The Lancer Evolution is a car that all petrolheads desire. With astronomical costs of importing a newer generation Evo and the fact that the Evolution is now officially a badge of the past, we have no choice but to turn to older generations in search of horsepower fueled AWD fun. As luck would have it, there are plenty of old Lancers from the 90’s still plying our streets, many of them workhorses previously employed by the government. Some are even AWD. Recently, a host of Dhaka’s petrolheads have snapped up these sedans and converted them into full blown Lancer Evolution mimics.
As Evo V clone owner Saad Mujtaba Zaman says, “I am more than happy with the performance. It feels and handles like an Evolution out of the factory. I faced no difficulties in the swap, but finding the proper AWD components is tough and rather next to impossible.”
Here’s what you will need:
- a base car, preferably with AWD from the factory.
- a halfcut shipped in from Japan with ECU, complete wiring, gearbox, front axle, brakes, suspension, mounts, radiator and more.
- intact fenders, bumper, hood, and bodykit.
- lots of cash.
- a mechanic who knows what he is doing.
- a loving and caring home.
A regular Lancer does not even come close to the muscular lines of the Lancer Evo, so its wise to opt for a full front halfcut and transfer the bumper, lights, fenders and hood onto the car being converted. Some may want a sleeper look, but the Evo’s track is significantly wider and will require body modifications to accomodate. Skip the wing if you want.
It’s not all that difficult to find a donor car and ship in a halfcut of an Evolution from Japan. The 4G63T is a venerable powerhouse, offering huge potential in terms of how tuneable it is. There’s also the 4G93T, 1.8 litres providing similar power but cheaper and easier to find. The hard part is finding a rear axle and fitting onto a 2WD Lancer, which is why veteran Evo converters suggest having an AWD Lancer as a base.
It’s important to invest in handling upgrades in order to get the power of a 4G63/4G93 to the ground in a Lancer. Best not be cheap in this regard, as there is an ocean between handling abilities of a regular Lancer and an Evo. Go with branded aftermarket items to be on the safe side, although OEM Evo items are great as well. Recommended brands: Cusco (coilovers), Ultra Racing (bars), OZ Racing (wheels), Yokohama (tyres).
People who’ve done the swap say it is on the expensive side if you get top quality parts and want to prepare for further tuning. Estimated cost is around 25 lakhs including the cost of the Lancer base car. With the chances of buying a used Evo VII/VIII/IX quite slim, it's still a bargain for an Evo.