Any shop calling itself reputable is concerned with one key thing you're not. It's a concept called building a car to last. You see, shops don't want you pounding down the garage door when your turbo falls off on I-95 when you're going 175 mph. Having built many extreme-tuned Lancer Evolutions, the guys at Atlantic Motorsports in Gaithersburg, MD, quickly realized the need for a tried-and-true solution, so they set out to build a car that was a little bit more streetable than cars like the monster "Shop EVO" we featured in Mar. '07.
We're not saying there isn't a place for high-horsepower gigabuck cars, but that place might not be your driveway. Atlantic Motorsports put out a worldwide APB in an effort to find the most reliable parts, then figured out which of those worked best together. As the testing went on, a second goal developed. They needed not only to figure out which parts worked well with each other, but also which parts didn't break the factory stuff in the process.
The resulting combination is the car you see on the pages before you. Cory Peterson calls it, "A mild version of our extreme 'Shop EVO', built with streetability as the main goal." We call it the ultimate daily driver.
The guys at Atlantic felt that in order to retain everyday drivability, a GT35R turbo was the biggest that could be used without sacrificing spool characteristics. Although the turbo necessitates the use of an external wastegate, Atlantic decided to sacrifice the badass noise of an open wastegate blowing off 19 pounds of boost against the asphalt. It's a daily driver and that means a visit to the impound lot is out of the question, so the noise and the fire were plumbed back into the exhaust. In order to keep underhood bling levels constant, the turbo and manifold were polished. The shiny turbo sends spent gases through a custom 3-inch downpipe and A'PEXi N1 exhaust.
Inside the head sit 280-degree bumpsticks, adjustable cam gears and a timing belt from HKS, which conspire to help the engine gulp large quantities of air at high rpms. ARP head studs keep the big metal blocks together when the boost gets excessive. Atlantic opted for an HKS DLI2 with Magnecor plug wires to fire off NGK BPR7IX spark plugs.
Like we said before, looking underhood is like looking into a bay of mirrors. You don't find this much bling at a Tampa strip club. An ARC oil catch can and radiator shroud reflect light everywhere. The stock valve cover has been high polished and now sports an Atlantic Motorsports spark plug cover and fuel rail - both high polished. Heck, even the Tein hood dampers are polished. A third damper from Stillway has the more purposeful job description of keeping the engine steady under acceleration in conjunction with Avid motor mounts.
A Koyo radiator, along with Samco hoses and a SPAL fan keep everything cool. The TurboXS HyperFlow intercooler uses all hard piping and T-bolt clamps to ensure leak free boosting, while a TiAL blow-off valve is used to release boost pressure when the throttle plate closes. While goodies from HKS are responsible for engine timing, GReddy electronics are in charge of keeping the turbo in check. A GReddy Profec B Spec 2 regulates boost pressure while a turbo timer from the same manufacturer ensures proper cool-down after a long run.