The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a fan favorite amongst tuners and WRC rally viewers alike. While the rest of the modernized world had the pleasure of purchasing and hooning the Mitsubishi Evolutions 1-7, America had to wait on the sidelines until 2003 when the first Evos hit US soil.
The Mitsubishi Evolution quickly became a highly sought-after car, with its potent 4G63 engine capable of massive power with minimal effort.
Fast forward to today and Mitsubishi has discontinued the Lancer Evolution entirely, with the Lancer Evolution X Final Edition as the swan song of the iconic turbocharged all-wheel drive Japanese sedan.
But enough about the history of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
If you’re reading this blog post, you either own a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution or are in the market for one.
This guide was written to help you understand the best Mitsubishi Evolution 8 & 9 mods and help you upgrade your Evo with ease.
Let’s get started, shall we?
While the Lancer Evolution 8 & 9 are incredible cars in stock form, just like with all production sports cars, their suspension bits car use a bit of upgrading to make the car perform even better!
Whether it be adding a set of coilovers, a stiffer sway bar, or a limited-slip differential, the Lancer Evo is a great platform for those seeking a car with both speed and razor-sharp cornering abilities.
Let’s dive into all of the ways to improve your Lancer Evo VIII and IX models suspension and make it corner even better!
When it comes to improving the handling of your Evo, you may be considering coilovers instead of a set of lowering springs.
While coilovers are generally your best bet when it comes to both lowering your car and improving its cornering ability, adding a set of lowering springs shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly either.
As a matter of fact, if you're looking for a budget-minded solution when it comes to addressing your suspension and you don’t need to excessively lower your car, adding a set of lowering springs might just be the perfect mod for you!
When it comes time to install your new set of lowering springs we also recommend upgrading your struts to a set of performance-oriented components to ensure that you get the maximum benefits as well.
Here’s our list of recommended Lowering Springs for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
As we mentioned in the previous section, most Evo owners will probably skip the lowering spring option and go straight for the fully assembled coilover kit for their cars.
We don’t blame you, a coilover setup is superior to a lowering spring and strut setup in a lot of ways and doesn’t really have any flaws if you purchase a quality set.
For the Lancer Evo installing a set of coilovers is a fairly straightforward process and will sharpen up the handling characteristics of the car significantly when compared to the old suspension you’re taking out.
Adding coilovers to your car is also a great starting point for other suspension mods to be sure to pick out a high-quality set of coilovers that are sure to work in tandem with the rest of your suspension upgrades!
Here’s our list of recommended Coilover Kits for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
As you continue to refine the suspension on your Lancer Evo 8/9, you may notice that as you take corners at speed the body still has a tendency to roll and the tires lose a bit of grip as you exit the corner.
One of the best ways to fix this issue is by installing a set of stiffer sway bars in the front and rear to help stiffen your Evo’s chassis.
Now some Evo owners will swear up and down that the Evo 8/9 doesn’t need a bigger front sway bar and that you only need a bigger, stiffer rear sway bar.
While this may be true for most, in order to take full advantage of your suspension we recommend installing a bigger front sway bar as well.
Yes, it is a PITA to do because the transmission is in the way, but if you’re mechanically savvy or maybe you're having a shop replace your clutch, upgrading the front sway is a suspension mod that’s definitely worth adding to the list!
Here’s our list of recommended Sway Bar Kits for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
When it comes to adding more stiffness to your Mitsubishi Evo, adding a front strut bar or a rear strut bar honestly won’t do much.
However, these bars are a great way to dress up your engine bay, and if dead set on getting a rear strut bar it can serve as a nifty tie-down for all of your cargo in the trunk.
If we had to choose a strut bar that adds a little bit more rigidity compared to the stock front strut bar, then your best bet is to find something similar to the Carbing Aluminum Front Tower Bar.
Here’s our list of recommended Strut Bars for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
Now that you’ve decided on several of the major components when it comes to upgrading the suspension on your Lancer Evo, it's time to take full advantage of all of these upgrades by dialing in your alignment settings.
After you lower your Evo you may have noticed that the suspension geometry has changed and that your camber, toe, and caster settings are out of alignment.
The issue that occurs when lowering your Evo is that the lower the vehicle is the less chance you have of adjusting the stock suspension arms settings back to an acceptable setting.
In order to correct this issue, you may have to get yourself a set of adjustable suspension arms and have the alignment shop dial your settings back into spec.
