Mitsubishi Evolutions have been rolling off the production line for two decades now, proving themselves time and time again in almost every form of motorsport and car culture thanks to their robust design, timeless shape, and vicious acceleration. These traits were what attracted Shinkal Rogers and her partner Danny Hamilton to their Mitsubishi Evo VII, which after an incident with another vehicle, was written off. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and Shinkal was on the hunt for another Evo to sink her teeth into.
“Not long after the crash, we purchased the written-off Evo back off the insurance company and sold it to a wrecker in Hamilton. Having been a fan of the Evo IX for a very long time, I knew this was the model I wanted to purchase,” Shinkal told us. With a particular Evolution in mind, the hunt for a new project began, and she found what she was seeking down in Christchurch. A bit worse for wear, the Evo IX had been owned by a metal engineering company, and came out of the quakes with a decent amount of cosmetic damage. “It was in a pretty bad way when we first got it, but we kept plenty of the parts from the Evo VII, which came in handy when we purchased the IX. My partner Danny is a car painter by trade, so initially it got resprayed in the factory silver metallic to tidy it up,” Shinkal explained. However, it wouldn’t remain this way for very long.
Before the previous Evo was written off, Shinkal had ordered a new set of wheels to replace the 20-inch items that were on it. As these hadn’t arrived until after the crash, the copper pearl 18- by 9.5-inch Koya CR-TEK wheels found their way onto the Evo IX. Although silver is a practical colour, it’s not the greatest option if you want to stand out. Danny and Shinkal had always wanted to paint one of their cars in candy-apple red, and after Danny found out that one of Mazda’s newest colours, Mazda Soul, is exactly that and readily available, they decided to take the plunge.
What was meant to be a simple respray ended up being a full body restoration that took a painstaking six months, as Shinkal explained. “It was off the road for around six months because we wanted to do it properly. All the doorjambs, inside the boot, and under the bonnet had to be done. To finish the body off, we removed the rear spoiler and installed carbon-fibre eyelids.” New wheels, new paint, and a fresh look wouldn’t be complete without a ride height to match, so Shinkal had a set of Neotech height-adjustable coilovers installed. Wound down, the Evo IX now has a presence that has to be seen in the metal.
For daily driving, and even weekend track time, the factory Evo interior is more than capable of handling its occupants, so it was left untouched. The only aftermarket components in the cabin that give a hint to the extra power under the bonnet are the Auto Gauge oil pressure, water temperature, and boost-pressure gauges.
Evos, although extremely potent in factory form, respond very well to bolt-ons and the MIVEC 4G63 engine was one of the main drawcards for Shinkal before purchasing the IX. They planned to re-flash the factory ECU, and Shinkal and Danny set to work with the bolt-ons which once installed, would net them the best results. Once the intake, intercooler piping, larger front-mounted intercooler and Walbro fuel pump were installed, it was time for well-known dyno tuner Keith Stewart to work his magic on the dyno. From drop-off to pick-up, the Evo was completed promptly, and was now packing 225kW at the wheels on 16psi of boost through the factory turbo — the street and show package was complete.
After enjoying the Evo for three years, taking out the power output category in Tough Street at the V 4&Rotary North Island Jamboree, and having a truckload of fun along the way, Shinkal has decided to sell her completed project. “The plan was always to complete it and one day sell it to somebody else to enjoy. I’ve purchased a new project, which should keep us occupied once again.” Although her latest buy is a rear-wheel drive Nissan that’s completely factory, we’re told that it, too, will get the custom colour treatment, a drop, and big wheels in the near future ready to take out some more awards come show time.
2005 Mitsubishi Evo IX
- Model: Mitsubishi 4G63, four-cylinder, 2000cc
- Block: Factory
- Head: Factory
- Intake: Custom intake pipe, Blitz pod filter, 600x300mm bar and plate intercooler, three-inch intercooler piping
- Turbo: Factory
- BOV: TiAL 50mm
- Fuel: Walbro 500hp in-tank fuel pump
- Ignition: Factory
- Exhaust: Stainless steel three-inch catback exhaust, Jasma certified muffler
- Cooling: Factory
- ECU: Reflashed factory ECU
- Other: Custom painted rocker covers in House of Kolor Kandy hot pink
- Gearbox: Factory five-speed RS gearbox
- Clutch: Clutch Masters stage two
- Flywheel: Factory
- Diff: Factory RS LSD
- Struts: Neotech adjustable coilovers
- Springs: Neotech
- Brakes: Factory Brembos
Seats: Factory Recaro
Steering wheel: Factory
Instrumentation: Auto Gauge oil pressure, water temperature, and boost gauge
Other: JVC head unit
- Paint: Painted by Danny Hamilton and John Furniss at Designer Paints in Mazda Candy Soul red
- Enhancements: Carbon-fibre eyelids, shaved boot lid
- Power: 225kW at the wheels on 16psi of boost
This article originally featured in NZ Performance Car Issue No. 224. Pick up a print copy or digital copy of the edition below: