Ah the Evo X! Some would say it’s their most favorite iteration of Mitsubishi’s iconic all-wheel drive sports sedan, others would argue that earlier models are better, but one thing is certain for Matthew Hermsen, the Evo X is the one he loves.
Matt got his start in the car scene back in the early 2000’s when he would go out with a few of his friends to small, local car meets, and check out some of the nicer cars and people that also showed up. Now, he himself was driving an older KIA, not exactly at the top of peoples dream car list, but we all started somewhere. For me my first car was a 1987 Plymouth, so I can understand the climb into the car scene from his perspective.
In 2009 he took the next step, picking up a red Mistubishi Lancer GTS, not an Evolution by any means, as it was a front-wheel drive sedan with a lot less aesthetics to draw the eye. None the less, it started the itch of the mod bug inside him. Another few years and tasteful mods later, Matt had transformed that standard Lancer, making it his own. He did such a good job of it he was even featured in a magazine.
It wasn’t until 2013 that Matt was finally able to pick up his Evo, having spent the past few years putting additional money into a special “Race Car Savings” jar that would allow him to purchase his dream car. A little maturing was in order to make his dream a reality, he purchased his first house, or condo in this case but still, got a new, more adult job that paid much better, and got his finances completely in order before heading out to the dealership.
Finally after scouring for days on the internet looking for the perfect Evo, he found it. A 2012 Mistubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR painted “Wicked White” and raced down to grab it while he could.
Of course, as soon as those papers were signed he was racing away in his new car, slamming gears on the back roads and enjoying the free feeling of finally having the car of your dreams, you know the one you keep as a desktop wallpaper, a phone lock screen, and even naming your pet after it. Yes, you read that right, Matt has a cat whom he aptly named Evo, (You know you would do it too if it sounded good don’t lie).
Both Matt and the car have come quite a long way since then. Now, I’ve only known Matt just shy of two years, but there have been some serious changes even in that time. When I met him, it still had a set of gold wheels on it, and a fancy intake box we used to call the red velvet cake. I was there for some of the big moments, like when he was datalogging to update his tune after we spent the day ripping the front end apart to install his new Front Mount Inter-cooler.
Now let’s talk about that for a second: We all have those memories, you know the ones where you are tackling a big job with some friends, and you have a hell of a time but at the end of it all you can look back and laugh and enjoy the time you spent together working on a passion you both share.
Now I’ve done many an FMIC install since that one but it will always remain my favorite and here’s why: The first hour of the day we spent carefully finding all the clips and bolts that held the front bumper on, and then pulling all the piping, couplers, and the 3.5″ core out of the box. We then tried to figure out which pipes were all which and how they fit together, as neither of us had tried an install like this before. The actual install was pretty easy and everything fit together like a glove until the point where we realized one of the brackets that holds the core in place wasn’t positioned right and the core had a slight angle to it. Now me, I don’t care it fits and it works but Matt is a perfectionist so we ripped everything back apart and played with it until it fit.
The best part of that day was what happened after the install: we fired up the car, loaded the base tune he had been sent, and went to test everything out and datalog the results. Well, we tried anyway… We blew out one of the couplers less than a half a mile down the road, and limped our way into the next development to rip the bumper back off and fit it all again. We tightened everything down a little bit more and headed back out another mile down the road, this time the car actually held boost…well up until we hit 15psi and then we blew a coupler again. Repeat this process 2 more times for the next hour until we finally held 28psi consistently without blowing the piping apart, but every time it happened after the first, we cared less and less and laughed more and more. To this day we still reminisce about that dreaded install and it reminds us why we became friends in the first place.
Matt knows what he wants his car to be, and he is working on making that a reality bit by bit. Since that day the car has come a long way, and while it isn’t a big turbo built motor 600+ horsepower monster, he likes the car, and so does everyone else. It’s simply built, clean, and just quick enough to give you a big smile every time the boost hits, and when the fall season rolls around such as it is at the time of writing this article, that smile just gets a little bigger.
Now I will give you all a brief run-down of Matt’s mod list. Again, it isn’t the most crazy or extensive build, but it’s still a nice, clean car:
- Ultimate Racing Full Exhaust (Catless) w/ QTP 3″ Test pipte with electric cutout
- ETS Front Mount Inter-Cooler 3.5″ Core 3″ Piping
- Cipher Harness bar
- Takata 2″ 4-point Racing Harnesses
- Cobb Electronic Boost Control Solenoid
- ETS Intake
- TWM Short Shifter
- Torque Solutions Shifter Base bushings
- Torque Solutions Underhood Shifter bushings
- Torque Solutions Driveshaft carrier bushings
- AMS Gate Selector bushings
- Beatrush rear differential spacers
- SpeedCircuit Aluminum Front Splitter
- SSP Aluminum undertray
- Blue Demon Eye headlights with black painted housings
- Matte (haha get it?) black vinyl roof wrap
- 65C Fuel Pump
- 18″ x 8.5″+35 Varrstoen ES2 wheels (Powdercoated blue)
- Tuned by Chet Rickerman Tuning (Tune by Chet)
This car has come a long way since he bought it, and an even longer way since I’ve known him, but Matt still keeps slowly building his car the way he wants it. He shows true passion for the car community, always being respectful of all builds regardless of car or nature. While he would rather stay at home on a Wednesday night playing Heroes of the Storm on his PC while the rest of us would be out braving the weather to check out each other’s rides, he still remains an avid member of the local community and goes out to several regional events each year, and yes, most of them are Mitsubishi ones!
Check out Matt’s instagram @Hatrixmouse to see pictures of his life, his car, or even his cat, and keep an eye out for his car if you live in Maryland as he is often seen cruising on weekends.
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