Another added benefit of adjustable suspension arms is if you plan on taking your Evo to a local autocross or track event, having adjustable toe and camber arms ensure your ability to have your suspension setup exactly how you want and can have a significant effect on making the car corner better!
Here’s our list of recommended Adjustable Suspension Arms for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
As you continue to search for ways to help your Lancer Evo perform better at the track and on your favorite back roads, one thing that might help your driving is adding additional stiffness to your 8 & 9.
While adding and upgrading suspension components like coilovers, sway bars, and dialing in your alignment will lead to a more responsive Evo that can turn on a dime, adding a bit of chassis bracing is never a bad thing!
The Lancer Evo 8 & 9 does come from the factory with several additional braces compared to its non-Evo stablemate, these factory braces aren’t the stiffest because engineers had to take into account that they were building a road car for the public.
By upgrading and adding to the factory bracing we bet you’ll feel that the car is more stable at speed and as you take corners at speed!
Here’s our list of recommended Chassis Braces for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
As we finish out the suspension upgrades portion of this tuning guide, there is one final suspension upgrade that far too many Evo owners overlook when it comes to helping make their car rotate more easily - an aftermarket limited slip differential.
Now you may already have the massive benefits that come with running an LSD on their 8 & 9.
Or perhaps you’ve read about them and think that the factory LSD is adequate and not needed.
Either way, if you do a bit of digging on the old EvolutionM forum you’ll be sure to find dozens and dozens of Evo owners saying that adding an aftermarket LSD to their car made it handle better on the track and the street.
While most prefer to leave the front diff standard and do an ACD tune on the center unit, upgrading the rear differential will provide a noticeable change in how well the car is able to hold traction and corner.
If you do any sort of spirited driving on or off the track, upgrading your rear differential with an aftermarket limited slip differential should definitely be on your to-do list!
Here’s our list of recommended LSDs for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
As we have talked about throughout this tuning guide, the Lancer Evo 8 & 9 is a formidable sports sedan from the factory.
Whether you’re driving on a twisty mountain road or at the local racetrack, Mitsubishi built the Evo with performance in mind and it shines when driven hard.
But like all production cars, the Evo VIII and IX’s brake systems are good but with a few modifications, you can make them amazing.
In this section of our Mitsubishi Evo CT9A tuning guide, we will be covering the brake system and some ways to improve its performance.
Are you ready to brake harder and more consistently?
One of the easiest and best upgrades you can make to your brake system is a simple performance brake pad swap.
While the stock brake pads may suffice for normal street driving, when you start driving your Evo hard on the street or the track it's easy to see why so many other Evo owners recommend upgrading to a different set of pads.
Here’s our list of recommended Brake Pads for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
After you’ve chosen a set of performance brake pads for your CT9A, it's time to start thinking about what kind of rotor you want to pair it with.
The biggest grip that many Evo owners have with stock rotors is that they have a tendency to warp under the duress of hard driving on the street and the track.
One of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to help with this issue is by buying a set of aftermarket brake rotors to replace the stock set.
While many brake manufacturers offer drilled or drilled and slotted rotors, we highly recommend sticking to slotted or dimpled rotors to ensure that you get the most life out of them.
Drilled rotors have a tendency to crack under repeated heat cycles and are mostly marketed for the bling factor that they provide behind a set of wheels.
Here’s our list of recommended Brake Rotors For the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
Now that we’ve covered brake pads and brake rotors, it's a great time to start talking about the last piece of the puzzle when overhauling your brake system - upgrading to a set of stainless steel brake lines!
As with all things associated with the brake system on your Mitsubishi, over time the stock brake lines will swell and are prone to be damaged by road debris.
On the other hand, a set of stainless steel brake lines is a great solution when it comes to replacing a set of worn, rubberized brake lines on your Evo.
Not only do they look great, but they will provide a better pedal feel over a set of OEM brake lines and make your car’s brakes feel significantly more firm and responsive.
Upgrading to a set of SS brake lines is also one of the easiest ways to mod your Evo 8 & 9 and is a great budget-friendly upgrade for those that are just starting to learn how to wrench.
Here’s our list of recommended SS Brake Brake Lines for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
Now that we’ve fully addressed upgrading your entire brake system on your CT9A, it's time to mention the most important component - brake fluid.
