Is the DSM dead? The 3rd-gen Eclipse with its girth and a weak-ass naturally aspirated V6 is no match for the 4G63 turbo four-cylinder models that made the DSM a force in the import scene. At the launch of the 3G, Mitsubishi said turbo models only made up roughly 15 percent of its sales. To that we fired back that turbo models make up 99 percent of the cars we feature in our magazine.
Mitsubishi only got wise after watching Subaru sweep through the scene like wildfire with its rally-inspired WRX. The big question is, will the EVO VIII breathe life into the DSM market or will it cause 4G63 enthusiasts to abandon the Talon and Eclipse for the EVO, which has a decade more refinement in, under and around it?
If Sean Ivey's Talon is any indication, the low entry price and high performance potential of the DSM should ensure the old battlewagon has a long and healthy shelf life.
Having an engineering background and a long-standing affinity for import racing, Jamaican-native Sean Ivey used to sit and watch the hopped-up turbo Corollas of the mid 1980's back home on the Island. This embedded in him an interest for highly modded cars and taking four-cylinder engines to the limit.
That interest has culminated in this well-sorted 1992 Eagle Talon. The car was built in stages when finances allowed, and eventually became what it is today; a hard-hitting quarter miler as the accompanying Race Record chart attests to.
Ivey's philosophy on tuning is simple, "You can't finish first if you can't finish." The results truly speak for themselves as Ivey's Talon has performed extremely reliably, and the joke of it all, it's built by the owner in his home garage. There is no huge team or funding behind the car's success; just solid engineering and smart choices. Ivey remarks, "too many people in the import scene get fixated on running a best time. John Shepherd showed a long time ago consistency is what wins races, and I tried to take a page out of his book."
The party starts with a 0.030-over block and a polished and lightened crank. The crank swings Pauter rods, which are beefy enough to stand up to repeated cycles of nitrous abuse. Ross custom pistons were the last addition to this stout bottom end built by Jack Merkel Performance in Kenilworth, New Jersey.
The cylinder head consists of a porting regime performed by RC Engine in Brooklyn, New York, a shop Ivey says has an excellent reputation in the Mitsubishi community. The 4G63's valve train consists of stainless Supertech valves, dual valve springs and titanium retainers. Valve actuation is handled by HKS bumpsticks working in conjunction with specially designed hydraulic lifters.
The head was flowed and tested and the numbers were excellent for such modest modification. "The Mitsubishi head flows efficiently from the factory, they just need valve train upgrades that can sustain the 10,000-rpm blasts it will see.