WORKS Newsletter – Spring 2008
Now that the weather is getting nice and the roads are drying up, it is time to bring your projects out of the garage and show them off. We kept quite busy through the cold months developing new products for the new Lancer and EVO X platform as well as a host of other motorsports and customer projects. Here’s a look at how we spent our winter, hope you enjoy it.
-The WORKS Team
WORKS SPEED World Challenge Lancer Development
Racing season is upon us and the WORKS SWC Lancer is in the midst of full scale development. One of the benefits of building a production based race car is that we get to pass on some of the race-inspired products to our customers. We have developed a Short Shifter which started life in our SWC race car and quickly made its way to our official product lineup. In the near future we will offer several other SWC Lancer derived products including a Brain Flash, intake, upgraded clutch kit and suspension. While we cannot disclose all the details of the SWC engineering, we have made a lot of progress over the winter. With chassis construction completed, and a fully integrated roll cage, driver’s seat and custom fabricated steering column in place, the Lancer is progressing nicely. There are still hundreds of hours of work ahead of us but we look forward to a strong presence in the SPEED World Challenge series later this season.
ECU Flash Development
Since we first got our hands on the 2008 Lancer (CVT & 5-speed), our engineers have been hard at work developing the WORKS FlashWORKS software for the new platform. While on the surface this may seem like a simple task, the reality is it can be a long and enduring process. Understanding the ECU’s codes, security features and rewriting the software so that the vehicle has consistent power gains across the entire power band without sacrificing reliability are all daunting challenges. The WORKS Engineering team is proud to say that "we are in" in ECU and nearing the finish line for the new Lancer and EVO flash. Keep your eyes on our website for more details.
WORKS & Formula Jim Russell:
Engine Dyno Tuning
The Jim Russell racing organization approached WORKS in 2007 to assist in the development of the new FJR-50 (Formula Jim Russell) race car program.
The powerplant in the new cars is the proven EVO IX MIVEC 4G63 turbo engine.
Our intimate experience with Mitsubishi factory parts, tools, procedures and racing provided Russell with technical information and assistance during the initial construction. With WORKS as the very first EVO ECU tuner in the U.S. (2003), we were asked to define the engine management mapping for the Formula cars and continue to do so on an ongoing basis.
Engine tuning is performed with a stand-alone engine management system on track at Infineon Raceway and on an engine (not chassis) dynamometer (see pics above) in a controlled environment. Even the seemingly simplest functions such as cold start, hot start, idle control, throttle jab and part throttle cruise were not so simple starting from scratch. Once the essentials were accomplished, tuning began for smooth, broad power. All load and RPM ranges are targeted with drivability and reliability as the primary goals. Sudden onsets of turbo boost can easily upset the lightweight carbon fiber Lola F3 chassis which can be detrimental in road racing. Different power levels have been considered for the school and the racing series. On the suspension side, the FJR-50s are running on Öhlins dampers. Serious fun.
Mitsubishi Debuts 2009 Lancer Ralliart
Mitsubishi pulled the curtains off of the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart at the Detroit Auto Show this January. The platform which is positioned between the EVO X and the Lancer will be a direct competitor to the WRX and should offer great performance at an affordable price. Highlights include a 235 horse power turbocharged 2.0 liter power plant, a twin-clutch SST gearbox, full-time AWD with an Active Center Differential and limited slip differentials fore and aft. You can start looking for the Ralliart Lancer in Mitsubishi showrooms in the summer of this year.
Mitsubishi Concept RA
One of the Mitsubishi’s most forward thinking designs is the Concept RA. Making use of a highly efficient turbocharged diesel 4-cylinder that delivers upwards of 300 lb-ft of torque the Concept RA should be able to deliver breathtaking performance while also maintaining relatively low fuel consumption. The environmentally friendly supercar makes use of an advanced system of catalytic converters and superlight weight construction to keep emissions low and efficiency high. As with many concepts the RA may never make it to production, but the technology gained from this exercise may prove to be important to future Mitsubishi designs down the road. It is nice to see Mitsubishi thinking about a future that combines performance and environmental responsibility.
WORKS EVO X Road Test/Review and Development
The EVO X has been one of the most anticipated Mitsubishi vehicles ever to hit the shores of North America. Maligned by many and heralded by others we were eager to get our hands on the latest iteration of Mitsubishi’s super sedan and decide for ourselves.
WORKS took delivery of a 2008 Evolution X GSR shortly after they began arriving at the dealers. Once the proper break-in procedure was complete, most of us have had a turn behind the wheel. While we haven’t been on track with it yet, here’s a brief review of what we’ve experienced so far.
While based on the same fundamentals as its predecessor, the EVO IX, the X is in many ways a completely different beast. Looks were drastically altered with a more abrupt front fascia, a slightly wider track and a stretched wheelbase but shorter overall length giving the car a stocky and aggressive look. Since the unveiling of the Prototype X its styling has been a topic of debate. While that still tends to be the case, the shape is starting to win over some of those that didn’t approve in the beginning. Most comments we receive while out with the car have been positive.
