Natural Evolution

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BY
VIVEK VENUGOPAL

February 19

This car literally doesn’t exist outside the rally scene in India. However hard you try to say it is an Evolution in pyjamas, the Cedia was underwhelming with its low specific output engine. Couple that to Mitsubishi’s aimless marketing as a luxury car and HM’s lack of enthusiasm and the product never caught on. Nevertheless, Manu Jose wanted a Cedia Sport in his garage and that’s exactly what he got.

Two years into the ownership, he was faced with a problem. There was rust near the wheel aches and the car was in need of some repainting. Manu decided to splurge by repainting the whole car instead of just the wheel arches. So the original factory white colour was traded for some marble white with a pearlescent coating of blue. The roof was painted black as were the mirrors. The Cedia Sports had one of the most well designed body kits and crystal (Lexus Altezza style) tail lights, which were untouched. Then it was time for some alloy wheels and these delicious 5X2 spoke Lenso Samurai 17 inch alloys were added with 225/45 R17 Yokohama A drives wrapped around them.

Manu didn’t want to go overboard with his engine-mods and decided to keep it simple and reliable. As much as he wants a turbo, the lack of professional support by local tuners in case something goes wrong, scares him off. A Green Storm filter was added but they went the unconventional route of keeping the conical filter inside the stock filter box. Although it is partially exposed, it is well shielded from heat of the engine and gets to suck in air channeled from the front through the stock intake system. The car features a 3inch free flow exhaust created by Red Rooster Performance who also lightened the flywheel and fitted an Exedy Stage I clutch. Manu also fitted a Fuel Pressure Regulator, which he says is the best mod he has done to the car. Not only has it allowed a very strong top end, it also has improved the throttle responses remarkably, he says. The gearbox features a short shifter kit which allows shorter throws without making the shifts considerably heavier.

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Recently he fitted the car with a Tein Super street coilovers. Although fitting it was initially a hassle, they soon got round the problem. The adjustable damping and ride height was proving to be very useful, although you have to be more careful when dealing with potholes. But that, like every other low rider in town, Manu thinks is a small price to pay for the hunkered down looks.

With so much attention paid to the exteriors, engine and suspension you would expect an equally stunning interior, behind those dark tints. But Manu has kept everything bone stock except for the Auto gauge RPM meter on the left passenger side and some Ralliart stickering beneath the centre console. For the audio, a Pioneer headunit delivers his favourite songs through an MTX 4 channel into two way Kicker components at the front and Focals at the rear. A Blaupunkt mono-block amp powers the Pioneer subwoofer in the boot and the whole car has been liberally been given the Dynamat treatment.

Cedia ownership isn’t always the cheapest around and Manu has had his fair share of problems when it comes to availability too. A set of brake pads cost Rs.11,000 and the clutch comes with an equally prohibitive tag of Rs.17000 attached to it. Manu says it makes better sense to spend an extra Rs.4000 and get a stage I Exedy instead. He also runs performance brake pads from Universal performance. The brakes had been giving him trouble for a long time with dirt being the main enemy, but otherwise the car is trouble free. This Cedia with 64,000km reading on the odo is incidentally the car the family have owned the longest. We think he will eventually fall for that turbo that made the Lancer famous!

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BY VIVEK VENUGOPAL

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