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Archie Concon Did What Mitsubishi Wouldn’t, Transforming a Mirage Into a 2-Door EVO

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The red Mitsubishi Mirage belonging to Archie Concon started life as a typical 2000 model-year two-door Mirage coupé, 1.8-liter, automatic-equipped economy car with a basic interior

The red Mitsubishi Mirage belonging to Archie Concon started life as a typical 2000 model-year two-door Mirage coupé, 1.8-liter, automatic-equipped economy car with a basic interior (Courtesy of PASMAG. Photo by Eric Eikenberry)

In the United States, the Lancer platform was sold as the "Mirage" due to the Chrysler Corporation's use and rights to the Lancer name between the 1950's and 1980's. The fifth generation Mirage arrived for the 1997 model year and was available in sedan and coupé versions. In 2000 the license to the "Lancer" name was relinquished to Mitsubishi for usage in North America. Soon thereafter Mirage sedans were replaced with the next generation Lancer for 2002, while the Mirage coupé lingered on during 2002 in North America. The North American Mitsubishi Mirage was essentially intended as a low-budget front wheel drive (FWD) Honda Civic-fighter; although it never really caught on.

The red Mitsubishi Mirage belonging to Archie Concon started life as a typical 2000 model-year two-door Mirage coupé, 1.8-liter, automatic-equipped economy car with a basic black interior. Archie bought and drove the car for an entire year before beginning any kind of modifications. A simple modification of cutting the coil springs and bolting on a set of 15-inch American Racing chromed five-spoke wheels was the spark that began Archie's personal transformation of this car into an all-wheel drive, left-hand drive, 2-door Mitsubishi EVO street machine.

A TrevTec Motorsports 2.1-liter Evo VIII 4G63 race motor spinning a Manley Performance billet steel 3.7-inch crank supplies the power to the all-wheel drive (AWD) Mirage coupé

A TrevTec Motorsports 2.1-liter Evo VIII 4G63 race motor spinning a Manley Performance billet steel 3.7-inch crank supplies the power to the all-wheel drive (AWD) Mirage coupé (Courtesy of PASMAG. Photo by Eric Eikenberry)

The original 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage coupé engine, transmission, suspension, cross members, seats, and axles were all junked. The "2-door EVO" rear drivetrain and cross-member came from a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII. Archie's Mirage uses an Evo IV transmission, an Evo V transfer case, front axles and hubs. A TrevTec Motorsports 2.1-liter Evo VIII 4G63 race motor spinning a Manley Performance billet steel 3.7-inch crankshaft supplies the power to the all-wheel drive (AWD) Mirage coupé. Even the stock Mitsubishi EVO driveline components would never handle the power produced by the 4G63 race motor running E85 fuel and 30 pounds of boost with Manley 10.5:1 compression pistons. Archie replaced these stock driveline pieces with Sheppard Racing components in the transmission and transfer case. A Quaiffe Evo VIII limited-slip helical differential is stuffed inside the Evo VII rear housing.

The rest of the engine bay spec sheet is equally drool-worthy: an ETS Precision 6262 dual ball-bearing turbocharger, Tial 1.7-inch waste-gate and two-inch blow-off valve, TrevTec intercooler pipe, custom downpipe with a three-inch stainless steel exhaust, and a TrevTec intake manifold move gobs of air. All of the supporting roles are filled by some other big names too; Buschur BF 272 cams, AEM Electronics cam gears, Cosworth head gasket, AMS race oil pan, a Mishimoto radiator and Aeromotive Eliminator fuel pump. Archie Concon has chosen nothing but the best for his Mirage 2-Door EVO project; and as such he relies on the superior airflow & superior performance of K&N air filters, K&N oil filters, and even K&N crankcase vent filter breathers. No nut or bolt has been left unturned in Archie's quest for perfection.

Likewise, the 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage coupé interior has been decked out with amazing gear, from the custom ceramic coated four-point cage and rear trunk supports, to the Status Carbon Kevlar racing seats, everything's been improved. One of Archie's favorite items is the OMP Tommi Makinen steering wheel. While the rest of the world received thinly disguised rally cars in the form of the first seven generations of the Lancer Evolution, North American's were stuck with the Mirage. It was only a matter of time before someone would eventually build what Mitsubishi would not. The real question is what sparked Archie's quest?