Under the hood a new all-aluminum turbocharged 4-cylinder motivates all four wheels with the assistance of a host of traction controlling devices including the new (to the US market) Active Yaw Control (AYC). On the stopping side of things the X boasts massive vented disc brakes (13.8” front and 13” rear) that dwarf those of the EVO IX.
Inside the cockpit seems a bit more refined than the previous generation. Appealing to the ever growing luxury sedan segment, Mitsubishi added a host of gizmos to give the EVO X a more upscale feel including satellite radio and increased sound deadening for a quieter ride. In addition to these lavish (compared to the IX) appointments the X also boasts much improved crash safety with seven air bags and newly designed high-strength side structures. Outward visibility is not the EVO X’s strong point. With a taller rear wing, taller front and rear seats, and a slightly shrunken greenhouse looking over your shoulder to back up requires a bit of detective work, but thanks to some well placed mirrors it’s still possible to navigate the supermarket parking lot.
On the road you can immediately feel the chassis improvements in the X. The car feels extremely rigid yet still provides a comfortable ride. Turn-in on the X is superb and the quick ratio steering lets you chuck the car into corners at brisk pace leaving the AYC to keep the rear end in line. Although at times the car feels as if it might get twitchy, especially with the ASC and AYC switched off, the EVO X is reluctant to step out in a turn. As you drive it more and more you realize the cars handling limits are much further than they initially seem. Pinning the accelerator to the floor gives a good jolt as the car comes on boost. With a quiet exhaust there is a good bit of intake and drive train noise to fill your ears. Approaching redline there seems to be a slight hiccup in acceleration, a problem which was quickly cured by the addition of our own WORKS drop-in air filter. The brakes on the new EVO are equally impressive with stopping distances shorter than the lighter EVO IX. A quick jab of the brakes is more than enough to spill your coffee and frighten your passengers.
Overall the car is a pleasure to drive because of how easy it is to operate. It doesn’t offer the same raw and tactful feel as its predecessor, but instead gives refined performance and easy control.
With already improved turning and braking performance and a lightweight engine that has a ton of power potential the new EVO X is sure to be a track stud. With our drop-in filter and StealthWORKS exhaust we have already seen impressive gains from the X. With a host of products in development (including engine management, suspension and exhaust components) the new platform WORKS hopes to give the X real supercar performance.
Once again, Mitsubishi has taken several aspects of the Evolution to the next level and we eagerly await the arrival of the MR. We look forward to enhancing the chassis even further with a full lineup of parts and accessories, so stay tuned.
Customer Profile: Howard Dreispan
Howard Dreispan has been a loyal WORKS customer for several years now. He currently owns two great Mitsubishi vehicles, an ’06 EVO MR and a rare 1989 Starion ESI-R. The EVO, which serves as Howard’s daily driver, boasts a full line of WORKS components including a full turbo back exhaust, front camber plates, rear pillow ball mounts and our trunk cage, giving the car a sporty feel without sacrificing the comfort necessary for a daily driver. His Starion is a rare bird indeed. With only 90,000 original miles it was one of only 1,866 Starions to come to the US in 1989 and is fitted with the ultra-rare factory adjustable suspension and Aero wheel covers. This car was also used by GReddy as a test mule when they first began making products for the US market.
While we always knew that Howard was a genuine EVO lover it wasn’t until recently that we discovered he has one of the most extensive collections of Mitsubishi Motorsports gear we have ever seen. Just off of his New Jersey home Howard has a heated garage that looks like the Ralliart Taj Mahal. Filled from floor to ceiling with signed Rally photos, drivers suits, race car fenders, banners, scale models and even a complete engine, it is a truly a Mecca for Mitsubishi fans. Always friendly and enthusiastic Howard is a joy to talk to on the phone and his love for motorsports is unquestionable. This month we salute Howard for being such a great customer and a genuine Mitsubishi enthusiast.
High-Flow Drop-In Air Filter – EVO X
Better air flow means more power. Cleaner air means increased engine longevity. Now you can have the best of both worlds with the WORKS High-flow Drop-in Air Filter for the EVO X. This direct drop-in replacement for the factory filter flows twice as much as the stock filter giving gains up to 27 HP. Additionally, we’ve noted smoother air flow and boost characteristics, leading to improved drivability. Constructed of multilayer cotton fabric with stainless steel mesh reinforcement this unit will filter particles down to several microns. Pick up one of our cleaning kits for this reusable filter and this could be the last air filter you will have to buy for your 2008 Evolution.
DV (Diverter Valve) – EVO X
The WORKS Diverter Valve is an OEM-style unit featuring all-metal casing (except internal diaphragm), utilizing a higher rate (stiffer) internal spring than all others for ultimate boost pressure regulation and special fastening hardware for a superior airtight seal. Holds significantly more boost than the OEM version and since 100% of the discharged boost pressure is returned back to the intake, our Diverter Valve ensures the best drivability possible for your 2008 Evolution.
