The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution series requires no introduction to petrolheads. Being featured in several Fast and Furious movies and nearly all Need For Speed games, the four door turbocharged all wheel drive sedan is a dream for many 90s and early 00s car enthusiasts.
Zoheb Mustafa is a passionate petrolhead who lives off selling cars and has been into the world of building project cars for several years before getting his hands on his dream Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. In this feature of Turbine, we’ve interviewed Zoheb Mustafa to find out about his journey of turning a bone stock Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX to the project car of his childhood dreams.
When did you first get the car?
I bought my Evolution back in 2015. I still remember the exact date I bought the car home- 11th of October 2015. I was very happy to get the IX. This was my second Lancer Evolution though as before this I had a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII which was facelifted to an EVOLUTION IX, but I sold that off long before
Tell us more about how you started your journey with this car. What was your first modification?
Well, first of all when I went to see the car, I found it almost as fresh as brand new. It was completely stock with almost everything untouched and all factories fitted till the last bolt other than the ones opened was for maintenance. I started growing a soft corner for this Evo IX ever since I first saw the car. However, it took me a while before I could convince the previous owner to hand me over the keys. I still remember asking the previous owner to not drive the car after paying the booking money because in my heart, the car was already mine. To my surprise, the seller was indeed a gentleman who kept his word and did not use the car even before the final deal was made.
Being a vehicle importer yourself, why didn’t you choose a new sports car over this Evo IX?
Well, actually there’s a bit more to add to the story of getting the IX left to be said. I was searching for an Evo for a very long time. However, given how rare Evos are in our country, I couldn’t even find one for sale. Hence, loosing all hopes, I decided to import a Toyota GT86 for myself from Japan. I bought a red Toyota GT86 GT Limited TRD package. I lost hope and bought the GT86 which was in Japan. I even sent it to Toyota for full maintenance of the vehicle before delivery which includes oil change, filter change etc. and even got it ceramic coated in Japan as this was something which was not available in Bangladesh at that time.These are things which are typically never done on regular vehucles as it bumps up the price. However, right when the vehicle was ready to be shipped, I found out that my dream Evo IX I own is up for sale. It didn’t take me long to change my mind given I knew I could sell the GT86 off, though at a lower price than what it actually costed but it was definitely worth it for this particular Evo.
List some modifications you have done to your car?
Given the Evo was completely bone stock, the only things I got with the car was Ralliart mud flaps and 1 defi boost gaige. Hence, my sheer excitement for the Evo made me order parts for it even before I took the delivery of the car. Some of these aftermarket parts are AEM intake system, kakimoto exhaust, ets decat, Tomei downpipe, zetronix, defi gauges, exedy hyper twin clutch, etc. That’s all I remember. Now the car has many things installed other than the ones mentioned here and lots of after aftermarket bits are coming in. It’s no longer a 100% stock Evo.
How does it drive? Driving impression?
Well, when the car was completely stock. It was very comfortable for a rally ready car that could very conveniently be used as a daily driver. The fuel economy was above 6kmpl at all times which is on par with many non-hybrid reconditioned vehicles these days. Although , I can assure you that I never used it to pick up groceries after work. When everything was stock the fuel consumption was very low. However, after years of modifications, the Evo isn’t as comfortable as it used to be given several parts have been upgraded for better handling while compromising comfort. Such as, I’ve installed aftermarket strut and sway bars for stability as well as replace the stock suspension to whiteline suspension. If anyone is to ask me how it drives, I would say it’s a lot of fun to drive a vehicle overall. This is a car which doesn’t need to be pushed at full boost to have the most fun with. The Evos have been special for their industry leading handling features such as the ACD and AYD which have always been way ahead of the competition. Hence, the driving feel of the Evo has always been brilliant. The car is fast but does feel safe to me at the same time as well.
Do you plan on letting it go in the future?
The journey with my Evo is still on. I plan to upgrade even further. However, that doesn’t translate to me going for a very high power all at once. I think that I’ll get bored with the car if I max the car out all at once. Rather, I go for minor upgrades which lead to a steady increase in power.