Archie Concon had to convert the 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage coupé front end to that of a four-door Lancer Evolution, by using Evo VI headlights, corner lights, and radiator support bar

Archie Concon had to convert the 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage coupé front end to that of a four-door Lancer Evolution, by using Evo VI headlights, corner lights, and radiator support bar (Courtesy of PASMAG. Photo by Eric Eikenberry)

"One of the reasons why I wanted to do this project came from the movie 'Who Am I' by Jackie Chan," says Concon. "It honestly motivated me to do a replica of that car. I was disappointed I couldn't buy it, so I checked into what it would take to build it. At that time, I already had the Mirage and didn't even know that the chassis was based on the JDM Evo IV to VI cars."

This led directly to a lot of garage time spent up to his elbows in grease and grime as Archie built Version 1.0 by himself. All of Archie's effort was worth it when he claimed the coveted Builder's Award handed out by Mitsubishi executives themselves at their show. "They told me they were just discussing whether they should build a two-door old school Evo the week before the show, and then I showed up!" Concon exclaimed. The cost of hand-converting a Mirage coupé into a 2-door Evo is very expensive. However, beating Mitsubishi-USA to the punch by creating your own two-door, left-hand drive supercar is priceless.

The exterior refresh to Archie's 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage coupé was as torturous as putting together the underpinnings. Archie is the very first person to install a complete Varis ASSO kit on a Mirage in the U.S. "The ASSO kits are only made for Evo V and VI four-door cars," Concon explains. "I had to convert my front end to that of a four-door, meaning I had to use Evo VI headlights, corner lights, and my radiator support bar. Then the fenders had to be restructured where they meet the doors to have the perfect curves to line up to the doors. The seven-piece rear fender overlay had to be molded into two pieces because I don't have the two extra doors in the back. My body guy at Mad Kustomz had to recreate the body lines on the back where the body kit was molded to match the rest of the body lines of the car."

Archie is the very first person to install a complete Mitsubishi Evo V and EVO VI four-door Varis ASSO kit on a Mitsubishi Mirage coupé in the U.S.

Archie is the very first person to install a complete Mitsubishi Evo V and EVO VI four-door Varis ASSO kit on a Mitsubishi Mirage coupé in the U.S. (Courtesy of PASMAG. Photo by Eric Eikenberry)

While most of the control arms and cross members come from an Evo V, the brakes are modern Wilwood six-piston fronts and four-piston rears gripping two-piece rotors. JDM Cusco Zero 2 coilovers for the EVO V and VI chassis absorb the bumps. The wheels on Archie's 2-door EVO are Advan units wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber. The meaty 275/40 17-inch BFGoodrich tires add grip in every direction, however, when the hammer is dropped on the Exedy HD triple-disc clutch, this Evo lights them up like a Christmas tree. Thrust is instantaneous and unrelenting, until the rev limiter cuts the power in the first three gears. That much power on tap from a license-plate wearing street vehicle is absolutely corrupting.

One question looming at the back of most people's minds is why he didn't choose any number of more glamorous cars? "I get that all the time," Concon admits. "'You should've just got an Evo, or better yet, a GT-R for the amount you spent and the work done on your Mirage.' It's just not the same, I've owned an Evo VIII and I tried getting into it, but I can't."

"I reached my goal of having a 10 second show car, so now it's time to just have fun at the track," says Concon. From street to show to strip to track, Archie's done everything with his 2-door EVO, won nearly everything worth winning and will be tackling the daunting task of obtaining his competition license soon. Look for the two-door Evo at a nearby racetrack soon.

VEHICLE INFO:
Owner: Archie Concon
Vehicle: 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage
Built By: Archie Concon, Mad Kustomz
Car Club: Team Hybrid
Engine: TrevTec Motorsport Mitsubishi 4G63 2.1L I-4
Horsepower: 734 awhp / TORQUE: 603 lb-ft

BFGoodrich tires add grip in every direction, however, when the hammer is dropped on the Exedy HD triple-disc clutch, this Evo lights them up like a Christmas tree

BFGoodrich tires add grip in every direction, however, when the hammer is dropped on the Exedy HD triple-disc clutch, this Evo lights them up like a Christmas tree (Courtesy of PASMAG. Photo by Eric Eikenberry)

