In 1999, Omar Pollock, Ricardo Alvarado and Rafael Rosado were the webmasters of www.fxtreme.org, the biggest Hyundai enthusiast forum on the Web. The trio from Puerto Rico started with a '99 Hyundai Tiburon that they turbocharged to make over 260 whp, which at the time was spectacular. Ricardo was the ace in the hole. He was the chief mechanic of the famous Sakura tube-frame drag car during the '90s. Many considered Sakura the fastest door-slammer on the planet, it was surely king of the island.
Showing Spock-like logic they moved from Hyundais to Mitsubishis in 2003 and bought a yellow '03 EVO VIII. "The jump to Mitsubishi was an easy call," Rosado says. "The EVO was awesome and working with the platform was like coming home for Ricardo because Sakura was Mitsubishi-powered and he'd tinkered with Eclipses for many years. With this first yellow EVO we were one of the few in Puerto Rico to do 11 seconds with a 2003 on the stock turbo."
At the end of 2004 they got their second project, a red '05 EVO VIII. "At that time we were basically filming car videos in Puerto Rico and the U.S. with our other company Predator Productions," Rosado says. "Back on the island, what would be the shop was taking shape. Ricardo and Omar were working with a few customers they had found but were only doing minor modifications. At the beginning of 2006 Omar and I officially started Predator Performance and became retailers of performance parts and, since the EVO was the hottest thing on wheels in Puerto Rico, we focused on it."
When it came time to stock up on hard parts, AMS was the first company that came to mind. Predator is now the exclusive distributor of AMS parts on the island and is known as "AMS Crew, Puerto Rico." The yellow EVO has bragging rights as the fastest road-racing EVO in Puerto Rico, holding the lap record at the local track for three years running. The red EVO was built to showcase daily driver style mods. As such, in 2006 they installed an AMS GT30R turbo kit for its streetability.
Predator's Omar Pollock is a certified tuner specializing in ECU re-flashes and A'PEXi PowerFC tuning but for the AEM EMS system in the red EVO the company called upon Javier Monroig of Monroig Tuning. After he worked his magic on the EMS the EVO became the first in Puerto Rico to break into the 10s without nitrous-and this was the car's first trip to the track.
"Speed is addictive," Rosado says, "and we decided to swap our GT30R for a GT35R and look for bigger power numbers and lower e.t. numbers." So much for the docile daily driver approach. As the car came together Chris Black and Eric Gaudi from AMS were in Puerto Rico. "Chris is AMS' tuner and we decided to let him tune the car. "Chris pulled 578 whp out of the 4G63 with a very safe tune and 32-peak psi," Rosado says. "To our amazement, in our first visit to the track with the GT35R, we were able to go deeper in the 10s with a 10.52 pass. With that effort the car became the fastest all-boost EVO in Puerto Rico and we did it in full street trim-nothing was removed from the car."
AMS has its hand in nine of the engine items in the spec box. The AMS components make a statement. The manifold is clean and ceramic-coated to last. It secures the GT35R but also positions the TiAL Sport wastegate in just the right place. The AMS VSR intake manifold is another underhood eye-catcher that provides good plenum volume and optimal runner length-both key factors in making big power.