The Top 7 Lancer Evo X Speed Upgrades. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Evo X is the tenth version. The Evo X was released in model year 2008 and was manufactured for 7 years before being discontinued by Mitsubishi in 2015. Despite its demise, the Evo X and its predecessors are still regarded as iconic tuner vehicles among performance enthusiasts.
The Evo X got a new engine in addition to a new body design, replacing the historic 2.0L inline-4 turbo 4G63. The new 4B11T engine has the same 2.0L turbo I4 structure as the previous one, but it has an aluminum block, a new turbocharger, forged rods, and sturdier internals that can handle more boost.
In the US market, the 4B11T Evo X generates 287hp and 300lb-ft of torque, which is the same horsepower output as the 4G63 and an 11lb-ft torque increase over the 4G63. Despite the slight increase in power, the 4B11T engine is capable of generating more power than its predecessor.
Who worries about stock power in a tuner car? How much power can the modified Evo X handle? We’ll go over this in more detail later, but a few easy bolt-on mods and fueling upgrades can easily get your Evo X to 350whp.
Speed Enhancements for the Lancer Evo X
- Rapid music
- Intake of chilly air
- Front piping
- FMIC wiring
- E85 Fuel | Fueling
- Blower mechanism (only good for 25psi)
- Increase regulator
Modifications are advised for more than 350whp.
- FMIC enhancement
- Upgrades to injectors
- Turbocharger | turbo manifold
- Camshaft replacement
- Local and block improvements
1. Evo X Custom Tuning | Flash Tuning
A flash tuner is the greatest bang-for-buck mod for an Evo X, and really any turbo engine. Flash tunes include a variety of off-the-shelf (OTS) maps that can be quickly activated and deactivated using a simple hand-held device that plugs directly into the OBDII port. Tunes modify fueling, AFRs, boost targets, timing, and other factors to enhance power and provide a smoother, more consistent power band.
A tune is also required for any Evo X seeking to add additional modifications such as intake or exhaust upgrades. A tune can change the factory tune to allow for extra air flow from Evo X intake upgrades, for example. This not only makes your engine healthier, but it also helps to maximize the speed benefits from the other performance mods. While an intake may produce 5whp on a stock engine, when combined with a tune, the benefits are closer to 10whp.
If you want to get into the 300whp+ range, a flash tune is a must-have upgrade. Custom tuning is an alternative option that we begin to suggest around the 350whp mark. Flash tuners, such as the Cobb Accessport, will include pre-built maps that will handle the majority of simple bolt-on mods. However, as you add fueling upgrades, turbo upgrades, and other more complex mods, the benefits of a custom tune become more essential not only for power gains but also for reliability.
Advantages of an Evo X Rapid Tune
The following are some of the advantages of Mitsubishi 4B11T tuning:
- Gains of 30-60whp are possible.
- Gains in power are comparable.
- Power range is smoother and wider.
There are several choices on the market, including the Cobb Accessport, VR Tuned, EcuTek, and others. We suggest the Cobb Accessport because it is the most common and is supported by the majority of custom tuning shops.
2. Upgraded 4B11T Cold Air Inlet
The majority of the power increases from a tune come from increasing boost levels. While the stock intake system on the Evo X is perfectly capable on mildly modified engines, once the boost is turned up, it becomes restrictive. Running high amounts of boost without more air flow places additional strain on the turbo, reducing its reliability and efficiency.
Air flow will be 50% higher with a performance intake system than with a standard intake system. This relieves the turbocharger of stress and increases its efficiency. Again, as previously stated, the benefit of an intake becomes apparent only when boost levels are raised. An intake system on a fully stock engine won’t provide more than a few horsepower.
We typically debate open vs. closed intake systems, but the Evo X’s intake systems are all open-air. The names of the intake systems, on the other hand, differ. There will be cool air intake, ram air intake, performance intake, and so on. Don’t be fooled by the moniker; they’re all the same.
Some individuals may be concerned that the open air intakes will bring in hotter air. While most have a heat shield, it doesn’t really help. Because intake air is heated by the turbo and passes through the intercooler before hitting the engine, the slightly higher IATs are unimportant.
Advantages of 4B11T Cold Air Inlet
Some advantages of Evo X air intake modifications include:
- Gains of 5-12whp and comparable torque gains
- Air movement has improved by 50% or more.
- Increased turbo performance and dependability
- Fantastic improvements in intake sound
Evo X Intake Devices That Work
- AMS Efficiency
- Air Intake Device ETS
- Cold Air Filter by K&N
The benefits vary little from one brand to the next. For improved airflow, they all use comparable designs and high-quality larger filters. The AEM Intake is the only system we dislike because it uses a completely enclosed box. Because it is completely enclosed, it is more limited than the open systems above and thus moves less air. It will provide slightly fewer IATs, but as previously stated, this is irrelevant. More air flow is preferable to slightly lower IATs.
