Plenty of drivers enjoy the thrill of driving a fast car, but some car owners enjoy the process of drawing out the hidden potential of cars to create their own speed demons. This hobby got its start in Japan, as drivers would take cars with good performance numbers, typically older Japanese makes like Honda and Nissan, and modify them with body kits, cold-air intakes and other aftermarket performance parts.
Eventually, the hobby migrated across the ocean to the United States. After a brief dip in popularity during the 2008 recession, tuning is once again a popular hobby of many passionate gearheads. If you’d like to work on a tuner car of your own, we’ve gathered some of the best tuners in this article.
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION
With its impressive base specs and friendliness to aggressive modification, the Lancer Evolution is one of the most popular tuner cars available, beginning with its introduction in 1992 and continuing to the present day. The Evolution, or Evo as it’s known to tuner enthusiasts, boasts a stock turbocharged engine that delivers 291 horsepower to its 4WD transmission. Unmodified, it can reach a top speed of 162 mph and accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
Those specs give tuners a fantastic baseline to work from, but its lightweight, flexible computer controller and cast-iron engine block put the Evo in a class of its own. Simple bolt-on modifications, such as a new air intake or test pipe, can easily push the Evo above 400 horsepower, and more in-depth modifications can turn this car into a bona fide racer with more than 1,000 horsepower. The Evo supports a full range of modifications, from body kits and rear wings to fuel injection systems, turbo upgrades, and custom controllers.