Mitsubishi Evolution VII

Max Baranov's Evolving Time Attacker.

Photos: RWJFilms


Evolution: A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. 

Evolution, indeed. Max is no rookie when it comes to these agile saloons. He has previously owned a third generation Evo which was actually the one that grew his enthusiasm for the legendary Mitsubishi Evolutions & Time Attacking on the side. When it got time to replace his Evo III, the quite natural update was this featured Evo VII, which he bought back in 2009. Well actually he bought two, but the other one was a parts car.

First things first. The Evo VII needed a few mods in the first place and back then Max upgraded the engine a little bit and added Rays wheels and a suspension setup. After these upgrades this Evo was successfully driven for three years, either daily or in the track days. Max also got to drive it in a few famous international tracks like Nürburgring and Circuit de Spa - Francorchamps. After those three years Max had found the flaws of his Evo and wanted to get rid of them, once and for all.

So this part of Max's project got started five years ago in 2012 and have enormously got out of his crafty hands since then. In this particular project the snowball was nudged by deciding to learn and make some hand crafted carbon fiber parts among all other high quality mods that Max desired. As you're going to find out, every part of this car is precisely thought and refined. And cleverly, Max has only used parts and assemblies that someone else has already found practical, highly functional and high in quality. 

Inspiration for this custom aero kit Max got from watching Tilton Exteriors Evo IX's participation in the World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC). He liked the looks of its Voltex aero kit but still wanted to do something by himself. The other thing that affected was the lack of decent carbon fiber aftermarket parts or the price of them. Since Max admired the features of carbon fiber he decided the right way was to learn how to make them by himself.

This learning and making process didn't came in cheap for Max, neither in consumed time or cash. For example making one door from scratch took around 2 months from him. The hard part in the process is to make some good molds and the rest kind of follows.

And as the most percipient ones might have already noticed, Max have learned his lessons and successfully already made several carbon fiber parts. The finish of these carbon fiber parts is amazing and can easily handle a closer looks. So far he have finished with the roof, drivers door and door panels. Rear quarter panels are on their way as we speak. Carbon fiber front fenders, bonnet, front bumper, diffusers, etc. are also on the to-do list. The only part Max thinks that will not be from carbon fiber is the rear bumper which he thinks to cut in half and add some carbon rear diffuser to it. We think that it sounds like a hell of a plan.

The heart of Max's Evo is the original four sylinder 2.0 Dohc which have been fully rebuild and the only original parts inside the engine are the valves, which tells you something about it. This setup is supposed to produce respectable 500-550whp while keeping it really drivable. What that means is that this engine is designed to avoid some mule kicks that are normally caused by turbo lags etc.

Even though the Evo VII has some pretty good brakes in stock those wouldn't have been sufficient with the rest of the car and it's increased performance. To make sure that brakes are updated to match the new standards Max got some 2-piece brake discs and Alcon calibers, 6-pot ones in the front and 4-pot in the back. Handling part will be taken care of with a BC Racing ER coilovers which as you might know are equipped with additional reservoirs.

High quality finishes go nicely through out the whole car and wheels ain't making a difference. Square set of 18x10,5" wide Rays Engineering TE37 Super Laps a.k.a. the Graal dishes of TE37's  are paired with some meaty slicks and we know that for most this is the set for a race car. This rare set was actually found from a well known and nowadays deceased Pekka Niska's WRX project which was actually located only a stone's throw away from Max's garage.

These SL's are actually the third set of TE37's that Max have owned. You could say that he's a bit obsessed with this particular wheel design. Max's obsession to Rays products also continues and lug nuts are from that brand too.

Like stated earlier, the quality finish follows through the whole car and there's no lack of highlights in Max's Evo's interior either. Door panels are a custom made carbon fiber ones and door handles have been replaced with some decent Takata tow straps. Custom Cages FIA rollcage (which was by the way worth of its name) and some Sparco seats will keep the driver and the shotgun safe on the upcoming track days. The whole interior and cage are also painted in satin black to obtain a desired look.

Sometimes it ain't a bad thing to stretch a project to this long and one of the good things are some good timings that seem to appear time to time. This time maybe the biggest one was a dog box transmission which Max got as a trade for some of his old spare Evo's parts. The other is that all patience that Max have given to his Evo can be easily seen in the end product.

If you're interested to read more about dog box there's a good article on Superstreet Online. To keep this story short, you can find out the rest of mods from spec list that's shown in the end of this story.

As an end speech we'd like to send some motivation to Max and also to all of our readers projects during this gloomy winter season. In this case it doesn't need that much of a imagination to figure out that there's still a lots of work to do for Max but despite that he's still planning to make his Evo VII ready for the season ´18. We can't wait for it and hopefully we'll get to see this race car in some of our next year's events (which we're currently working on with).


Owner | Max Baranov @m.a.x.x.x.i.m.u.s

Engine | Fully rebuilt 2.0L, wiseco 10,5:1, Cosworth rods, Kelford cams, KKD manifold, custom Holset, 3,5" exhaust, fuel E85, Bosch 2000cc injectors. Link ecu, dog box and sequential gear shifter, RS rear diff, torsen in front. Coming: Accusump, Quality cooler (Greddy, Setrab, etc.)

Suspension & Brakes | BC racing ER, Front brakes: Alcon 6 pot race calipers, 365mm 2-piece fully floating discs, Rear brakes: Alcon 4 pot race calipers, 335mm 2-piece semi floating discs, Goodridge braided brakelines

Wheels & Tires | Volk Rays TE37SL 18x10.5" & 295/30-35 slick tires, 30mm spacers

Interior | Painted with satin black paint, Custom Cages FIA roll cage, Sparco Pro2000 seats (will probably update), snap off steering wheel, flocked dash, Carbon fiber door panels with Takata tow straps. Coming: AIM MXS dash screen, carbon footrest

Exterior | Bottom & engine bay scrubbed to metal > epoxy primer and painted with gloss black paint, carbon fibre drivers door, carbon fibre roof, carbon fiber boot lid, polycarbonate door and rear windows. Coming: Wider carbon rear quarter/door panels, rest of the doors in carbon, front carbon fenders & carbon front bumper. And at some point: front splitter, flat bottom & diffuser.

"Death Before Driving Stock"