While replacing your brake fluid with a few fresh bottles of racing brake fluid isn’t necessary, we hope that you keep in mind how important it is to consistently flush your brake fluid whether you daily drive your Evo or constantly track it throughout the year.
As with most passenger vehicles on the road, the Mitsubishi Evo 8 & 9 experts suggest replacing the brake fluid every 2-3 years or every 20-30k miles depending on how hard you drive your car on the street.
When it comes to tracking your car, most Evo owners follow a strict routine of flushing the fluid before every track day to ensure that they get the most performance out of their brake system.
Adding a few bottles of race brake fluid (RBF) to your brake system is also a great idea for track Evos, helping keep everything cool and ensuring a higher boiling point than your average brake fluid from the local parts store.
Here’s our list of recommended Brake Fluids for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
If you’re still cracking pads at the track or need more stopping power for your heavily modified street car, adding a big brake kit to your Evo may just be the key to all your brake problems!
As mentioned throughout this section, the CT9A Evo’s brake system is relatively good in stock form and only gets better as you add a few key upgrades to the mix.
But if you’re having issues with brake fade on track or feel as though the stock brakes are up to par after adding more power to your 4G63, then a BBK may be worth the investment for you.
Here’s our list of recommended Big Brake Kits for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
Now that we've covered the basics of how to make your Evo corner better and slow down faster, it's time to talk about adding some power to your 4g63 engine!
But before we dive in, let's cover a few key aspects when it comes to the Lancer Evolution CT9A’s legendary 4G63 power plant.
To start, the 4G63 that you will find in a CT9A will be either the 7-bolt 4G63T in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 or a 7-bolt 4G63T with MIVEC found in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9.
While many may argue exact horsepower, most Evo enthusiasts can agree that the stock 4g63 block can run for a very long time at around 450 horsepower and 400-foot pounds of torque.
The biggest issue you’ll run into with a stock block on the 4G63 is that things have a tendency to brake when you start pushing past the 400-wheel torque limit.
Getting your Evo into the 400whp range is relatively easy with a few simple bolt-on parts feeding the 4G63 the fuel and air it needs.
With that being said, let’s get started modifying your 4G63!
When it comes to adding a cold air intake to your CT9A, some Evo owners might try and dissuade you from this modification.
Some may argue that the stock intake with a drop-in filter works well enough or that you can spend your hard-earned cash on something else that will actually net results.
While there are several other easy bolt-on mods to help your Evo make more power, nothing is quite as easy as adding a performance cold air intake that leads to more power!
Typical horsepower gains for an aftermarket cold air intake generally average around 5-10 horsepower, but it's important to keep in mind that you’ll generally only see these types of gains with a tune!
Here’s our list of recommended Cold Air Intakes for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
Now it’s time to pick one of your favorite mods that you’ll appreciate every time you fire up your Evo - a new performance exhaust system.
Like all factory turbocharged cars, the Lancer Evo has a pretty restrictive exhaust from the factory to comply with emission emissions and noise regulations that were in place when it was in production.
Most catback exhaust systems on the market today will produce a noticeable gain of 15-30 horsepower with a tune, making this one of the best bang for your buck mods when it comes to adding power to your Evo.
Here’s our list of recommended Performance Exhaust Systems for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
If you're looking for another place to help pick up some horsepower with minimal effort, we definitely recommend installing an aftermarket downpipe at the same time that you’re installing your performance exhaust system.
Your turbocharged 4G63 engine loves to breathe and by adding a less restrictive downpipe to your cat back exhaust system you’re helping the engine expel exhaust gas even easier!
Here’s our list of recommended Downpipes for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
Now that you’ve picked both a catback exhaust and a downpipe for your car, it's time to consider whether or not you want to run a catalytic converter.
We can all agree that getting rid of the stock cat will only benefit the way exhaust gasses flow through your exhaust system but when it comes to running either a high flow cat or a test pipe, things start to get a bit divisive.
While a high-flow catalytic converter isn’t going to perform as well as a test pipe, for some the trade-off of being “legal” and having a little bit less power is worth the sacrifice.
Here’s our list of recommended High Flow Cats for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
Now that we’ve talked about high-flow cats, it’s only right that we talk about test pipes as well!
For the Lancer Evo, adding a test pipe to your current exhaust system has some pros and some cons.
One example is that a lot of Evo owners swear by test pipes and after switching from an HFC and seeing the power gains they refuse to go back.