3. Evo X Downpipe and Front Pipe Improvements
The catalytic converter is located immediately in the downpipe of most turbocharged engines. Because the downpipe bolts immediately to the turbo, it is the first exhaust component in a turbo car. However, the 4B11T engine lacks a catalytic converter inside the downpipe.
Instead, the catalytic converter is located in the front or test pipe. This front pipe connects to the downpipe immediately. Catalytic converters are inherently restrictive, causing increased backpressure in the exhaust system, which harms the turbocharger. Backpressure reduces the turbo’s ability to spool rapidly and places additional strain on it. As a result, upgrading the front pipe is advised to decrease backpressure, which lowers EGTs and relieves stress on the turbo. Running high boost levels through the stock exhaust system places a strain on the stock turbo.
The cat-back section is the second component of the exhaust system. While upgrading the cat-back portion will help reduce some extra backpressure, the front pipe is the most essential exhaust component to upgrade. We only suggest cat-back upgrades for those who want a louder exhaust note because the power increases do not justify the cost.
Advantages of a Front Pipe Replacement
The following downpipe and front pipe modifications are available for the Evo X 4B11T:
- Gains of 10-15whp and comparable torque gains
- Reduce the temperature of the emission gases.
- Exhaust backpressure is reduced.
- Quicker turbo boost
- Improved turbo efficiency
Front Pipes: Catless vs. Catted
When updating the front pipe, you can choose between a catless pipe, also known as a test pipe, and a high-flow catted pipe. Because they decrease backpressure the most, catless pipes provide the best power gains. They are, however, unlawful and will result in an emissions failure. Most states allow high-flow catted pipes, but they provide slightly less power increases due to the presence of a semi-restrictive catalytic converter.
4. FMIC / Piping Improvements for the Evo X
The factory front mount intercooler is actually quite excellent. It is spacious and provides sufficient airflow even for tuned and customized 4B11T engines. While the intercooler is excellent, the original piping is not. The standard plumbing makes extensive use of extremely long silicone hoses. These hoses experience a lot of expansion under heavy boost which produces inconsistent boost spikes or variations in the boost curve. It is usual to replace these silicone hoses with a hard pipe kit to enhance boost control, consistent air flow, and throttle response.
You have two choices here: replace the piping or update the entire FMIC. While we prefer upgrading the FMIC while you’re piping, it’s really not essential until you’re pushing over 350whp. However, if you are tuned and track your car or use it for aggressive city driving, upgrading it before then may be helpful. While the factory intercooler is adequate, upgrading it will provide reduced IATs and reduce turbo heat soak.
It is entirely up to you whether to update the piping or the entire FMIC. Most forum members do not suggest investing in a full intercooler unless you have a lot of heat soak or are upgrading your turbocharger.
Advantages of Evo X FMIC Cabling
- Improved boost management
- Improved air movement
- Enhanced throttle reaction
- 10whp with complete FMIC update
An FMIC (along with upgraded piping) aren’t exactly power upgrades. They are more concerned with reliability and electricity loss prevention. Upgraded piping will provide more constant boost, resulting in smoother power distribution. A full FMIC will avoid heat soak, which can result in horsepower losses of up to 20whp when driving aggressively or tracking. So both mods are more concerned with preventing power loss due to heat soak and delivering more consistent power delivery.
So, while an FMIC provides some power gains, they are minor in comparison to the other benefits obtained.
4B11T Intercoolers and Cabling at Their Finest
- Cobb Adjustment
5. E85 and 4B11T Fueling Improvements
Without turbo or cam upgrades, E85, also known as flex fuel, is pretty much required to achieve 350whp. Running all of the modifications on this list without E85 will most likely result in 320whp. That is, E85 alone will provide power increases of around 30whp, and possibly up to 50whp.
E85 has an octane value of 108, which is extremely high. Furthermore, it burns much colder than pump gas, allowing for more sophisticated ignition timing and more boost.
However, E85 fuel burns faster and has a lesser energy content, which means you need more of it than regular gas. E85 will consume approximately 25-30% more fuel. This implies your fuel pump and injectors must be capable of delivering 30% or more fuel.
The fuel pump and injectors on the stock Evo X can only handle small blends around the E30 level, which is probably good for about 10whp. If you want to go all out and run 100% E85, you’ll need an upgraded fuel pump and at least 750cc injectors, ideally 900cc+. You’ll also require upgraded feed pipes. Everything you need is available in a straightforward E85 flex fuel kit.
Evo X E85 Advantages
- Gains of 10-50whp and comparable torque gains
- Reduce motor temperatures
- Increased spark timing
- Engine noise and pre-detonation are less likely.
- Increased boost amounts
6. Blast Off Valve for Evo X
On the internet, there is some dispute about whether the Evo X blow off valves are all metal or if some are plastic. Metal BOVs were standard on all Evo Xs manufactured in the United States. Some foreign MR automatic transmission models, however, included a plastic blow off valve. Regardless, replacing the blow off valve is highly suggested.
