If you drive on the North-South highway often, chances are you’ve seen this hot hatch zipping along its merry way. If you’ve never seen it but still drive that route, then don’t feel like a complete loser, maybe you just didn’t recongnise it; this Mirage used to be a dreary dark grey until a few months ago, it’s owner decided to change things up a bit… well maybe more than a bit.
Devi has owned this car for quite some time now and shared it with his wife Gen for their daily commute and as a weekend racer at just about every motorsport event you can think of. That was until he bought an Evo 6 as a second car. Both of them being motorsport gear heads, there was a mad dash for the Evo keys every morning, the loser relegated to driving the Mirage to work. Which wasn’t too terrible, since it had a peppy lil DOHC 1.6 Cyborg engine that could swing to 9000rpm and a manual gearbox.
But you know as they say necessity is the mother of invention and after losing far too many of those mad dashes and not getting to drive the Evo, he decided to put some spark back into the old Mirage. Of course the “mad dash” is a dramatization cause we all know what really happened was Devi had been instructed every morning by his wife to drive the Mirage while she zoomed along in the Evolution!
Not to be defeated, a plan was drafted up, a scheme, a somewhat sinister plan… ok ok I’m dramatizing again. Actually all it took was a little inspiration from the pages of the world wide web as Devi studied the exterior design of the Mitsubishi WRC 2005 rally car and decided that it would suit the Mirage just fine. Esepcially since Devi has plans of rallying this car sometime soon. A few more hours of web surfing brought up the idea of grafting an Evo 4 front bumper to the Mirage and the design was laid out. Danny’s Auto Garage in Freeport did the honours.
Everything on the car had to be functional. This car after all was their weekend racer. Gen piloted this car locally and abroad as a 14 second drag car. Devi negotiated cones with it at solodex events. So this project was much more than a face lift.
Handling being of utmost importance the stock suspension was replaced with KYB AGX fully adjustable shock absorbers which allowed them to dial in the stiffness depending on the race event. Next was safety and the seatbelts were relpaced with racing harnesses and the factory seats replaced with adjustable Recaro racing seats.
Only after that was sorted out Devi looked to adding some fuel to the fire. The stock 1.6 was yanked out and in its place now sits a 1.8 turbo charged GSR engine from Mitsubishi mated to the Cyborg gearbox, as properly advised by the late Gerrard Pegus (R.I.P. buddy). The standard 4.2:1 diff was replaced by a 3.8:1 which made better use of the added torque from the turbo.
The car now makes a comfortable 183whp at 14psi boost, which is good for the 14.1 quartermile time that was laid down and backed up in Antigua earlier this year. Not bad for a lightly tuned daily driver.
This is a very streetable car, amazingly fun to drive, quick and precise and you get quite a bit of looks on the road too. At the race track, it can be very comeptetive in it’s bracket, whether the motorsport is circuit, drags or solodex. And who knows maybe the WRC paintjob won’t be all for looks as Devi may very well pursue the idea of rallying this car in the TTRC 2WD class next year. In the mean time though his wife Gen is convincing him to drive the Evo to work, I think this time, that is going to take alot of persuasion
Article by: Duane Boodasingh
Model: Melanie Amanda Mohammed
Photos by: Paul Adam, Christian Cozier, Duane Boodasingh and Narend Sooknarine