On the other hand, running a test pipe can get you in trouble with the law and your local emission regulators. This may lead to a fix-it ticket or a fine for removing federally regulated emission equipment.
Ultimately the choice is up to you and if you are in an area that has relatively lax emission regulations a test pipe may be worth purchasing instead of an HFC.
Here’s our list of recommended Test Pipes for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
As we continue to extract more bolt-on power from your Evo, another relatively inexpensive part of your turbo/exhaust setup to upgrade is the factory turbo outlet aka o2 housing.
While this is a bit of a tricky install with the turbo on the car, adding the bigger turbo outlet to your turbo setup will provide gains of 6-10whp with a tune.
We’d say this is definitely a recommended upgrade if you're looking for cheap bolt-on power or are needing to replace the stock Lambda sensor and want to upgrade your turbo elbow at the same time!
Here’s our list of recommended Turbo Outlets for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
If you're looking to shoot for big power on your CT9A, adding an aftermarket exhaust manifold is one of the supporting mods that can help you get there more easily.
While the stock manifold is a great piece that will last for years to come and can be ported for additional flow, adding a tubular manifold to your turbo setup is a great idea for those that are looking for maximum horsepower.
The big thing to keep in mind however is that most Evo gurus recommend upgrading your turbo manifold after you’ve decided you want to exceed stock turbo levels.
Many Evo owners recommend going this route because a tubular manifold won’t have much of an effect on a stock turbo as far as big horsepower gains and cheaper manifolds are prone to cracking when driven hard.
Even so, we just recommend that you buy a tubular exhaust manifold from a reputable brand and be sure to have it ceramic coated to keep temps under the hood down!
Here’s our list of recommended aftermarket Turbo Manifolds for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
While the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIIII and IX both come with a relatively good front mount intercooler from the factory, they leave a lot to be desired compared to some of the aftermarket units that are available nowadays.
The biggest way an aftermarket intercooler kit will help your Evo breath is by preventing pressure loss from the front of the car as the air flows into the hot side (turbo) and cold side (intake) of your 4G63.
And let's also keep in mind that cooler, denser air means more power baby!
Here’s our list of recommended Intercooler Kits for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
Another important part of making consistent, reliable power from a 4G63 is by supplying the engine with enough fuel to keep everything happy.
If you're looking to turn up the boost or are interested in additional cams or a bigger turbo to the car, then adding a bigger fuel pump is required to make sure that everything is getting an adequate amount of fuel.
For most street-driven cars a 255lph fuel pump will be more than sufficient for your needs unless you’re shooting for +500 horsepower.
Once you pass the 500-wheel horsepower mark, it may be time to consider adding a dual fuel pump so you can feed the huge injectors you’ll no doubt be running!
The aftermarket has provided a variety of easy-to-install fuel pump options for the CT9A as well so upgrading your fuel pump even before you start shooting for big power is something to consider for a piece of mind and for easier upgrades down the road!
Here’s our list of recommended Fuel Pumps for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9
As mentioned in the previous section of this tuning guide, the Lancer Evo 8 and 9’s fuel system is relatively robust due to its factory turbo setup and tunability from the factory.
While the 560cc stock injectors are adequate for the stock turbo, once you upgrade to something bigger you need to start thinking about how to supply your bigger turbo with enough fuel to keep it spooled and ready to generate boost.
One instance where injectors are definitely a requirement is if you choose to start running E85 through your CT9A’s fuel pump.
Upgrading fuel injectors for E85 is required because of the nature of E85 when it's burned in an internal combustion engine, resulting in the need for a larger fuel pump and larger fuel injectors to supply an adequate amount of corn juice to your 4g63.
Here’s our list of recommended Fuel Injectors for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9 -
When it comes to adding more fuel to your Evo 8 or 9, one thing to also consider when buying parts to upgrade your fuel system is if it’s a good time to also purchase an aftermarket fuel rail when your upgrade to a set of bigger injectors.
While this isn’t an absolutely necessary part until your getting close to exceeding +700hp, some in the Evo community recommend upgrading your fuel rail for a more equal flow of fuel to all 4 cylinders and as an easy way to adjust fuel pressure at the rail.
Here’s our list of recommended Fuel Rails for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9 -
While adding a set of aftermarket cams to your 4G63 isn’t exactly an easy upgrade, this is one of the most popular mods that just about every Evo enthusiast will say is a crucial component when adding power to your car.