StealthWORKS Performance Muffler – EVO X
For those EVO Enthusiasts where exhaust quietness is a strong consideration, the StealthWORKS Performance Muffler is your answer. The factory design is fairly complex with room to improve airflow without sacrificing sound suppression. We take the stock EVO muffler and modify it in-house to produce the most power with the least noise. We open the muffler, alter the internals for a more direct, unobstructed flow, weld with stainless steel wire and repaint the canister to a factory black finish. Voila, you have a muffler that looks stock, sounds almost stock, fits perfectly, provides quicker turbo spool and produces more power and torque.
Clutch Kits – EVO X
Producing power is one thing, but getting it to the ground is another. The new line of WORKS clutch upgrades for the 5-speed 2008 Evolution is now available to help ensure that the extra power offered by our engine performance products is finding its way to the Tarmac, Gravel or Snow. Available in our CK1 with an organic disc for street-level enthusiasts and the CK2’s staggered Kevlar disc for enhanced engagement and longevity. Both offer improved clamping force while maintaining the OEM feel in pedal pressure.
Spin Aluminum Flywheel – EVO X
A lightweight flywheel reduces rotating mass for quicker throttle response for a livelier and faster revving engine. The WORKS Spin Flywheel, weighing a scant 4.2Kg, will make rev-matching on downshifts that much easier and allow the turbo to stay in boost more effectively. Our Spin features 6061-T6 aircraft-grade billet aluminum with a hardened center section and replaceable steel friction ring for easy and cost-effective maintenance to make this the last flywheel you will ever have to buy for your 5-speed EVO X!
Ride Springs – EVO X
The WORKS Ride Performance Springs are an affordable and functional entry into suspension upgrades. The lowered stance and improved spring rates add to their performance-oriented capability. With our in-house shock dynamometer, we matched the Ride Springs to both sets of factory shocks/struts (KYB of the GSR and Bilstein of the MR). Although more taut, our springs will not sacrifice ride quality and will increase performance with flatter cornering. These also bring the EVO down 25mm (1") at both front and rear for a lower center of gravity while maintaining the factory rake for optimal handling with or without use of the S-AWC. These are also featured as part of the WORKS SS-1 Suspension Package for the 2008 Evolution.
Adjustable Rear Sway Bar – EVO X
There is no better way to get your car to corner flatter, deeper and with more conviction than with WORKS Sway Bars. The WORKS Rear Sway Bar is 25mm (+2mm over stock) and 3-way adjustable, which allows you to dial in how much oversteer or understeer the EVO has according to track and driving conditions. The WORKS bar diameter was designed for maximum grip both with and without the S-AWC in use. Features include one-piece forged construction for strength (no welded ends), heat-treated for consistent rates and powder-coated for long term protection. Direct replacement utilizing the factory brackets and comes complete with WORKS polyurethane bushings. This is also featured as part of the WORKS SS-1 Suspension Package for the 2008 Evolution.
SS (Stainless Steel) Brake Line Kit – EVO X and Lancer
Believe it or not, stopping fast makes you quicker. Ask any track veteran and they will tell you that upgrading your brakes is equally, if not more, important as adding more power if you want to bring down your lap times. In a continuing effort to improve the OEM braking system we have developed our new SS Brake Line Kit. Each of the lines is made of a Teflon tube with a protective coating and a braided stainless steel exterior to reinforce the line. When compared with a stock rubber line the WORKS SS Brake Lines provide superior brake pedal feel, improved resistance to heat and chemicals and increased durability. These lines have been tested and scrutinized to meet tough DOT standards and are a direct bolt-on replacement for the OEM units.
Throw Short Shifter – EVO X and Lancer
One of the first hand-me-down products from the WORKS SPEED World Challenge Lancer, the WORKS Throw Short Shifter provides reduced travel when switching between gears. It incorporates a revised design to the OEM shape and leverage angles so your hand is located in a more natural position. The new geometry reduces travel by 25% with only a minimal increase in shifting effort. Compatible with both Mitsubishi and WORKS Grab shift knobs.
Shifter Cable Bushings – EVO X
Made from medical-grade urethane our WORKS Shifter Cable Bushings are an excellent way to firm up your EVO’s shifting without sacrificing transmission longevity. The urethane used in our shifter bushings is compliant enough to cushion the shock from shifting and prevent constant force being transmitted to the transmission (like solid bushings), but firm enough to provide a very positive, precise feel. In addition each bushing features a nickel plated corrosion-resistant metal insert to positively locate the bushing and prevent premature wear. Available for the 5-speed 2008 Evolution, the WORKS Shifter Bushings are a proven way to improve the feel of a stock transmission.
AME TM-02 Wheels