British motorsport and automotive specialist MML Sports has developed and implemented a special edition Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX for the Brazilian importer of the Japanese brand. The South American importer already has a rich motorsport heritage, with two cars recently competing on the Dakar Rally, one in the hands of MD Guilherme Spinelli and it approached MML Sports to develop and implement the hardware for the special edition of the road car.
Dubbed the 'John Easton', after MML Sports' MD of the same name, the conversion, which was launched recently to the massed Brazilian press, brings the engine output up to a modest 340bhp. However, it is applied to cars using Mitsubishi's six-speed SST double-clutch transmission system and as such, modifications were also necessary to the drivetrain and control systems to handle not necessarily the increase in power but more importantly, the gains in torque.
Easton himself travelled to Brazil for the launch and to oversee the conversion of the first 30 cars, with the remaining 60 to be carried out in the first quarter of 2015.
The cars are identified with a carbonfibre plaque on the dashboard and the engine cam cover, individually numbered and bearing Easton's signature, a move he was surprised to discover on arrival in Brazil.
Commenting he said; "I had no idea that Mitsubishi Brazil was planning to call the car the 'John Easton Edition'. As far as I was aware, it would be the MML Sports Edition. I am honoured to have my name added to this conversion, as one of only two people ever to have their name as part of a special edition Mitsubishi. The other was Tommi Makinen, so at least I'm in good company!
This was a very nice program to be involved in. We could have gone a lot further with the engine output but the brief was to retain the car's driveability and work with the SST transmission, so we settled for a gain in engine output of 65bhp over the standard car.
"We developed a series of modifications to ensure that the SST would cope with this without any issues and the result is the car which was launched recently. I am delighted to be involved in this program, which could potentially be rolled out to any Mitsubishi dealer around the world.
"Although, perhaps, with a different name!"