Dropping in a set of aftermarket cams can net you anywhere from 10-20whp depending on the specs, with even bigger gains being realized for heavily modified turbo setups.
The fan favorite for Evo owners is without a doubt the GSC S2 cams because they offer a great power band and streetability for the average Evo that isn’t a dedicated track car.
Here’s our list of recommended performance Cams for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9 -
If you are chasing after big power with your Evo, you will inevitably run into a wall when it comes to just how much boost the stock turbo can supply without running out of air.
For most street-driven Lancer Evolutions, the 350-400 horsepower range is plenty to enough for a daily driver and will destroy a majority of the other sports cars that happen to pull up next to you.
But what if you want more power than the stock turbo can provide?
Then that my friend means it's time for an upgrade.
Adding a bigger turbo to your Evo not only helps it produce more power but also ensures that you aren’t pushing your stock turbo to the limit and leading to a potential failure that could damage your engine.
For those looking at the +500 horsepower range, a combination of supporting mods and a bigger turbo is the easiest way to break that threshold when you take it in for a dyno session at your preferred tuning shop.
Here’s our list of recommended Turbo Kits for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9 -
As with any highly modified car, the best way to extract the most power out of your newly upgraded Evo is by paying a visit to your local tuner that specializes in tuning Mitsubishi Evos.
Getting a proper tune is important because a lot of the mods that we have mentioned throughout this portion of the guide can actually have a negative effect on performance without a tune helping optimize air and fuel for your new components.
While everyone has their opinion about who does the best tunes, we suggest asking around in the Evo community for recommendations and being prepared to travel a bit if the tuner you want to have tuned your car isn’t in your general area.
A few of the best tuners for the Lancer Evo include -
BoostedTuning - Southern California
English Racing - Southern Washington
TSComptuned - Pennsylvania
JestrTuning - Florida
RoadRaceEngineering (RRE) - Southern California
Reese Tuning - Georgia
As you may well know, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII and IX both come with a pretty strong transmission from the factory.
As we start on this portion of the tuning guide, we will talk about some of the ways to help make your Evo more enjoyable to drive and help support the stock transmission so that it can rack up the miles without issue.
While many Evo enthusiasts will argue that the 5-speed transmission is superior to the 6 speed found in the MR, there are also countless numbers of Evos with big power being held without issue in their 6-speed equipped Evos.
With that being said, let’s learn about some of the most common upgrades for your Lancer Evolution’s transmission!
When it comes to putting down power consistently through the Evolution’s drivetrain, the first thing that probably comes to mind is if you need to upgrade from a stock clutch.
Unfortunately, the stock clutch isn’t quite up to par even at stock power levels, with many owners reporting premature clutch wear when the Evo hit American shores over a decade ago.
Luckily, upgrading to a clutch that can hold stock power or handle the bolts that you’ve installed after reading through our guide is a great way to ensure that your car stays reliable on the street or at the track.
Here’s our list of recommended Clutches for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9 -
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect clutch to help put the power to the ground without issue, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of lightened flywheel you’d like to install when you have your clutch done.
Do you need an ultra-lightweight flywheel for the track?
Do you want something with a bit of weight so your daily commute isn’t like leg day at the gym every time you drive your Evo?
These are two great questions to consider when looking at the options when it comes to buying a lightweight flywheel.
Here’s our list of recommended Light Weight Flywheels for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9 -
The last piece of your transmission puzzle is going to be adding a short shifter to make your Evo’s shifts even crispier.
While the stock throw on the CT9A isn’t incredibly long, adding a short shifter will make lightning-quick shifts feel sublime as you blast down your favorite road.
It also comes in handy at the race track, where every second counts, and missing a shift at a high rpm could cause catastrophic damage to either your engine or transmission.
Short shifters are also one of the most budget-friendly mods on this list for your Evo so upgrading from the stock shifter is a win-win in our book!
Here’s our list of recommended Short Shifters for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9 -
You've come to the end of our guide on Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8/9 modifications, where we've explored the potential of transforming your CT9A into a performance powerhouse. With a myriad of tuning options available, navigating this landscape is an exciting journey.
As you continue on this exhilarating path, we encourage you to explore our range of content, rich with additional expert advice and insights. Thank you for your time. Your ongoing interest fuels our commitment to provide high-quality content, enabling you to enjoy your Lancer Evolution 8/9 to the fullest.