Stashed away in a gloomy Northampton garage in the United Kingdom lies a Frankenstein. A creation combining two of Japan’s legendary race-bred powerhouses, a Mitsubishi Evolution VIII with the heart of Godzilla.
Conrad Bradley is the first man on the planet to successfully swap a VR38DETT engine into a Mitsubishi Evolution –the world’s first “R35 Evo” – and it’s all-wheel drive.
The idea began in 2013 upon the deconstruction of Bradley’s 2008 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII, nicknamed “Possessed”. It was built to make 1026hp thanks to a forged 2L 4G63 engine pushed within an inch of its life.
When Conrad accepted a career change in Singapore, he knew he wouldn’t be returning to the UK for some time. He was forced to retire from drag racing which prompted him to strip and sell the Evolution.
As he stared at the skeleton of his years of hard work, he began to reimagine his Evo and decided he would own one again in the future. When it was finally time to farewell the rolling shell, Conrad took note of its measurements and held onto them for developmental research—initially planning a small-block twin turbo V8 swap.
“I am an engineer by trade, electrical, mechanical, automation and control, and also have a very good knowledge of process and fluid dynamics,” he told CarExpert.
For two years the idea of a V8 hung around in his brain, but never quite made the cut.
Conrad has a long love affair with Japanese sports cars. He has a number of impressive builds under his belt in addition to the Evolution, including a wide body Toyota AE86, a 522kW Mitsubishi Evolution IX GT, and a 462kW Mitsubishi Evolution X. So it is no wonder the V8 was never going to see the light of day.
“I recently sold my 11 year build AE86 which was a one off wide arched build, described by some magazines as the best AE86 in the world. The other famous build I did was a black drag Evo VIII called Possessed which ran early 9.0 second quarter mile at 163mph in road legal trim,” Bradley mentions.
Casually scrolling through an online marketplace while contracted overseas, Bradly stumbled on a written-off Nissan R35 GT-R for sale and had a crazy idea.
He took to the drawing board and compared the dimensions of the R35 GT-R VR38DETT engine to the Evo engine bay, determining with a little massaging the twin turbo V6 could sit nicely between the chassis rails.
On the same day, he found a listing for a shell of a 2008 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII and reached out to a friend back in the UK to inspect and purchase both vehicles on his behalf, and set them aside for his return.
Upon his return to the UK in 2015, Conrad sent the twin-turbo V6 from the wrecked R35 GTR to ‘Race Developments’ where it was fitted with a 4.1L ETS stroker, complete with a Sonny Bryant crank, ETS rods, Mahle pistons and the full suite of ARP studs.
With plans for around 1340kW, a pair of Precision 6466 turbos were installed along with Turbosmart waste gates and blow-off valves.
Fuel delivery comes by means of a T1R fuel rail, two Bosch lift pumps and a pair of high-pressure pumps.
Conrad’s main prerequisite was to keep the car all-wheeldrive. This is no small feat considering the Evo is originally a transverse east-west layout, and the GT-R V6 is a longitudinal layout.
Custom Mitsubishi driveshafts and hubs were fabricated to transfer power through a Hollinger six-speed transmission to a Nissan front differential and Toyota rear differential.
“The biggest challenge was to keep the car AWD and get the weight distribution front to rear correct. Without giving too much away there is lots of stuff to consider when keeping the car AWD. It’s an absolute minefield.”
Handling is enhanced by means of a set of upgraded to Nitron R3 three-way adjustable coil overs with Racefab arms, complete with custom front and rear subframe.
After a year of fabrication and assembly, the car was dropped onto a fat set of forged Prodrive wheels with Alcon Race brakes both front and rear.
To assist in weight reduction, the roof was removed and replaced with a lightweight alloy skin, glass windows exchanged for Lexan heated plastics, and a custom FIA spec cage was installed and certified.
The car’s aggressive appearance comes thanks to a Voltex style carbon aero-kit, Jon Livermore carbon vented bonnet, carbon boot lid, and a chassis mounted wing.
All these modifications bought the total weight of the GTREVO down 1337kg, lighter than factory specifications despite the arsenal of go-fast-bits and safety gear.
Sparing no expense, the engine control is courtesy of nothing but the best – Motec M150 complete with a C125 colour logging display, PDM 30 power management, GPS unit and a 15 way switch-pad.
For drag-strip duties, a line-lock button was installed into the steering wheel allowing the driver to engage RWD mode and drop a mad skid on the starting line. In addition, there are two variable potentiometers for launch, boost and traction settings.
Many thanks to Conrad for sending us over all the pics and info and Christina Cooley for all the research.
We keenly await the results and hope to add some videos of the mental Mitsu in action!
Follow @thearmchairtuner on Instagram for more updates on the world’s first GTREVO.