THE GR8 EIGHT

Joni Meriläinen from Sotkamo has built cars for a long time, and he's very well known as a guy who handles his cars with a touch of motorsport. A few years back Joni found a car that fit him like a glove, a Mitsubishi Evo VIII. Built with care and premium parts, this low and wide Evo is handled with attitude.

The Evo madness started in 2012 when Joni got to drive an Evo V as a daily driver for a year. During this time this Evo proved that it not only looks like a race car, but it truly is one at its core. It was also very nimble to handle, especially when compared to Joni's previous cars, which include an Audi RS2. Due to family expansion Joni swapped the Evo to a Dodge Caliber SRT4, which couldn't fill the 4WD shaped hole in his heart, which then lead to him buying an Audi RS4 (B7). This Audi was of course also tuned, and Joni won a Top 3 trophy in Jyväscruising. Even then that special something was missing.
For reasons unknown Joni got the idea of buying a newer Evo. He soon found a suitable specimen, and jumped on a train almost instantly. The seller picked him up at the train station, and when Joni saw the red Evo VIII on the parking lot, his inner child sprung to life. Hands were shook and money was transferred pretty quickly, since the car was everything and more he had wished for. Joni drove the car back home in a snowstorm, smiling like you do, when you drive an Evo. The first winter he used it as a daily driver and drove on some ice track events, where the car was right at home. Due to work related and family reasons the car was kept stock for a long time, but this of course, was just a temporary situation.
The main goal was to build a track ready car that would be very low and very wide. It would also have to be unique, and not just another tuned Evo. With this in mind he ordered some Voltex rear fenders, and cut them into pieces and remodeled them to his liking. After that he ordered some front fenders, and since the quality was not to his liking, he ordered some more. Only the fourth set of fenders were good enough, and didn't leave any notable gaps anywhere. The AutoTech widebody rear bumper is equipped with quick release, so it can be removed quickly, as can the Chargespeed front bumper. The stock spoiler has been replaced with a more subtle carbon fiber spoiler.
The interior has been upgraded with a roll cage, some Sabelt six-point seat belts, and with the wet dream of all CT9A Evo drivers: the famous Ralliart gauge cluster, that has digits up to 340km/h. The roll cage is a bolt model, that was modified to fit the interior. With the exception of the gear knob, the interior was left stock (for now). The stock Recaros go a long way in track use, especially when the Sabelts bind you in place.
The car is built with race tracks in mind, and it shows everywhere. The Leon Hardiritt Bugel forged wheels hide some serious stopping power behind them, since the front calipers are 8-piston K-Sports with drilled and grooved discs. The rear brakes are Brembos with similar discs. The tire choice is Toyo Proxes R888 in a functional 235/40/18” size. The car project was on hiatus for a long time, due to problems with creating time from nothing, as is often the situation when you are an entrepreneur and a family guy. In the fall of 2016 the car tuning spark was re-ignited, however, when Joni started to think about entering some car shows.
Joni decided to enter ”Hötsi” meet, with about a month time left and the car totally unfinished. Challenge accepted! In just a few weeks Joni and his friends did the necessary fiberglass mods and wrapped the car, and installed pretty much all the modification parts. The engine has this far been upgraded with some basic modifications: the exhaust manifold, elbow, downpipe and exhaust have been swapped to better breathing ones, and the air intake and intercooler with its pipings have been upgraded. These mods are always beneficial to Evos, as history has proven time and time again.
The first evolution of Joni's Evo was finished just in time for Hötsi, with pretty much no time to spare. The last of the decals printed by WND were installed in the exhibition hall. It remains to be seen how many more evolutions we will see, but if Joni's history with cars is of any indication, he will propably do some insane things with this car also. He's talking about some pretty big power upgrades, but judging by some video material and this picture right here, this Evo is totally capable of smoking Toyo R888s without any problems with the current powerband.

 

Evo 8 garage burnout by JTmedia.fi from JAP3 on Vimeo.

SPECS:

CAR:

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII 2005

ENGINE:

Exhaust manifold, elbow, downpipe, 3” exhaust, K&N air filter, Evo IX metal bypass valve, better intercooler and intercooler pipings, silicone hoses

POWERTRAIN:

5-speed manual, AYC differential

SUSPENSION:

Tein coilovers

BRAKES:

K-Sport 8-piston calipers with drilled and grooved discs in the front, stock Brembos and Ferodo pads with drilled and grooved discs in the back

WHEELS:

Leon Hardiritt Bugel Super Star three-piece forged wheels with step lips, 9x18” ET11 in the front, 10x18” ET -2 in the back

TIRES:

Toyo Proxes R888 235/40/18”

EXTERIOR:

Chargespeed front bumper with quick release, Ait Racing +30mm front fenders, Seibon carbon fiber bonnet, rear fenders modified from Voltex +30mm kit, carbon fiber mirrors, Auto Tech widebody rear bumper modified to fit with Voltex fenders, carbon fiber rear spoiler, body wrapped with matte red vinyl, Ralliart cooling plate, Sparco tow straps. Chargespeed side skirts and rear bumper sitting in the garage, as an alternative option

INTERIOR:

Bolt roll cage integrated to fit with the stock interior, Recaro seats, Sabelt 6-point seat belts, Ralliart 340km/h gauge cluster, Defi boost gauge, Vems wideband, Terratrip headset, Pekkilä Racing gear knob

AUDIO:

Co-drivers screams and notes

NUMBERS:

Enough to melt Toyo R888s (stock 265hp and 355Nm)

NEXT ON THIS PROJECT:

Some performance and exterior modifications to come

PREVIOUS PROJECTS:

RS2000, Cosworth, Audi RS2, Audi B7 RS4, etc.

THANKS:

Petri Moilanen, Jaakko Kemppainen, Pentti Uurtio, Black Out Manu Leppänen, Duke, WND Jyrki Määttä, EPRT, BWC crew, guys at Autohuolto Sotkamo

ONLINE:
www.eprt.racing
www.ahsotkamo.fi