Category Archives: Ralliart Sportback Build

Debuting Project Ralliart Sportback

Mr. Tomei is now working with Mitusubishi Corporate on a 30-day build of the Ralliart Sportback.  I’ll copy and paste what Jason wrote since it’s kinda pointless for me to paraphrase what he wrote.

Watching David, I always feel like I’m a day late and several thousands of dollars short, but here goes. I’m kicking of a 30 day build up on a Ralliart Sportback.

The Lancer Ralliart was initially developed to be a tuner version of the already popular Mitsubishi Lancer. It includes the turbocharged 4B11 platform and SST transmission, while Recaro and Technology packages come as available options.

The Sportback is a version of the same vehicle, but designed for the European markets where BMW, Audi and Mercedes wagons are already popular. It’s not designed to compete with the “domestic euros” but it is geared to go head to head with Mazda, Subaru and VW ones (VW being a domestic euro, I know).

Right now, I’m going to start building it from the ground up, in partnership with Robi-Spec Race Suspensions. While everyone else is eating turkey, this Thursday, we’ll be out in the shop, installing a race suspension, big brake kit and rolling the bejesus out of the rear fenders to accommodate the current BBS wheels and future RE30s.

Power will later be added from Tomei Powered (of course) and a few other goodies I have left over from my current Evolution MR build. Aero may come from a variety of sources. I’m considering an evo retrofit for the front to allow for a charge speed kit, but I may go for the OEM(+) look. I’m not certain yet.

This shot is before I spent the day detailing it, but after I spent 3 days working the fenders, fitting the wheels, dropping the car and re-tuning the suspension.

The wheels are a temporary fix until the RAYS arrive.

If you build anything, it’s best to start from the ground up. The highest building starts with a strong foundation. And the same goes for cars and suspension. You can make Godzilla power all day, but if you can’t keep it on the pavement, what good is it?

Enter Robert Fuller of Robi-Spec:

Robert is heavily involved in my other Mitsubishi projects and was the logical choice for the Sportback as well. He’s had his for nearly a year now and has a wrap sheet of all the ins/outs, tips/tricks that you need to make these cars stick.

I called Robi up on Monday the 23 with a tight schedule. He, not being a stranger to time constraints) scheduled me for Thursday. Yeah…Thanksgiving! So while everyone else is grubbing on turkey, we were shivering in the Hysperia based shop getting the pre-lims out of the way for the new suspension.

Currently, we’re running a set of BBS 18×8.5 +28 BBS wheels off an Evolution X, MR. We’ll be swapping these out for a nice set of RAYS wheels later, but for the mean time, they are a great upgrade over stock. Unfortunately, they rub…a lot….at stock height. Thus we needed to cut, roll and pull the fenders slightly to insure we wouldn’t be feathering the sides of our tires on the track.

I do not recommend you try this at home, however, here are the steps we took:

1. The first thing you we did was cut away all the insulation at the base from the base of the fenders. We took a sharp blade and pretty much just scrapped it off. If you use a grinder, the insulation melts and makes a huge mess.

2. After this was done, we ground the rest of the fender to make a clean surface which we sealed with black primer after the fenders were rolled. This also prevents the paint from cracking unpredictably.

3. The fenders were then notched and we (he) began to slowly and carefully work the fender away from where it would have impacted the wheels/tires.

4. A quick touch of with black primer and the car is good to go!

Friday rolled around and it was time to get get a set of lowering springs onto the car. Robi commissioned Progress Technology to create a spring with a rate best suited for the Ralliart. These, plus a few other tricks can push the potential parallel to the capabilities of most coil over set ups.

Robert was not available Friday, so it was off to SS Racing in Alta Loma. With a 12-pack of blue moon in one hand, new springs in the other and pizza in the other (not sure where the third arm came from) we set to work.

Over all, it was a lot of hard work cussing and a short knife fight with a spider named chuck who tried to bumb a smoke (big spider).

Once the spings were in and the ride height settled, everything looked great. The ride is very comfortable compared to stock and after a trip back to Robi-Spec the following day, the turn in and holding power is dramatically improved. The last part of “stage 1″ will be the addition of a rear sway bar from white-line. Early next year, we’ll move to a more aggressive stage 2 (stay tuned).

Stay tuned for more!