The happy byproduct of Mitsubishi’s outlandish success in World Rally Championship, the Lancer Evolution IX is, in our opinion, the pinnacle of point of the car’s development. The one-year car was the last of the 4G63 cars, and the only iteration of Mitsubishi’s groundbreaking engine to be outfitted with variable valve timing.

The Evo IX is one of the leading tuning platforms on the road today. As we catch up with Project Pinnacle it has a few basic, budgets bolt-ons and 104,000 miles on the clock. Follow along as we turn the screws on the 4G63 and address the strengths and weaknesses of this potent and affordable speed demon.