On August 1, 2004, SoCalEvo.net held its 12th annual meet, bringing together more than 130 Lancer Evolution owners throughout the state. Playing host to the event was none other than XS Engineering in Huntington Beach, Calif. XS Engineering is regarded as one of the top tuners of Mitsubishi Evolutions in Southern California, as the company campaigns a 450-plus-hp road/race EVO at local events.
For months on end, EVO forum junkies banged away at their keyboards and salivated with anticipation for the day to finally arrive. Enthusiasts hoped to have many of their tuning and engine buildup questions answered. Some of the companies on hand to give answers and advice to the attendees were XS Engineering, A'PEXi, Sparco, RnR Racing, DynoFlash, WORKS, Injen and other special guest tuners.
First on the day's agenda was a tech seminar conducted by Eric Hsu of XS Engineering. In hopes of educating many of the EVO owners who attended the event, Hsu detailed the importance of proper tuning. He pointed out some of the potential weaknesses within the Mitsubishi that require attention when upgrading the vehicle for more horsepower.
After the quick seminar, XS Engineering's EVO was strapped to the dyno and it stomped out 476.5 whp and 448.3 lb-ft of torque. Also making an appearance was the highly popular SPARCO EVO, now sporting a new look. SPARCO's pride and joy pounded out an impressive 435.1 whp and 403.3 lb-ft of torque.
Keep in mind both vehicles were built and designed strictly for road racing competitions, therefore emphasis is aimed at maintaining a smooth and useable powerband up until redline. As the SPARCO car was unloaded off the dyno, the first raffle in a series throughout the day took place. Eleven lucky contestants received a free dyno session for their vehicles to see just how much power their cars could produce.
At noon, free hot dogs and sodas were offered to all participants, compliments of the hosts. While the festivities rolled on, vehicles continuously rolled into the adjacent parking lots surrounding the festivities. After a brisk walk through one of three parking lots flooded with vehicles, we managed to crawl onto the roof in hopes of capturing the hoards of people and their precious EVOs. With more than 220 participants on hand, it became apparent to me the influence a vehicle can have on one's soul is amazing.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated part of the day was the raffle and giveaway. Donations from HKS, A'PEXi, Blitz, SPARCO, ATI, Sun Automobile, Koyo and Invidia lined the floor as the participants tightly huddled by the booth in hopes of winning a prize. Smiles and cheers echoed throughout the crowd as M.C. "Derek disser" rambled off the winning ticket numbers. One lucky winner was awarded the final prize of the day-an HKS carbon titanium exhaust system.
Although many left sunburned and worn out from the days event, the 12th annual SoCal EVO Meet successfully came to an end with rave reviews. If you happened to miss out on this year's festivities, be sure to attend next year's event.