of the car. “It’s all white, obviously, and that’s a colour that most people are understandably hesitant about going for when it comes to automotive interiors,” muses Devan. “I’ve no regrets though, as I think it looks great and have even found the white leather pretty easy to keep clean and tidy.”
Again, a white leather interior on a car like this Evo shouldn’t work, mainly as the very idea of it brings to mind images of the ’80s, Miami Vice and Ferrari Tesatarossas (no bad thing in our book), and yet it does. It works so well that it might just be our favourite part of the car, and that’s no mean achievement in a car that’s as stuffed with cool touches as this.
The outcome to all of this is one stonking Evo, a Mitsubishi that spits in the face of conventional wisdom and comes out tumps because of it. Power? Check. Poise? Check. Wipe clean interior? You bet. Road presence? Oh hell yes, several feet worth of aftermarket width either side will do that. It might not be up Tommi Mäkinen’s street, but we think that Devan’s Evo X leads the way.
OWNER: DEVAN SHIELDS
TECH SPEC: MITSUBISHI EVO X
1998cc FB11 with stock internals, head and cams, uprated fuel system with enlarged injectors, powder coated white Moore Automotive custom intake and intercooler piping, ETS 3.5in intercooler and ETS Extreme V2 straight pipe from header, remapped Mitsubishi ECU.
BC Racing BR coilovers, Autopower front four-point anti-roll bar, rebuilt brakes with aftermarket pads, 12.5x19in Watercooled CC10 3P alloys with 275/35/19 Falken tyres.
Varis Ultimate Widebody Spec D bodykit, Varis high rise GT wing, rear bumper and boot, Seibon OEM carbon bonnet, respray in deep red.
Status Racing fixed back carbon seats in white leather with black/red five-point harnesses, Custom Boost Therapy rear seat delete, Words Bell hub and quick release steering wheel boss, limited edition Slammedenuff white steering wheel, Coors Light beer tap gear knob.
DSGPerformance for helping me source all the rare parts!
Words Jarkle Photos Mike Kuhn