What you see in the video is Ronnie Bratschi ripping up three Hill Climb race courses in his own Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS.

  • Oberhallau – Switzerland
  • St. Ursanne – Switzerland
  • Lucine – Slovenia

With more than 700 horsepower, the Evo is an absolute beast of a car. It easily shreds the mountain roads in Switzerland and Slovenia.

And Ronnie himself performs phenomenally – hugging the corners tight and picking out the best lines to maintain momentum. He secured a class win in the first race, but the heart-clenching save at the end of the video cost him the victory in Slovenia.

Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS

Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS - front view
Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS – Source: Ronnie Bratschi

This car is the unfulfilled dream for many of us.

It’s running on a modified version of its original engine – Mitsubishi 4G63. It’s a 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder unit, originally producing 271 hp and 273 lbs/ft of torque.

The powerplant has received an Eggenberger conversion. Rudi Eggenberger was a huge name in European and World Touring Car Championships in the 80s. His team put numerous drivers and vehicles on the podium. Rudi passed away in 2018, but his legacy is still alive in the EGMO performance tuning and restoration company.

The stroke (piston travel) has been increased, giving the engine more displacement and torque. We don’t have the exact figures, but the final output is above 700hp and varies with the configuration.

Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS - front side view
Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS – Source: Ronnie Bratschi

You can see a lot of unburned fuel ejecting from the exhaust as the Evo goes full throttle out of the corners. Racing at high RPM on an uphill course takes an increased toll on the engine. And boosting already increases the temperatures of the intake air.

So, to prevent the engine from overheating and damaging the internals, the Mitsubishi runs a rich air-fuel mixture. The extra gasoline lowers the temperature in the cylinders and allows them to operate safely.

The engine is mated to a 5-speed sequential transmission that powers both axles. Limited slip differentials and independent suspension on all wheels ensure maximum traction and stability in the corners.

Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS with Ronnie Bratschi
Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS – Source: Ronnie Bratschi

The car is firmly planted on the pavement even in those high-G turns. Well, except for that one sideways throw. But even then it recovered exceptionally well, avoiding a potential catastrophe.

What makes this Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS even more exciting is the weight.

The Evo 8 already comes in a light package – around 3,000 lbs stock. Even with the addition of a safety roll cage, the total weight of this particular vehicle sits at around 2,200 lbs.

The vehicle achieves a power to weight ratio of 3.14 lbs/hp (give or take). That’s better than the LaFerrari – 3.31 lbs/hp.

Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS - side view
Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS – Source: Ronnie Bratschi

The body is reshaped to a wider stance in order to accommodate the bigger wheels. The front end features a large air ram and numerous dive planes pushing the front axle firmly on the ground. Hill climbing already tips the weight balance onto the rear wheels, but even so, a large wing extends prominently from the trunk.

Overall it’s a phenomenal vehicle and very much a car that reignites our passion for racing.

Who is Ronnie Bratschi?

Ronnie Bratschi
Ronnie Bratschi

Ronnie Bratschi is an aspiring Swiss mechanic and race driver. Born in a motorsports family with his father competing in Swiss Motorcross championships, Ronnie and his younger brother were instilled with a racing passion early on.

After a moped crash took Ronnie out of motocross for 8 months, he discovered car racing.

In Switzerland, car racing is banned, except for events where drivers make individual runs and compete against the clock. The country is notorious for its steep mountain roads, so it’s not really surprising that Ronnie picked out hill climbing as his specialty.

Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS with Ronnie Bratschi
Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS – Source: Autosprint.ch

He worked hard and saved up for his Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS. Ronnie has been working even harder since, upgrading the car each year, transforming it into the masterpiece you see today.

Everything paid off. Ronnie won the 2015 and 2016 FIA Hill Climb Cup, elevating himself to the top of the sport.

Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS crashing
Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS – Source: Autosprint.ch

In 2017, he suffered a bad crash, destroying the car, but escaping severe injuries. Less than a year after, Ronnie returned to racing with a rebuilt and improved Mitsubishi Evo.

It’s inspiring to hear about young car builders and drivers, taking things into their own hands and shaping their path. And it’s a bright path before Ronnie Bratschi. Here’s to some safe runs at record-breaking speeds.