It’s only a Mirage, or is it?

Not too many car builders would bother doing a rebuild on a Mitsubishi Mirage. Even Mitsubishi stopped doing it, instead choosing to head in the direction of the Mitsubishi Evo.

But then Jason Addison isn’t your typical car builder.

Jason Addison in his Mitsubishi Mirage he made into a rally car. Photo: Jason Byrne.

For a start he’s a self-described pencil pusher, so when he decided to build his dream car it had to be the Mirage.

As many car enthusiasts know, in 1996 Ralliart, which is the Mitsubishi division of rallying, placed an order with Mitsubishi to produce 997 of the Mitsubishi Mirage 4WD shells to make towards rally cars.

For some unknown reason the project fell apart and instead Ralliart started making the Evo into rally cars instead.

So Jason has one of the 997 Mitsubishi, which he has turned into his dream car. He found the 4WD 1996 Mirage hatch in Auckland and began work on his dream about two years ago. Out went the 1500cc automatic engine and gearbox and in went… and listen to this… an Evo 8 MR engine, an Evo 6 gearbox and RS diffs.

Yes, that’s right – Jason has turned his Mirage into a full blown Evo rally car.
I guess when the manufacture doesn’t make the parts you have to use the closest thing to a Mirage. With the help of his older brothers, Jason has had to make some major adjustments to make his car a reality.

“We lengthened all the steering wheel and centre console and we are now sitting in the rear seat foot well. This helps add weight on to the rear wheels.”

Of course with the adjustments it’s meant other things have had to change as well. He’s had to hand make the front guards but other Evo parts have bolted straight on
to the Mirage.

“If you saw it front on it looks like a genuine Evo 5, then you see it side on and you think, ‘Something is happening here’,” Jason says.

The reason for going with the Mirage is a simply one, says Jason.

“I wanted something different and I didn’t want a Subaru and I didn’t want an Evo. I’ve always loved the hatchback and I thought, ‘Right I’m going to try to build a little hatchback 4WD.’”

Jason is proud of the fact that his car has all Mitsubishi parts.

“It’s either a Mitsubishi part or an after-market part because of strength. It’s not like a Toyota this or a Nissan that. It’s all genuine Mitsubishi.”

His car got its first run recently at the TECT All Terrain Park on Whataroa Rd, and Jason was pleased with the results.

“It’s all launch control and anti-lag, so you basically sit on the start line, flick the launch control and put your foot flat on the floor and let it drive.”

He admits there were some teething problems, but overall he’s happy with how the run went and now looks forward to running it in competition.


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