Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Installing a Mitsubishi Mirage Throttle Controller

EVS Throttle Controller by iDrive  Performance for Mitsubishi Mirage


We know the Mitsubishi Mirage isn't a performance car. But there are certain things you can do to make it more fun to drive and peppier. We've already modified the suspension and put on an intake. But one thing the Mirage suffers from greatly is poor throttle response. After a lot of searching, I found a throttle controller for the Mitsubishi Mirage. In fact, I've made a video all about it


Unsurprisingly, I haven't been able to find any reputable company offering a throttle controller for the current generation Mirage. After all, it's not typically a car lots of people modify in North America. One company I was familiar with was iDrive USA because I know someone who happens to work there. iDrive does have a number of throttle controllers for Mitsubishi vehicles, but the Mirage was not listed. Figures. In an attempt to perhaps let them know people with Mirages might just be interested in a controller, I filled out the contact form and let them know I had a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage and if they ever came out with one I'd be interested. To my surprise, I got a reply.

I was familiar with iDrive USA because I had met someone who worked there at an off-road show. Amazingly, he sent me an email and told me they actually do have a Mirage throttle controller, but it isn't listed on the site. Fast forward, a few days and my EVC Throttle Controller by iDrive USA showed up. 

Truth be told, I'd seen these sorts of things before but had never used them. They don't increase the vehicle's horsepower, but rather recalibrate the throttle. The Mirage, like most new cars, uses an electronically controlled throttle. Devices like the EVC controller let you manipulate that throttle tuning for better control.

The whole works comes in a very nicely packaged box, much like that of a high-end mobile phone. You get the controller, the harness, two zip ties, an alcohol cleaning pad, sticker, and instruction manual. The control module is much smaller than I anticipated. For some reason, I thought it'd be about the size of a deck of cards. Rather, it was the size of a matchbook. 
 

Easy Installation

iDrive Performance claims a 10-minute installation. Frankly, that's about right. The first step is to disconnect the accelerator pedal. It's literally one large plug. On the Mirage, you may want to remove the cover under the dash, which is held in by three fasteners. 

The throttle controller is composed of a harness that bridges the connections between the gas pedal and the car with a controller attached. Next, simply plug in both ends of the throttle controller. 

Now you'll need to decide where to mount the control unit. It has super-strong double-sided adhesive that'll easily stick to a dashboard. They also include an alcohol wipe to clean the surface. Run the wiring for the controller before mounting.

Once I found a suitable place and ran the wiring, I tucked the wiring up underneath the dashboard and secured the wiring with the included zip ties. When finished, reinstall the lower dash cover. 

Clean the dashboard you'll use for the controller with the included alcohol pad. Peel back the controller's adhesive, and carefully stick it to the dash. You're done. I'd say their 10-minute install time is pretty accurate. Granted, I'm fussy about my wiring, so it took me a little longer because I wanted everything nice and tidy. I also used a couple more zip ties. 

I powered the car on and the bright blue digital display pops to life. 

How Does It Perform?  

The EVC throttle controller by iDrive has four drive modes, two of which have 10 levels of adjustment. The first one is simply the stock calibration shown by two horizontal lines on. Next, you have the E mode, which is going to damp the throttle control making the response more numb. This is good for trying to get the best fuel economy, or if you're on low-traction surfaces, such as ice, snow, or dirt. The next mode is why I bought this. The U mode stands for Ultimate. This is the one that's going to improve the throttle response. Again, you have levels 0–9. Finally, there's the AC mode, which is the automatic control. This will automatically adjust the throttle based on how hard you mash the gas pedal. 

On a Mirage, the hypermiler might appreciate the E mode and its adjustability. It definitely makes the throttle less sensitive. The U mode, however, is what I was most interested in. I started out at U-0 and there was a tiny improvement in pedal response. I went all the way up to U-9 next and it made a drastic difference. In fact, possibly for the first time in its life, I broke the front wheels free on dry pavement! The power delivery is much quicker than the stock tuning. U-9, however, felt too touchy for regular driving. I found U-5 offered a sporty feel without being overly touchy. 

Being that the throttle response on the Mirage is tuned for fuel economy and drivability from the factory, the change with the EVC controller made a world of a difference; in fact, it made the car much more entertaining to drive. Add this onto the Eibach springs, rear sway bar, and grippier Nangank AS-1 tires, and the Mirage is transformed from a dowdy runabout to a zippy subcompact. Again, this thing isn't making more power, it's simply making better use of the throttle. 

The Bottom Line

The EVC throttle controller by iDrive USA retails for $209 USD. And while that isn't chump change, it definitely changes the car's character. If you're looking to make your Mirage sportier, this will certainly help. My initial impressions are very good, and it's definitely helped get rid of some of that horrible throttle lag the Mirage is plagued with. You can find this controller on their website. They make one for a 2014-2015 Mirage, and one for 2017+

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