When we first laid eyes on Sean Glazar's new 2000 Mirage race car, we had two quick impressions. The first had to do with the immaculate build quality of the vehicle and the second was, where's the Talon? The Extreme Talon, which graced the cover of our April issue, was overpowering its driveline and our feature story left off with Glazar and Extreme Motorsports looking for answers in the form of high-tech, heavy-duty axles and transmission components. Somewhere in the winter off-season, the company decided to go front drive. Rule changes for the 2000 season also played a role in this decision. Extreme was considering the ultimate sin-building a Civic. They had the car and the engine but "it just wasn't our style, to do what everyone else had already done," Glazar told us. "So I had an idea and went down to our local Mitsubishi dealership to check out a 2000 Mirage. After taking some quick measurements, it seemed like a 4G63 transplant was feasible." In January 2000, the search for a Mirage was initiated. After three weeks of looking at overpriced pretenders, the Extreme crew nabbed its quarry-a black 2000 Mirage with minor suspension and body damage.

After alignment therapy, the Mirage was back at Extreme Motorsports for transplant surgery. Since the stock motor sits in the opposite direction, the brake booster had to be moved. In fact, the whole engine bay was gutted prior to the transplant. Extreme meticulously hand-fabricated the engine mounts and the results are what Mitsubishi should have done on its own, a 4G63-powered Mirage. From this point, the Mirage went on a dietary plan that would impress even Weight Watchers(tm); it was fitted with a roll cage. The cage is an NHRA-certified, 12-point proposition that adds a great deal of stability to the unibody while protecting Glazar. With that done, it was back to the paint shop for body rejuvenation. While repairing the accident damage, Glazar took the opportunity to enhance the lines by grafting on a Lancer Evolution V aero kit. The Fiberglass kit was designed for a four-door and had to be coaxed into two-door duty. The look is awesome, transforming the car's demeanor from commuter to fierce competitor.

Once again in the friendly confines of Extreme Motorsports' Jessup, Md. headquarters, the Mirage had the appearance of a mirage-a shell with buffed-out body lines. Work began in earnest to assemble the car prior to an event at Atco, N.J. Instead of installing glass, Lexan was used for its weight-saving capacity. Next came the installation of the dash and the Stack gauge pod, running wires, prepping the suspension and wheelie bars-the list was long and time was short. The crew missed the Atco event, but soldiered on; a week later, the Mirage was up and running, ready for some shakedown testing.

During some partial passes the following weekend, the car was pulling hard to the left. After some minor adjustments to the wheelie bars, the Diamond Star was 100-percent ready and made its debut at the Virginia Battle Of The Imports. At its first event and its sixth pass ever, the Mirage boosted its way into the 9-second club with a 9.95 at 150.30 mph. The car was now pulling right at the top-end, but Extreme Motorsports was very happy with the effort. It had good reason.