From now on, any and all email inquiries we receive regarding the requirements for a car to be featured in Import Tuner-from freelance photographers, perspective car owners, curious outsiders, and the like-will be replied with the one-line URL of the page on importtuner.com where Najeeb Faridi's EVO IX MR is featured. Unless you've been in solitary confinement, banished to some northeastern corner of Siberia, or tooling away on the International Space Station for the past three years, you'll know we've made a practice of featuring the cleanest, performance-prepped street cars known to man. And the daily driver seen here just might epitomize those qualities better than any so-called examples before it.
Unlike other car owners who can technically claim street legality with current registration, plates, etc., Najeeb's EVO is his only car. No bone-stock SUV or enclosed trailer sitting curiously in his driveway; just this show-quality, 11-second, 450whp beast of a commuter. On the official spec sheet we had Najeeb fill out prior to assembling this feature, he expressed two goals he'd had for this car since buying it new: He eventually wanted to see it featured in a magazine, and he wanted to make sure that each part he added would flow with the rest, and serve only to enhance its performance and drivability. Hence, why you won't find a crazy-flush wheel fitment, ultra-low stance, roll cage, or a sea of fiberglass audio enclosures. What you will find is a 50-trim AMS turbo and manifold, a Sean Ivey-tuned factory ECU, a full Buddyclub/Cusco/Carbing suspension, ultra-rare Volks, an eclectic collection of rare/JDM exterior components (you know, the kind that are expensive as hell but actually fit), a pair of reclineable Brides, and just enough audio to make the drive more enjoyable-all with the dings, dents, rock chips, scratches, wear marks, and oxidation that comes with driving rough northern East Coast city streets all year long . . . oh, and a room full of First- and Second-place trophies in Najeeb's house, from shows to which he drove his EVO to win.
Don't think all this JDM-infused, high-hp goodness fell off the back of the UPS truck one part at a time, paid for by mom and dad's credit card. This particular EVO is three years in the making. The number of years building cars before one finally landed a feature: eight. Najeeb's first car was a V-6 Accord he used to putt to and from high school at the age of 17. He invested every salvageable dime from his minimum-wage gigs transforming it into the cherry-red, kitted-out show car it eventually came to be-one that earned a reputation for being the fastest in the tri-state area, too. In its final stage, Najeeb spent an hour every night for two months hand-polishing its pièce de résistance, a Comptech supercharger, only to have the car totaled by a careless driver the week before it was to be installed. Car number two was a new TSX, paid for with insurance money and proceeds from parting out the Accord, but after a few months of getting spanked on the street by Altimas, Camrys, and even V-6 Mustangs, the decision was made to trade up to a base-model EVO VIII. With only bolt-ons and tuning, it eventually became known as the "Ferrari Killer", due to a Youtube video of it taking out a 360 Modena which quickly garnered a few thousand views. But once it too was involved in a crash (admittedly, the result of bald tires and the choice to go too fast around a nasty bend), the decision was made to trade up, again, to the EVO IX before you.
A few months after taking ownership, Najeeb had added a carbon fiber lip, hood and sideskirt accents, a JDM rear bumper, and wheels. And just as it was starting to look right, the inevitable happened: it was hit. This time, sandwiched between two SUVs while waiting at a stop sign, by a 16-year-old girl without an affinity for paying attention to the road. The car spent the subsequent winter at a body shop, and Najeeb spent the months working overtime to pay for its mix of Ings+1/C-West/Voltex/JDM Mitsubishi exterior components, and Bride/DEFI interior bits. Just one day after the re-applied Wicked White's clearcoat had been sanded and buffed, the EVO was taken in for its Pioneer DVD/navigation and JL Audio/Kicker/Polk/Momo audio. And the day after that, it was out for the go-fast bits: the aforementioned AMS upgraded turbo and manifold, along with supporting mods from HKS, Greddy, ARC, and others; fuel courtesy of Walbro and Precision Engineering; driveline reinforcement thanks to Cusco; and even some modest Hawk brake upgrades, before being shipped off to EVO/DSM guru Sean Ivey for a custom reflash of its stock ECU. "Maybe the only reason it wasn't in an accident during that time," laughs Najeeb, "is because I didn't give it enough time!"
Now, having lived out both of his dreams with this car, he's not sure what's next. With projects like this, he says, the temptation is to either re-do them completely, or move on to something else. He's definitely looking for a daily driver he won't strain to take such good care of. "The next challenge," he says, "is going to be for me to keep it stock!"
Behind The Build
Suffolk County, NY
Assistant E-commerce Manager
Photography, interior design, business
"I've always dreamed of building a car for the world to see!"
'06 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR
Output: 447 whp / 410 lb-ft of torque
Engine AMS intake, turbo manifold, 50-trim turbocharger, lower intercooler piping; JDM EVO bypass valve; Tial 38mm wastegate; HKS EVC-6 boost controller, DLI-2 ignition module, Circle Earth grounding system; Precision 780cc injectors; Walbro 255Lph fuel pump; ARC titanium gradient spark plug cover, silver oil cap, radiator cap; Samco radiator hoses; FAL radiator fans; Greddy titanium exhaust; custom test pipe, Ferrari wrinkle-red painted valve cover, polished A/C lines; Sean Ivey reflashed ECU
Drivetrain Cusco twin-disc clutch, flywheel
Suspension Buddyclub coilovers (front and rear); Cusco rear sway bar; Carbing front upper strut tower bar; GT Spec rear upper strut tower bar
Wheels/Tires 18x9.5 +15mm offset Volk Racing CE28N Limited Edition Formula Silver wheels (2008 special finish); 245/35-18 Yokohama S-Drive tires
Brakes Hawk HPS stainless steel braided lines; ATE Super Blue racing fluid
Exterior Ings+1 front bumper, side skirts, front canards; JDM EVO IX rear bumper, headlights, taillights, side markers, window wind deflectors; Voltex carbon fiber diffuser, rear wing, carbon fiber B-pillar trim; C-West hood; AMS carbon fiber roof; Ganador side mirrors; Wicked White paint; Fender Benders bodywork; vinyl by GrafX by Nicky
Interior Bride Vorga front seats, signature Gradient upholstery; custom-wrapped silver carbon fiber dash panel; JDM Ralliart Edition shift knob; custom white Willans harnesses; Broadway mirror; Defi BF-series gauges (boost, EGT, oil temperature, oil pressure), hoods, Control Unit V2; Apex'i FATT; AEM UEGO wideband O2 gauge; RMR carbon fiber steering column gauge pod
Electronics Orbital Performance double-din dash kit; Pioneer AVIC-D3 head unit; JL Audio 500/1 amplifier; Kicker ZX650.4 amplifier; Polk/Momo MMC650 co-axial 6.5-inch speakers, cross-overs; Monster wiring; Stinger one-Farad capacitor; Dynamat sound deadening
Gratitude Allah; family (mom, dad, brother Nabli); friend and better half Sadia; Ali and Majid; TSE (Tri-State-EVO) family; NIM (New Image Motorsports)