Around 17-18psi, the plastic BOV is known to begin releasing boost. Above 25psi, the metal BOV leaks considerably. Given that the stock turbo is usually safe to run up to about 28psi, anyone planning on running aggressive tunes or boost levels should consider upgrading the blow off valve.
A BOV will not give you any power increases per se, but it will prevent boost from bleeding off, which will help you keep power at low boost. It also serves to improve turbo response.
To run E85, you’ll need a custom tune, and the boost control upgrades listed below are highly suggested to keep the turbo from overheating.
Advantages of an Improved Blow Off Valve
- Stops surge leaks
- Increased consistency in boost amounts
- Throttle/turbo reaction has been improved.
- Capability to operate boost at pressures greater than 25psi
- Excellent music
Finest Blow Off Valve for Evo X
Among the finest Evo X BOV upgrades are:
- Forge Racing
Improvements to the 4B11T Boost Control
We’ll go over two distinct mods for better boost control. The first step is to install an upgraded boost control solenoid or an electronic aftermarket device. The second step is to update the wastegate actuator.
While none of these improvements increase power, they do improve boost retention and provide a flatter boost curve. Overall, while they do not add power, they are essential for maintaining power and producing smooth performance by reducing boost fluctuations.
Solenoid for Boost Management
The Lancer Evo, like the Subaru WRX, employs a 2-port mechanical boost control solenoid that directs boost to the wastegate. 2-port solenoids are notorious for being inaccurate and causing significant boost variations. As a result, choice A is to replace the factory 2-port boost control solenoid with an aftermarket 3-port boost control solenoid. A 3-port solenoid will improve boost hold, provide more accurate readings for more consistent boost, and decrease turbo stress.
The second choice is to use a more sophisticated boost controller, such as the GReddy Profec B Spec 2. An electronic boost controller like this provides more advanced boost customization and for boost to be altered and tweaked through a controller placed inside the vehicle. While these systems are more advanced and allow for greater customization, they are also more difficult to install and configure correctly.
Unless you require more advanced boost control, we suggest a 3-port solenoid from Cobb or Grimmspeed.
Wastegate Sensor Improvement
The stock wastegate actuator wears out over time and eventually begins leaking boost above 15psi at 6,000rpms. As a result, we suggest upgrading the actuator to a 1.5 BAR actuator when used with the 3-port EBCS. An upgraded actuator will aid in providing more consistent boost levels, reducing fluctuations, and keeping the boost curve as flat as possible in the higher rev ranges.
What kind of power can the Evo X 4B11T produce?
The above modifications can get you to around 350whp with E85 fueling and a more aggressive tune. The 4B11T engine’s weak spot is the stock block. Most tuners suggest keeping torque below the 400wtq mark unless you have a reinforced block. Torque is the 4B11downfall; T’s horsepower levels can approach 450whp+ with reasonable reliability as long as torque is properly tuned and kept under 400wtq, preferably within the 360-380wtq range.
Running complete E85 and bolt-ons with an aggressive tune can push you close to 400whp. However, achieving 400whp+ on a constant and reliable basis will necessitate an upgraded turbo and some additional modifications.
Evo X Speed Modifications for 350+whp
Sure, the standard turbo can produce more than 350whp. However, above these settings, the turbo is almost completely maxed out. If you want to operate a consistent and reliable 400+, you should consider upgrading your turbo and manifold.
Furthermore, above 350whp, an upgraded FMIC is suggested. Up until this point, the stock FMIC with upgraded piping is perfectly adequate, but you will ultimately require a larger intercooler with better flow and more cooling capacity.
Full E85 or strong E85 concentrations will also be required. If you are not already running E85, you will need to upgrade your fuel pump and injectors to accommodate more than small E85 mixtures. Depending on the amount used, E85 offers power gains ranging from 20-40whp.
When you install an upgraded turbo, an upgraded camshaft is also suggested. The valve will add about 20whp.
Finally, at these levels, you’ll undoubtedly want to push past 400wtq, which means you should think about reinforcing the block. Internal upgrades usually aren’t required until you break well into the 500’s for wheel horsepower.
Max PSI for Evo X Standard Turbo & Block
Excessive increase is also detrimental to internals and the block. The suggested absolute maximum boost for the stock turbo on the stock block is 28psi. Anything above that raises the risk of blowing the block and cylinders. Keep boost levels under 28psi if you want to be secure. Just bear in mind that anything above 25psi will necessitate an upgraded blow off valve to prevent boost bleeding.
Any boost levels above 20psi should ideally be run with a good custom tune. Bad calibration and excessive boost can quickly destroy your 4B11T block and pistons. Again, 28psi+ on the standard turbo is way overkill. That is why we suggest an upgraded turbo for anyone who wishes to run consistently and reliably in the upper 300’s or 400’s.