A Swedish time trial monster

A Swedish time trial monster

I have to give credit where it is.

If it wasn’t for the cover I saw on speed hunters And Narita dogfight long before I started contributing here, I wouldn’t have such an interest in time attack today. The content coming straight out of the pit lane garages at Tsukuba Circuit intrigued me, and I’ve since found myself following the time attack scene on my doorstep here in Sweden.

The Custom Motor Show (AKA Elmia) always features some of the nicest (and fastest) time trial cars in the country, and this year a 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX built by the guys at Auto-Gruppen caught my eye in Hall X.

I mean, how could he not?!


Mellerud-based Auto-Gruppen have been involved in Swedish motorsport since 2004. Since then they have made a name for themselves as one of Scandinavia’s top performance tuners. I met Nader Derakshan, a chief technician at Auto-Gruppen, at the Elmia show, and he was happy to talk to me about all aspects of this wild build.


Since Auto-Gruppen bought the Evo IX in 2018, the team has spent more hours than they can count perfecting every inch of the car, with the majority of that time spent troubleshooting. . That said, as soon as the car feels good at each stage, they move on to the next phase of development.

Track results to date speak for themselves: Mantorp Park: 1.16.1; Kinnekulle Ring: 51.19 (both laps are set on semi-slicks). And that’s not all. In its first season in 2020, the Evo received three trophies and broke two records while Auto-Gruppen further tested and fine-tuned the car.


You’re never going to break records without aftermarket-grade performance gear, and the Auto-Gruppen Evo absolutely drips with it.


First is the exterior, which features the complete Voltex Ultimate Time Attack G-Force Aero groupset. You don’t see many cars fitted with this kit, let alone here in Sweden, but this is serious equipment with a price tag to match – close to US$50,000.


The doors, front fenders and both bumpers are fiberglass, but everything else is dry carbon. Very few changes have been made to the aero to make it perform best on the Swedish tracks, and Nader pointed out that at 200 km/h the car now produces almost 2 tonnes of downforce, which is just crazy.

With time attack cars of this caliber you will often have heavy use of the tube frame, but the class regulations the Auto-Gruppen Evo IX conforms to do not allow this. Internal body and chassis frame modifications are allowed, however, and for next season the team will focus on further reducing weight.


There was no way to use anything other than high-quality, Japanese-made wheels on the Lancer, and the boxy 18×11-inch Yokohama Advan GT setup—currently wrapped in 280-section Yokohama Advan A005 slicks— looks quite at home. Often it’s the things you can’t see that are the most interesting, and for the 2023 season the Evo uses Izze-Racing laser ride height and TPMS sensors in the wheels. In addition, each tire is equipped with temperature sensors that measure 16 channels through the inner cylinders, providing plenty of data to better understand and optimize handling. In total – and including the engine – there are 50 sensors around the car.


The suspension setup is designed around MCA Gold Series coilovers that were custom built for the application and RaceFab chromoly arms. Giant Alcon Racing brakes are mounted on all four corners on Brypar billet stanchions, with adjustable bias via the Tilton bias control in the car.


For some reason I only managed to take one photo of the interior, but other than the FIA ​​certified roll bar and the Tillet B8 carbon fiber seat paired with a Sparco 6 point harness, a Momo steering wheel and a Tilton 600 series crankset, there’s not much to it.


Under the Voltex Tilton GT Version dry carbon hood, a Mitsubishi 4G64 engine was built up to 983whp. It is based on a Bullet Race Engineering billet block featuring JE pistons, CP-Carillo connecting rods and a Brian Crower 102mm crankshaft. Up top, the MotoSpeed ​​racing cylinder head is filled with Brian Crower components.

The turbo is a BorgWarner EFR 9280, the intake is a Plasmaman element and the dry sump system is from Norris Design. Fuel delivery is via a Radium Engineering cell fitted with three Ti Automotive pumps that feed a staged FIC injector configuration that can deliver 3,100cc of fuel injection to each of the engine’s cylinders. Everything is managed by an Emtron KV8 computer.


Power gets to all four wheels via a Momentum Motorsport Quaife QBE6U sequential gearbox with a Geartronics shifting system. The drivetrain also features a Tilton Engineering dual-disc clutch, Quaife differentials, plus Tier 2 driveshafts and a carbon driveshaft from The Driveshaft Shop.


Everything was built from scratch at Auto-Gruppen and done brilliantly. I mentioned earlier that the car was set up for the tracks here in Sweden, but the team’s ultimate goal is to take the Evo overseas. The World Time Attack Challenge in Australia is in Auto-Gruppen’s sights, and Nader also told me about a possible visit to the Tsukuba circuit in Japan in the future.

If that happens, I’ll hide in Nader’s suitcase and see the car in action for myself.

Alen Haseta
Instagram: hazetaa


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