Published in NZ Performance Car Issue No. 196

The first time the NZPC crew laid eyes on the [RIPUUP] Mitsubishi Evo VIII was three years ago when a horrifying scene played out in the rear-view mirror of head photographer Adam Croy’s S13 during a track day at Hampton Downs. On Richie D’Souza’s fourth lap of the brake-killing Hampton Downs, his Evo VIII had boiled the brake fluid and suffered fade off turn one at the end of the pit straight, heading off the track and onto the kitty litter before scrubbing the wall. Thankfully Richie was fine and the damage the Evo suffered was mostly cosmetic, but it did destroy the guard, bonnet, bumper and left-hand doors. This wasn’t a great start to the partnership between Richie and his newly acquired Evo, but it was the catalyst to spark the build that you have the pleasure of viewing in front of you today.

Richie explains: “I had been watching a lot of overseas time attack videos and coverage of the World Time Attack Challenge in Australia. I loved the look of many of the kits that guys were running and the look of the carbon panels. So as the insurance company wouldn’t be funding the Evo’s unplanned trip to GT Refinishers I decided to try something different and replace what I could with carbon-fibre panels.” The search was now on for as many carbon pieces as he could source; Derek at became Richie’s go-to guy and sent a huge package down under, full of quality genuine carbon gear from companies like Do-Luck and C-West, which included front and rear bumpers, wide body guards, bonnet and boot, front lip, window vents, side skirt extensions, vortex generator, and rear diffuser.

With a fresh coat of black paint and a swag of new carbon parts, the car was looking better than ever, and Richie was eager to get back to the track, but with the Hamptons incident fresh in his mind, some brake upgrades were in order. As the Evo already comes blessed with decent Brembo calipers from the factory, these were retained and a set of DBA T3 slotted rotors and Endless CC-Rg pads were added up front, along with matching items in the rear, all plumbed with braided lines. The new front Evo IX bumper also received a pair of carbon brake ducts to send air directly to the front rotors. This combination seems to be doing the Evo right, with no repetition of the incident over the past few years at the numerous track days he’s attended.

Over that time there have been plenty of other upgrades performed, including some in the engine bay. While the block itself currently remains factory, the head received a pair of Kelford TX272 cams and HKS adjustable cam gears. When it came to a turbo package, Richie again looked abroad, purchasing an AMS Precision GT35R turbo complete with AMS manifold from the States. Running off the back of the turbo is a full Tomei titanium exhaust system minus any mufflers; the combination giving the car a very angry bark at idle that only gets better as it climbs the rev range. Strapped to the Torque Performance dyno the Evo made 278kW at all four on 23psi. “278kW is plenty for the street but I’d like to have some more while out on track. I will probably end up building a forged and stroked 2.3-litre in the search for around 350 very responsive kW.”

When it came to handling, Richie went for a set of HSD coilovers and a selection of underbody braces to make up for the lack of a roll cage in his street car. “I was surprised at the difference each brace made, you could really notice it, especially with the B-pillar Beatrush floor brace.”

But all this talk about track work shouldn’t change the fact that this remains still very much a street car and enjoys regular cruises, Sunday drives and the odd daily commute to work and back. It’s perhaps in this environment where this car looks its best — and it draws massive attention thanks to the wide body, wide wheels, black-on-black-on-carbon, and road-scraping stance … even to the point that it almost caused us to have a near-death experience while shooting on the motorway, as not one, but two idiots cut us off to get a closer look as if our NZPC work hack was invisible (it’s nothing special). In fact wherever we took the Evo it seemed to have a profound effect on people, snapping necks left, right and centre. We only hope that once the new engine package is built that this car retains its street-driving ability, because although it will be completely insane as a track car, witnessing such a machine blasting down the motorway or city back-street is a sight to behold.

Tuning Menu

Engine: Mitsubishi 4G63, 2000cc four-cylinder
Block: Factory internals
Head: Kelford TX272 cams, HKS adjustable cam gears
Intake: Custom three-inch intake pipe, K&N pod filter, carbon-fibre air-diversion plate
Exhaust: AMS turbo manifold, AMS three-inch dump pipe, Tomei titanium cat-delete pipe, Tomei titanium three-inch cat-back exhaust
Turbo: AMS Precision GT35R
Wastegate: TiAL 38mm
BOV:  TiAL 50mm
Fuel: 1000cc Injector Dynamic injectors, Walbro 500hp fuel pump
Ignition: NGK spark plugs
ECU: Factory
Cooling: Custom intercooler piping, aftermarket intercooler core, Koyo half radiator, 12-inch fan
Extra: GReddy ProFec B boost controller, APEX’i turbo timer, stainless oil catch can, carbon-fibre fuse box cover, carbon-fibre spark plug cover

Gearbox: Evo VIII six-speed
Clutch: Autoclutch sprung centre Kevlar disc
Flywheel: Lightened
Diff: Factory LSDs

Struts: HSD coilovers
Brakes: (F) Factory Brembo four-pot calipers, DBA T3 slotted rotors, Endless CC-Rg brake pads, APP braided lines, carbon brake ducts (R) Factory Brembo two-pot calipers, DBA rotors, Endless brake pads
Other: Blox front cross member engine mount, Whiteline rear sway bar, GReddy four-point underbody brace, Cusco rear strut brace, Beatrush floor brace, rear boot support brace

Wheels: (Street) 18×10-inch Work Emotion XD9s, (race) 17×8-inch BBS Evo IX MR
Tyres: (Street) 225/40R18 GT Radial HPY Champiro (race) 235/40R17 Toyo R888 semi-slicks

Paint: Factory
Enhancements: Evo IX front bumper with nose chop, Evo IX rear bumper, carbon Do-Luck front lip, carbon C-West bonnet, carbon boot lid, carbon vortex generator, carbon door pillars, carbon window vents, carbon wide fenders, carbon front bumper ducts, carbon side-skirt extentions with end caps, carbon rear diffuser

Seats: (F) Carbon Kevlar Bride Gias (R) re-trimed factory seats with Bride graduation fabric
Steering wheel: Momo with carbon insert
Instrumentation: GReddy ProFec B boost timer, APEX’i turbo timer
ICE: Pioneer head unit, Soundstream Tarantula 6×9-inch speakers
Other: Carbon door cards. carbon armrest

Power: 278kW (378hp) at the wheels on 23psi

Driver Profile

Richard D’Souza
Age: 24
Location: West Auckand
Occupation: Maintenance engineer
Build time: On-going
Length of ownership: Three years
Thanks: Mum and Dad, my carbon supplier Derek at, Grant at GT Refinishers, Dave at Torque Performance, Nick at Platinum Wheels, Rita, Nitstar, Rebecca [BEXEVO], Listro [KILNEM], Ian (Cromey), all the boys in NZEVO, and anyone else that helped along the way

Words: Marcus Gibson  
Photos: Adam Croy