Cars don't come much more unforgettable than this RX-3 Wagon,…
One day you wake up and decide that your Evo X is no longer ‘epic’ enough. What do you do?
I remember the first conversation that Khrunal and I had about modifying his car, back then he used to drive a Mazda 6 MPS. He wanted to do lots of things to the car, but wasn’t really sure where to start and what the processes were. After finding that there was limited support for that vehicle, he made a decision to sell that car and move on to a Subaru Impreza WRX. The first thing that changed on the WRX was rims, as the car already came with adjustable suspension. The key factor here is, the modifying bug had set in for Khrunal, and now he needed more. Most of us would’ve stuck with the WRX and kept modifying that chassis, but this man had higher aspirations.
After trawling Trademe a Holden Club Sport (or ‘Clubby’ as they are lovingly referred to around New Zealand) came up. When he told me I was like “back the truck up” you are an Indian guy and you want a Holden? He was adamant, and who was I to argue. After a few negotiations with a car yard down south a deal was struck. This car looked that part, and went well but ended up being a nightmare as the car developed problem after problem and the car was returned under warranty. With the cash burning a hole in his pocket, he had his sights set on an Evo X. He was now working two jobs, and scouring the country for the right example to come up.
Not too long after the hunt had begun, a mint example came up in Auckland, lightly modified in the engine department but pretty stock otherwise. After flying up to have a look at it, the car was bought upon inspection.
Now the owner of a really sweet Evo X, Khrunal was pretty chuffed. This lasted a few weeks, the problem was Khrunal now had the modifying bug and with many internet examples drawing his attention he knew he wanted changes. What he wanted, no, needed was the ability to slam his car. He needed max ‘hella-low’ in his life! His only problem with wanting to live the ‘low life’ was the requirement for practicality when it came to driveways, as it was his only car. Other requirements; The Evo needed to be able to hold it’s own in shows, needed to be faster, and still handle well. This was quite the brief, so we decided to sit down and have a brainstorm about how all these things can be achieved.
Adjustable suspension can give you some pretty decent low. The problem is when you slam your car down to look like an RC model, it looks the business, but practicality is no longer a word in your vehicles vocabulary. Traditionally the thought of putting air suspension in a tarmac eating, cornering machine such as the Evo X would get you hated in New Zealand. With advances in air ride technology and largely due to Accuair E-Level. You would really have to be pushing the car insanely hard on a racetrack to find any shortcoming’s with the newer technology compared to static adjustable suspension.
Lets take some factors into account here, before the ‘hatorade’ is consumed. This car handles almost as good as adjustable suspension, but still superior to the OEM set-up. It can go extremely low for maximum show boating and when you need it the car can now get over the nastiest speed bump your local council can throw at you without sustaining any damage to the bodywork or chassis. We recommend this mod for anyone that wants to have their car sitting low but still wants to be able to enjoy their vehicle.
Before we move onto the mods carried out on the car I want you to have a think about this. There will be a whole bunch of you that will be out there that will be like ‘static is still cooler’ but is it? Being a recovering low addict myself, I can tell you this, the idea of being crazy low is glamorous, but in reality it’s lackluster. I got sick of destroying my front bumper over and over again (and the cost to get it repaired). We even developed a quick release bumper, this was better but having to take your bumper off in pouring rain to get into your own driveway, ‘aint nobody got time for that‘. Worse is driving through the city, come up to a speed bump and there are people everywhere and traffic behind you and your bumper gets ripped off. I guarantee that 99.99% of people around you will not understand why it is cool to have your car so damn low. Food for thought.
Accuair E-Level, D2 air suspension kit.
The D2 struts replace the factory items and the Accuair E-Level manages the preset heights. Slammed – when parked, medium – for driving and high – for maximum practicality. The Accuair systems real strength is it’s ability to monitor sensors at each strut and automatically adjust the height to level out the vehicle. Usually this set-up is pretty straight forward in other parts of the world but in New Zealand we have a certification hurdles. In NZ we can’t drill or weld to any cast aluminium arms, so everything was designed to be bolted on. Combine this with Khrunal not wanting the interior ripped up or any extra holes cut into the body the kit took longer than usual mount.
Work Meister M1R 19×10 +22 with 245/35r19 (F&R)
Now the toughest decision any car guy ever needs to make, wheels. This can make or break the look of any car, he knew he had to go with something JDM and something that would break up the cars bulky proportions. Having done graphic design at school and being handy with photoshop, a few ideas were doodled with. In the end the Work Meister M1R, matte black with polished lips were chosen. The width/offset of the rims were determined by the guards, and being wide enough to run a tyre that will give the car decent grip. Due to the lip, the wheels don’t look too big. The meshy matte black centres break up the rest of the lines of the car, and compliment the cars colours perfectly.
Varis front lip, Varis rear diffuser, Carbon Fibre bonnet.
Khrunal already loved the way the car looked, and really liked the bodyshape and only wanted to enhance the line with minimal mods. The spotlights in the front bumper have been binned for brake ducts, and a Varis front lip has been added. The front now looks very ‘cylon-esque’ (Battlestar Galactica reference for the non nerds), it’s mechanical yet angry looking.
The rear bumper has the addition of a Varis carbon diffuser, to tie in with all the anger in the front. The factory wing has been retained and the rear boot de-badged. The other addition that aides the menace of the exterior is a carbon bonnet. The Evo’s roof has also been painted matte black to flow with the bonnet and wheels. It’s all these small additions that really pull the entire look together. All this work was carried out by Ben at Customs Bodyshop ph: 04 5287820
Alpine SPR-60C Type-R components x3 (two front one set rear), 2x Alpine SWS-102 Type-R 10″ Subs, Alpine IVA-520A Bluetooth double din head unit, Alpine MRX M240 amp, Alpine MRX M1000 amp
Spending tons of time in your car, usually leads to listening to lots of music. Being a fan of a decent sound system, Khrunal wanted an install that looked classy in the interior, sounded pristine and had a WOW factor when the boot was opened. After having a ring around the team at Rapid Radio were chosen, largely due to their experience with handling installs of this nature. To match the exterior all the custom door pods and sub boxes had to be made out of carbon fibre. Easier said than done, the install took the team over 50 hours to complete. Most of this time went into the finishing touches, getting the clear coat to be perfect and getting the negative lighting set-up looking just right. The negative lighting was chosen to give the boot install lots of depth and an added touch of class. If you are looking to get your cars sounds sorted for summer talk to Rob, Pat and the team now.
Motor wise the car is mild compared to the rest of the build. With an ECU reflash at STM, an HKS exhaust system and basic intake mods the car has made 234kw at the wheels on a Dynapack hub dyno. Not a massive figure by any means but the result is a punchy and responsive driving experience, one that is suited to spirited drives on New Zealand vast network of twisty tarmac back roads.
A few years have passed since our first meeting. If we look backnow there is no-way we would’ve thought that the chance to put together a package like this would’ve arisen. There will still be the army of haters out there, but we reckon Khrunal has achieved his goal of upping the epic-ness of his ride. We infact had another meeting recently, and looks like the Evo is again going to step up another level. What does he have lined up? Well you will just have to wait and see! All I’ll say is that it’s ‘Evotional’.
P.s. To discuss this vehicle and the article, check out the post on the Speedmagnet Facebook page.
Thank you list to follow 🙂