"I've learned that by concentrating my energies on one aspect of tuning (reflashes) and staying focused on one car for the time being (EVO VIII), I've been able to unlock a great number of secrets of the factory ECU and achieve some amazing results with a very effective tuning tool -the reflash.

"Right now we have more than 650 dyno-flashed EVO VIIIs out there and we enjoy a very good reliability and durability record with no reported engine failures. We have many clients who are running in the 11s in the quarter mile with our reflash and we've produced up to 450 whp with the reflash on the stock engine."

Al's business partner is a silver 2004 Mitsubishi EVO VIII and his R&D department is the stretch of highway between his home base in Stamford, Conn., and the dragstrips of the Atlantic seaboard.

In its current state of tune, Al's flamed and skulled EVO sports a built bottom end featuring 9.0:1 Pruven Performance pistons and Pauter rods. The Pauter units are special "turbo rods" that feature a special tool steel and extra thick rod bolts for added strength under pressure. A reworked head that sports 1mm oversized Ferrea stainless valves, port-matched and polished runners and 264-degree JUN cams with HKS adjustable cam gears online for fine-tuning, tops the short block.

"We've developed a good head porting database," says Al, "but caution is in order as the coolant jackets are much closer to the exhaust ports in the EVO and there's not a lot of material in the exhaust ports."

Boost is generated by a tried-and-proven HKS 3037S configured with a .60 A/R on the compressor side and a 1.12 A/R housing on the turbine side. From the cold side, the charge air is pushed through an AMS front-mount intercooler and into the engine via a Works throttlebody and Magnus Motorsports sheetmetal intake. On the hot side, a custom downpipe leads to a Buschur Racing 3-inch exhaust system.

Fueling can be a critical issue with the 4G63 as the fuel pump can waver under hot temperatures and fail to deliver ample pressure under full boost, causing a dangerous lean condition. Al recommends upgrading to a Walbro 342, which is a direct factory replacement. Also at issue is the regulator, which can provide erratic flow at higher-than-stock boost levels. Al recommends a Pruven billet adaptor and Aeromotive adjustable regulator tag team. This setup allows easy installation of the regulator to the stock rail, which has been deemed adequate for added power levels.

On Pruven Performance's Dynojet, the silver-tongued Diamond Star rocked the house, pumping out 529.7 whp at 35 psi with C-16 coursing through its veins. With 91 octane on board, boost is dialed back to 22 psi.

When it comes to high-horsepower, high-tech weekend warriors, the clutch can kill the deal. Fuel octane rating aside, a clutch capable of holding the high power often lacks the finesse needed for daily driving or even properly applying said power where it matters most-at the strip. This is what we call an "on/off switch" clutch that does nothing for the first 95 percent of pedal travel then crams 100 percent of the engagement in that last five percent of travel, which means spinning wheels off the line and lackadaisical times on the scoreboard.

Al has found clutch nirvana in the form of the Exedy Hyper Carbon. "The most important factor in having a high-whp AWD turbo car is the ability to smoothly transfer the power to the wheels without shocking the drivetrain and without creating an overload of heat into the clutch. My EVO's sticky Toyo RA1s only enhance the chance to shock the drivetrain.

"Exedy's carbon clutch technology allows for a very smooth and progressive engagement of the clutch, which allows you to get some enthusiastic acceleration while not shocking your gears and parts in the drivetrain.