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Week at the Wheel: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330 SST. Image by Kyle Fortune.

Week at the Wheel: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330 SST
Paddle-shifted FQ-330 the best Evolution X you can buy

 



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| Week at the Wheel | Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330 SST |

Inside & Out: star star star star star

It's an Evo, so you're going to get overt, look at me looks regardless. In the eye-straining white of the test car we rather liked it, the plentiful scoops, intakes and wings giving the Evo X a look quite unlike any other four-door saloon out there. It's no shrinking violet then, but you don't buy an Evo with any preconception that you're getting a 'q'-car.

After the drama of the outside the interior is rather subdued. It's all decently built but it's unlikely you'll ever be eulogising to your friends about the Evo's cabin. Functional and solid, the Evo isn't really about soft-touch materials and pleasing interior styling - its low cost Lancer roots too obvious for that; nope, the Evo is about performance and it's got that in abundance.

Engine & Transmission: star star star star star

What Mitsubishi achieves with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is nothing short of remarkable. There's more power available from the four-cylinder unit in other models (the bonkers FQ-400 for instance), but really we've always thought the 324bhp output of this FQ-330 model is the sweet spot in the line-up. Which is one of the reasons we're driving it again; the other being that it's now offered with the paddle-shift, six-speed SST gearbox - a twin-clutch unit. On paper it sounds like a promising union and in reality it proves so.

The linearity on offer from the 2.0-litre lump is surprising, the SST gearbox allowing you to enjoy its flexibility in any gear. It actually makes you drive it with more intent, the quick shifts allowing you to access high-rev urgency with greater ease than you would in the manual car. The 322lb.ft of peak torque arrives at 3,500rpm and the engine feels particularly muscular around this point, though the urgency barely tails off as it revs to the redline.

Ride & Handling: star star star star star

More letters than a Scrabble set in its make up means this car is rarely going to struggle for grip or traction. Super All Wheel Drive with various yaw and traction systems ensure the Evo sticks like, err, EVO-STIK. The ride is surprisingly compliant given its obvious focus on cornering, which combined with the easy nature of the engine makes the Evo X FQ-330 SST one of the more comfortable long-distance Evos you can buy. That doesn't in any way dilute its ability to provide eye-widening, buttock-clenching pace down a challenging road, the Evo still able to monster just about any stretch of tarmac with impunity.

The steering is light but delivers you some real information about what's going on up front; it's quick and precise without being overly busy. The brakes are seriously strong too, the pedal feel consistent and progressive, the Evo betraying its motorsport roots with its analogue controls that deliver plenty of information to the driver.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: star star star star star

Equipment levels are excellent, Mitsubishi's value-laden mantra elsewhere in its line-up translating to the Evo models too. That's doubly so when you consider the performance on offer, the 324bhp four-wheel drive Evo FQ-330 SST reaching 62mph in just 4.4 seconds. CO2 output is pegged at 256g/km, which is acceptable enough, though no-one at Mitsubishi will provide you with an official combined consumption figure. Some loophole in how the SST 330 is built allows this, though a number around 25mpg on the official cycle would be about right - though don't be surprised if you average considerably less than that in reality.

Overall: star star star star star

That the Evo in any guise is one of the fastest four-doors around is under no doubt, but the addition of the SST transmission to the FQ-330 really does transform its character. Still stupidly quick, but without the manic need to be chasing gears manually, the FQ-330 SST is the most useable Evo to date. And if you've got a turbo-nutter 324bhp, four-wheel drive saloon in your garage, then you will want to use it, won't you?

Kyle Fortune - 29 Jan 2010









  www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk    - Mitsubishi road tests
- Mitsubishi news
- Lancer Evolution X images

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X specifications:
Price: 36,799 on-the-road
0-62mph: 4.4 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Emissions: 256g/km
Kerb weight: 1590kg

Full technical specifications

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.



2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-330. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 






 

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