Garage doors open to EVO Hatchback Rally Car Project

Garage doors open to EVO Hatchback Rally Car Project

After three years in the making, Jason Addison has finally completed his Hatchback EVO Rally Car. Jason spent three years building, dismantling, and refurbishing this unique 4WD EVO style Rally Car.

Jason wanted to build something that was not off-the-shelf, and wanted to mimic as much as he could to a WRC styled car. With many hours of research on the internet, Jason endured this huge task to build his one-off rally car that would be head turning, and would be reliable.

The project car on day 1

In May 2011, Jason purchased a 4WD Mirage that he had plans for. Many thought he was crazy, or it couldn’t be done. Life started for this Mirage as a 1300cc Automatic that was a daily runner, and now fledges a Turbo 2.0 litre EVO 8 MR engine and EVO 6 drive train.

He knew the EVO was a reliable performance car, and thought a combination of EVO parts should be the recipe for a great rally car.

The car is fully built from Mitsubishi parts or an aftermarket part where performance was required. The Mitsubishi range the car is built from is EVO 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Mirage, Legnum and Diamante.

The car has largely been built by Jason’s own hands, with help from his brother when it was too much for one.

Jason started the project by stripping the car down to the shell, removing the old motor, and starting the roll cage install. With the large two door hatch doors, the cage was built to the limits of the openings as this would be the weak part to the cage.

Cage design
Cage design

He studied WRC cages and their designs before 3D modelling the cage of how it would look in the Mirage and what section of tube went where. The roll cage is constructed of 56m of roll cage tubing. Many hours went into the cage build, and were welded up by Fabrication and Repairs.

With the car being so light, Jason knew he had to get more weight on towards the rear wheels, and the only way to do this was to move the driver and passenger seats back to the rear 350mm from the factory position and lower them to the floor.

This resulted in huge modifications to driving pedals, steering wheel, gear stick, control sticks and so on.

He then spent 100+ hours building a purpose built centre console to house all the controls, the new gearstick position, and the hydraulic handbrake. This would then house the main controls to the car for the driver and co-driver to access.

At this point Christmas 2012 came along, and he knew this project was going to take longer than anticipated due to his need for perfection.

Going for the WRC look
Going for the WRC look

The look of the Mirage was next on the agenda, and knowing that the look was not good enough, the search for a full EVO 5 panel and kit began. First came the front guards, flares, and bonnet from Mike Gibbons EVO Parts. And some parts were found on the internet and purchased and shipped for the build. This went on for a few months until all the parts were found. The hardest parts to source were the genuine EVO 5 orange front indicators.

As the genuine EVO 5 bumper was fitted to the car, the headlights also needed to be changed as it was apparent a full facelift was now required. The old radiator rail was no longer good enough for the new headlights, so this was changed also.

It was becoming apparent this project was not going to be easy, and it may end up being one of those famous Kiwi projects that sits in the back of the shed under a cover.

With the EVO front panels being the style wanted, these had to be significantly modified to fit the car. These panels became a combination of both Mirage and genuine EVO 5 guards to create the flare, and join the door lines. These guards took 60+ hours to complete to align with the Mirage doors, the new EVO headlights, and also bolt to the original panel bolt holes.

Side skirts and rear flares were then fitted to the car, with the rear flares being fibre glassed to the shell for rigidity and appearance.

Now that the shape was taking place, the drive chain and power plant needed to be looked at. Mike from EVO Parts in Te Puke sourced an EVO 8 MR wreck, and the engine was then installed into the Mirage.

With the engine installed, stopping the car was the next project.  With discs on the front and drum brakes on the rear, these had to go. These are now replaced with 320mm slotted and drilled disc brakes all round. The 4 stud hubs were also replaced with 5 stud hubs from an EVO 6.

Rear end underneathAs the Mirage was similar to an EVO 6 front suspension set up and an EVO 3 rear suspension setup, converting to an EVO 6 hub setup was easy for the front, and not so easy for the rear. A combination of EVO parts and trialling came into play, with a combination of most EVO’s to build the rear suspension setup.

The Mirage rear sub frame was not going to be strong enough for the new power, and this was changed to an EVO 6 alloy sub frame.  All suspension arms and joints were replaced, and larger inverted HKS adjustable suspension finished off the setup.

Now the car was nearing completion, but wiring issues were dragging out the project.  Wiring diagrams were downloaded, and many of the headaches began.

The EVO wiring loom was in the car with Mirage wiring loom under the dash. Many hours were spent solving why the car would only run for 5 – 10 seconds, and then stall. The issue was between the EVO loom and the Mirage loom.  Even though the plugs joined, wire colours aligned and looked right, it was not. There were some minor differences between the EVO Loom and Mirage Loom, and the most significant was the Starter Motor and Fuel Pump wires are back to front between the 2 looms.  This was why the fuel pump would start on ignition and the car would run for 5 – 10 seconds, then run out of fuel.  This was then resolved, and the car was ready now for the paint shop.

The car was delivered to Al at BOP Marine Painters along with paint from Fuji Automotive.  The car was getting its colours applied.

Once the car was painted, it was time to start putting it back together for the last time.

The car was now complete, and it was time for the dyno run at CDM Motorsport.  Lin did wonders, and got the car running properly and fully tuned with some reasonable power, but yet it was still safe.

It was now time to start racing the project that took a lot longer than planned, but Jason was happy with the outcome. Jason hopes to have the car out more in 2015, and hopes to compete in a couple of Rally Xtreme rounds in 2015 all going well.

Jason wants to send a massive thanks to:
Jacqui, his fantastic wife, for allowing him to build this dream toy of his.
Mike Gibbons at EVO Parts in Te Puke, for all the parts and the trials they did.
Lin at Concept Dynamic Motorsport (CDM), for the tune.
Al at BOP Marine Painters at Sulphur Point Tauranga, for painting the car.
Vaughan at Fuji Automotive in Hamilton, for supplying the paint.
Steve at Tint Tech Hamilton, for tinting the car.
Mike Shaw Fibreglass Hamilton – For the supply of all the Fibreglass
Rodney at Fabrication and Repairs Oropi Tauranga, for welding the cage.
His brother, for all his help during the build, with a few late nights nearing the end.

And a huge thanks to Jase at for photographing the car.

About admin

Leave a Reply