ENGINE:
TrevTec Motorsport 2.1L Evo VIII 4G63 race engine
Manley Performance (billet 3.7-inch crankshaft, Turbo Tuff long rods, 10.5:1 pistons, stainless steel valves, titanium valve seats & retainers)
ACL (race bearings, balance shaft eliminating kit)
Cosworth (Evo VIII race head gasket, Stage 5 ported and polished head)
KIGLYS valve springs
Buschur BF 272 race cams
AEM Electronics adjustable cam gears
Mitsubishi Evo VIII timing belt
ETS Turbo Kit, 4.5-inch front-mount intercooler kit, Precision 6262 billet dual ball-bearing turbocharger
Tial 1.7-inch wastegate, 2-inch blow-off valve
TrevTec Motorsports intercooler pipe, custom down-pipe, custom 3-inch stainless steel mandrel-bent exhaust, intake manifold
AMS race oil pan
HKS oil cap, radiator cap
Mishimoto Evo V radiator
FIC 2150cc fuel injectors
Aeromotive Eliminator racing fuel pump
Sparktech ignition coil on plugs
ARC ignition cover
Cusco JDM Evo VI radiator diffuser
K&N universal high-flow air filter, Wrench-Off® oil filter, crankcase breather filters

DRIVETRAIN:
Mitsubishi JDM Evo IV transmission w/ Stage 3 Sheppard Racing upgrade, JDM Evo V transfer case w/ Stage3 Sheppard Racing upgrade, JDM Evo VII rear differential w/ LSD, JDM Evo V differential mount, JDM Evo V differential brace, JDM EVO 5 transmission brace
Quaife Evo VIII LSD
Driveshaftshop custom 2-piece driveshaft JDM EVO 5 front axles
Exedy HD triple disc clutch kit

CHASSIS / SUSPENSION:
Mitsubishi JDM Evo V front axles, JDM Evo V control arms & knuckles, Evo VIII rear subframe, Evo VIII suspension linkage, JDM Evo V front crossmember, JDM Evo V front upper control arm, JDM Evo V rear upper arm bushings, JDM Evo V front lower arm bushings, JDM Evo V tie rods, JDM Evo V trailing arms, JDM Evo V lower control arms
Energy Suspension complete bushing kit
Cusco Zero 2 coilovers

EXTERIOR:
Custom Kandy Deep Oak Burgundy by FX Matrix Paint Company
Mitsubishi JDM Evolution V/VI front end conversion
Stanley JDM headlights
Varis ASSO front bumper, carbon fiber front under diffuser, Version 2 carbon fiber front canards, GT fenders w/ carbon fiber canards, rear fender overlays, carbon fiber vortex generator, carbon fiber rear diffuser

The Stanley headlights and taillights should warm the hearts of anyone who’s ever browsed an internet forum searching for an elusive JDM part they simply had to have

The Stanley headlights and taillights should warm the hearts of anyone who’s ever browsed an internet forum searching for an elusive JDM part they simply had to have (Courtesy of PASMAG. Photo by Eric Eikenberry)

INTERIOR:
Takata 4-point harnesses, shoulder pads, racing harness reinforcement plates, racing harness eyebolts
Works Bell boss short steering hub, quick release
OMP Tommi Mackenin steering wheel
Custom weld-in 4-point roll cage w/ harness bar (ceramic coated)
Custom trunk cage and support bars (ceramic coated)
Custom suede upholstery
Status red carbon Kevlar racing seat, racing seat brackets & rails
Dynamat insulated cabin
Mitsubishi JDM MIVEC 10,000 rpm gauge cluster

WHEELS / TIRES / BRAKES:
Advan RG-D wheels - 17x9.5 +15 (f/r)
BFGoodrich Sport Comp-2 tires - 275/40 R17 (f/r)
Wilwood BBK race system - 6-piston(f), 4-piston (r), braided stainless steel brake lines
ARP extended hub studs

AUDIO / ELECTRONICS:
Pioneer head-unit
Polk Audio (tweeters, reference component speakers)
Odyssey battery
Cusco battery cut-off switch

SPONSORS:
Mad Kustomz, Lesa's Auto Body Supplies, Manley Performance, TrevTec Motorsports, Merrill Performance, TAKATA Racing, AMS Oil, Energy Suspension, Mishimoto, BFGoodrich, Meguair's, Status Seats, Highway Version, Mastermind North America, NRG Innovations, Pro Sport Gauges, K&N filters, GRAFIK IMPACT


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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.