2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Reviewer's Rides

Today in Reviewer's Rides we have a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer owned by Ash. Ash is meeting us on the Baskerville Raceway for the Performance Driving Australia Track Day and about his Mitsubishi Lancer aka Nan car. We hear what he has done to the car, what he would like to do in the future and how the 2003 Lancer has been performing so far.

Meet the 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer & its driver

- G'day, Jared from "Tyre Review" and I'm with Ash. And Ash we're at the Performance Driving Australia Track Day.
- Yes.
- We're gonna look at your car in a second, but give us a bit of a background on yourself, and what's brought you to this point.
- So I was a mechanic for roughly 10 years. Really didn't do a lot with cars at that point 'cause you know, you spend all day working on them, you didn't have a hobby so.
- Yeah. And before that was all IT. So yeah, I ended up when I left the trade, and pulled out. Started having a bit of a play, some of me mates and that at the new workplace and that. Started having race cars, and that there sort of stuff. So I bought this thing originally off Gumtree for $800 needing a clutch.
- 800 bucks?
- [Ash] Yeah, 800 bucks, needing a clutch, still had six months' Rego on it. So I drove it about 35 Ks home with no clutch, just rev matching in the gears to get it home.
- Nice.
- I think the clutch cost me about 80 bucks or something back then, and I just changed it over in about two hours on the hoist at home.
- Nice.
- And it was done.
- Helps having a hoist at home.
- Ah it does. It does help a lot.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Plus all these specialty tools that are sitting in the sheds helped a lot.
- So you do obviously do all your own work.
- Yep, so everything on this car, apart from the alarm and stuff which has been done by a mate whose actually here as well today. It's basically been all built at home in the shed just after hours stuffing about, so-
- That's cool! Well, let's have a look at the car.
- Yep.
- So what's the details on it?

About the 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer

- Ah, so it's a technical, it's 2003, a Mitsubishi Lancer front wheel drive. You know, it started life out as basically grandma's race car .
- It would have been like a 1.3 or something like that?
- Ah no, a 1.8 it's always had a 1.8 in it. Just, yeah started throwing bits and pieces at it where I could.
- Yeah.
- So things I sorta added in there over time. It's got a full set of MCA street outfit coil overs. The brakes have been through a couple of upgrades, but now it's, you know, it went from 230 mil to 300 ml mini Cooper rotors.
- That'll do.
- With Pajero callipers and Evo pads.
- Right, what year Pajero?
- NH, so it would been sort of late nineties.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- It's also same as V6 Magna.
- Yeah.
- It uses Proton Satria Gti rear disc conversions, take the drums off it.
- Nice.
- It's got an Evo three master cylinder in it, so it's actually got the right brake pedal field.
- That's cool.
- And then yeah, it's just had everything else that I've pieced to it from time to time. It's got an Evo four three six cage. You know know it?
- Yup.
- [Ash] Just some cheap bucket seats from Repco.
- [Jared] The cage just fitted up?
- Belts straight in.
- Nice.
- Yep, all the same chassis. It's just, the EVO's are a bit wider.
- And you've just recently turbo'd it as well?
- Yeah, so well it's actually been going for 12 months-
- Really?
- with turbo on it. It's on its second revision of the turbo kit.
- Yup.
- First-hand there's 13 turbo, general bearing ran out of half at about 120 kilowatts. It's got a ball bearing, it's 15 turbo on it now, it makes about 160 to the tyre.
- Nice, nice.
- Which is a big up from the it 50 made in factory.
- Yeah it wouldn't mate, it wouldn't weigh much as well. Like how much-
- Nah it's
- What'ya reckon it was?
- With the cager in there it's about 1,100 kilos as it sits here now.
- Nice
- So it's a good bit of fun for power to weight.
- Yeah.
- And yeah the surprising thing is this motor's still hanging in there. That motor's completely standard bar a cam and springs. Factory head gasket, all the factory gaskets through everything else.
- Really? So is it still the same motor that came with the car?
- Yeah, it's the same motor that came with the car from the factory.
- Nice. So yeah.
- 210,000 Ks on the clock. And the first time we got to drive it turbo'd was Christmas Eve. Drove it for a little bit. This is obviously last year, Christmas Day I went to go imbed the limited slip diffing in the front of it there, and snap the fitting out the back of the block, and pumped all its oil out.
- Well that's awesome.
- So this engine is currently an engine that had no oil in it on Christmas Day, while still driving.
- Merry Christmas.
- So, it's still going. So it's a testament to the little 1.8's. They're pretty hard to kill.
- That's amazing. And now we've got to talk about size. What are you running on at the moment?

