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Week at the wheel: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.

Week at the wheel: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360
The second most powerful Evo is hugely quick, but does it do enough to justify its price tag?

   



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| Week at the Wheel | Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360 |

Overall rating: 4 4 4 4 4

It's easy to berate the Mitsubishi Evo FQ-360 for its few glaring faults, but ultimately, it's a unique sort of car that, if it agrees with you in principle, is sensational. It's a difficult car to live with in terms of its unyielding ride, sub-par cabin ambience and trust fund melting fuel costs. But, on the right day, on the right road, in the right mood, it has the same bafflingly eccentric but joyfully accessible quality as Lady Gaga. Still, think carefully about whether it's worth eight grand to get to 62mph just six tenths quicker than the FQ-300 does.

Key Facts

Model tested: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360 GSR
Pricing: 37,799 (data correct as at 19 December 2011)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: five-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Body style: four-door saloon
Rivals: Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R
CO2 emissions: 328g/km
Combined economy: 19.9mpg
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 4.1 seconds
Power: 366bhp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 363lb.ft at 3,500rpm

Inside & Out: 3 3 3 3 3

It's four stars for the outside, two stars for the cabin. There are those that believe the Evo is one of the most vulgar looking chav wagons in existence. The point is, though, that it demands a response. It's the most conspicuously high-performance saloon on the road; if it's attention you crave, this winged, carbon trimmed monster is the way to get it. It has a vortex generator, for heaven's sake.

Inside, though, it's not great. Better quality is found in some city cars. It's a landscape of hard, hollow, black, grainy plastic. The seats are brilliantly supportive, but they don't adjust for height, and nor does the steering wheel for reach. Really? In a 38,000 car? There's a tiny boot too, already half full of subwoofer and washer fluid.

Ride & Handling: 4 4 4 4 4

The beauty of the Evo is its ability to make a normal driver feel prodigiously handy; this is a car capable of mind-bending cornering speed. It's the point-and-go ease of turning at speed that makes it so addictive, and the fact there's so much feel through the rim. It's odd: on one hand it's very clear that it's a symbiosis of electronic stability acronyms - rather than much skill on your part - that's keeping the car on course around the corners, yet on the other it has one of the most natural, communicative steering racks of a modern car.

The price you pay is a sore bum. The Evo sits on springs so hard and damping so unyielding that you could probably drive over a credit card and be able to decipher all 16 digits.

Engine & Transmission: 4 4 4 4 4

The power delivery of the Evo is brutal. That's not a particularly imaginative way of putting it, we admit, but accurate nonetheless. Whether it's really 8,000 more brutal than the equivalent FQ-300 model, however, is open to debate.



It's a well-worn criticism of the Evo's turbocharged 2.0-litre unit, but it's just too reliant on boost; find yourself beneath the rev range at which the turbo can adequately spool up and the car feels asthmatic. On boost, though... my goodness! This thing pings forward as though flicked by God's own thumb and forefinger. The big turbo means the rush is short lived, but it's a heavy hit.
3
Problem is, it all sounds flat. There's not much growl or induction whoosh, and on the motorway it drones. The five-speed manual gearbox is deliciously mechanical in action - but you, or rather your ears, will be pining for a sixth after a while.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: 3 3 3 3 3

What the heck does the Evo do with all that fuel? That a four-cylinder engine can only return 19.9mpg in this day and age is, to be honest, shameful. And the reality is you'll be lucky to get that. We're convinced the Evo is capable of single-figure economy when it's driven even remotely enthusiastically. Which it will be most of the time, because that's what it demands.



It's also priced at 37,799 (in GSR form) when it feels like nowhere near that much car from the inside. However, it will crack 62mph in 4.1 seconds, and feels and looks every bit that fast. That's where your money's going.


Mark Nichol - 9 Jan 2012



  www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk    - Mitsubishi road tests
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2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.



2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360. Image by Mark Nichol.
 






 

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