The tyres on the 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer 

- So at the moment it's got a Yokohama ADO8R's. You know, 215 / 40 / 17.
- Yeah cool. How are you finding them?
- Really good now that I'm not rubbing at the back.
- Yes.
- Had to take spaces off to clear it.
- I did see you with the wheel.
- That's right I did have to clear it with the guards at the front. I did roll the backs already, but it wasn't quite enough.
- Yeah.
- And that was literally just this morning whilst getting ready-
- Yeah, yeah, yeah. I had a fright.
- So I drive it, it was perfectly fine on the road, but as soon as I started coming through some of the back roads here where there's a lot more bumps started catching the front. Like, ah you bugger.
- Yes.
- So I had to pull it all apart, clean it all up this morning, and that there enough. And since taking the space off there, it's a completely different animal.
- Yup.
- Previously ran Toyo R888's. Which being a Toyo five also didn't help the mix, but these tyres are wider, but with a harder compound. I actually still feel-
- Yes.
- [Ash] like I've got more grip with these than I did with the others, so obviously the contact patch helps a lot.
- [Jared] Yeah, yeah so you feel like the Yokis are better for this track in particular? Or is it sort of just general?
- Ah general, overall just for how this car is, 'cause it's so heavily front biassed for everything, brakes, steering and power, and everything like that. The back's really just getting dragged along for the ride.
- Yes.
- Definitely seemed to help a lot with the front there having a bit wider contact patch, especially for trying to take off.
- Yeah.
- Like an idiot .
- Well no, I mean, this is a big ass race car, you've got gotta, you know, you've got to do it.
- Yeah my nan doesn't know I took her car.
- [Jared] That's right. It looks a bit different Derrick.
- [Ash] Yeah, that's the joke that's always been. I mean, you know, it's an easily attainable car.
- Yeah.
- You know, these things are, you know 2,000, $3,000 on average when you find 'em on Facebook or Marketplace, and it doesn't take much to make them a fun little car.

Modifications done on the 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer

- No. I mean, how much do you reckon you've spent on it so far to get it to a point where you can actually take it to a track day, and be comfortable with it?
- Well, initially when it first came out for the very first track day, and that there, I think I had probably $2,500 in it.
- Yeah right.
- that was including purchasing the car.
- Yes.
- Biggest thing, and this will always giving you the most bang for buck, especially on sort of technical tracks like this is tyres.
- Yeah.
- And the first semi sixes car I had back in the day. Yeah, it was comparable to some or a lot of these cars out here now that are still running a fair bit of power so.
- Yes.
- Just light, and grip makes all the difference.
- Exactly, maybe give us a quick look at the engine bay.
- Yeah.
- And yeah, we'll have a yeah. This is the original engine like we've just been saying.
- This is the factory engine-
- Yeah.
- just with a little bit of lipstick on it to make it a little bit fancier.
- Is that a water to air?
- Yes, that's a water air inter-cooler, and that's off of my mate's RS Liberty's. It was one of the spare ones he had that actually used to run on his Subaru Brumby.
- Oh really?
- Used to have an EGA 25 converted Brumby-
- That's the way to go.
- So that was a whole lot of fun, yeah. So I was basically made up from bits and pieces that there that mates have left lying around in the shed workshops, all that sort of stuff. Fuel pressure regulator came from a mate there at Zentek. The race board and that there came off another mate's car that he had left sitting in the shed. So I thought, ah stuff that we'll put that on there.
- Yeah.
- Turbo, helped another mate out with his S15.
- Yeah. Had a broken vacuum hose on it.
- Get a free turbo. Got a traded turbo, not a free turbo, but yeah you know, it's a $200 S15 turbo, and that completely transformed the car.
- [Jared] So what's next?
- I've got another motor sitting in the shed.
- Yes.
- which is going to be a Frankenstein of sorts. So without having to re-bore or anything like that, and using the Honda big 18 pistons.
- Yeah right.
- So yeah, it's more or less just sort of like a budget 1.8 build.
- Yeah.
- Without having to go crazy on machine work.
- Sort of put in self-bought. and polish it a little bit.
- Yeah. A little bit of a play around that there when I get a chance to.
- Yeah.
- As there's a safe limit for these motors, roughly it's about 200 kilowatts to the tyre -
- Yeah.
- before they start letting go.
- Yeah.
- I didn't want to push it that far, 'cause I used to drive this to work every day so.
- So it's no longer your daily?
- No, it's no longer the daily. So yeah, it sort of gets a little bit of a break that way.
- Yeah.
- But yeah the new motor will probably hit around 250 front wheel kilowatts on 98, and well over 300 on corn.
- Sort of, torque there's gonna be an issue?
- It's already an issue now,
- Yeah right.
- [Ash] but it's just going to be, you know, keep you awake.
- [Jared] Yeah, that's right.
- [Ash] Yeah, you know, you're alive. Yeah, you're never bored when you're driving this car, 'cause it certainly keeps you on your toes.
- No, exactly. Oh, that's awesome. So I reckon the next step is to go for a bit of a lap around the track.
- Yeah.
- Can we do that?
- By all means.
- Awesome.
- Yeah.
- All right, cheers!
- It's certainly an experience .
- I'm looking forward to it I think .
- Yeah, you would.
- All right, mud lap time.
- It pulls around the corners.
- It's nice isn't it?
- Yeah.
- Also you feel the tyre edge just slipping out slightly. That's interesting isn't it?
- Yeah.
- That's cool. What's happening? Brakes are good?
- Yeah.

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Our long term reviews are conducted by everyday people, using the tyres as they would every day, just with a more critical eye for the individual tyres performance. The long term tests are offered for informational purposes only, and you should always draw your own conclusions for what are the best tyres for you from broad research - read the consumer reviews, read our long term reviews, and check with your tyre shop when actually purchasing the new tyres.

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