It's so far from being sensible that it's unhinged - and brilliant

Our Verdict

Mitsubishi Evo X

The Mitsubishi Evo X is an epic supersaloon, but needs a sixth gear. Manual FQ360 the best

What is it?

The FQ-400 is the fastest, most powerful version of the Evo X, and a return for a name last seen on the Evo VIII. This time we have 403bhp, 387lb ft, an electronically limited 155mph top speed, and 0-62mph in 3.8seconds. Oh yes, and a price tag to match.

What’s it like?

In the scheme of things an extra 44bhp doesn’t seem like a massive jump from the already pretty poky FQ-360 (actually 359bhp), being only a 12 per cent increase. The torque boost (24 lb ft or 7 per cent) even less so. But as an experience, or more accurately, an event, the FQ-400 is so much more exciting than these numbers suggest.

Partly because of considerable extra pace, the reduced 0-62mph time undersells how much keener the FQ-400 responds, thanks to a revised low friction turbocharger.

The real transformation though, is in the character. When the Evo X first arrived, we were impressed with its newfound flexibility, but found the new 4B11 engine a touch anodyne - an accusation you could never level at the FQ-400. Given a specific output topping 200bhp/litre, that it is still flexible at low revs is impressive. This is no FQ-400 of old. From 2000rpm it is already pulling strongly, at 3000rpm it feels mighty, and at 5000rpm stupendously quick.

But where the FQ-400 really shines is at higher revs; although peak power arrives at 6500rpm, the FQ-400 will rev to 8000rpm, and unlike the FQ-360 feels happy doing so.

Fuel injectors aside, Mitsubishi haven’t changed any of the engine internals, only the ECU, turbo, intercooler and exhaust, but these alone give a more frenzied angry top end.

It also sounds miles better than the regular FQs, thanks to that new exhaust, complete with a Murcielargo style huge central tailpipe. At idle there is a restless deep burble, which hardens under load and is accompanied by a whole host of whistles and whooshes from the turbo. You really get the sensation of sitting in a proper rally machine. On the over run it pops constantly, and if you come of the throttle sharply at higher revs it produces a full-on rally style rifle crack which is outrageously anti-social, but utterly brilliant.

If all of that sounds like a nightmare to drive, it isn’t. Mitsubishi has solved the regular Evo’s lazy throttle response from idle, and new Alcon six piston calibres improve the already very good brake feel

Lowered by 30mm and running a 15mm wider track, the FQ-400 is even more tightly controlled through the corners. It still steers brilliantly and the extra power means you’re able to better exploit the excellent chassis balance. New lighter wheels mean that despite the lowered ride the ride doesn’t suffer materially, and these come wrapped with even stickier Toyo Proxes R1Rs tyres.

As you would expect Mitsubishi has gone to town on the FQ-400 exterior. In addition to the exhaust, there’s an even more pronounced front splitter, a gurney strip on the spoiler, vented sills and ludicrous number of bonnet scoops. It is completely over the top, but then what do you expect from the maddest version of an already pretty mad car?

Should I buy one?

If you want the most extreme Evo, then this is it. And unlike the last FQ-400, this one is a well-rounded useable machine. The big stumbling block is the price, as £49,999 is unjustifiable next to the cheaper, more powerful M3 saloon. But perhaps that’s the point. The FQ-400 is so far from being sensible to be unhinged, and that’s what makes it brilliant.

Jamie Corstorphine

Join the debate

Comments
12

15 June 2009

If you really need 4 doors and 400 BHP - please buy an M3 Saloon or if you really need to spend £50k on a 4wd Japanese performance car - buy/wait for a GT-R.

I honestly can't see a market for this version of the Evo X.

15 June 2009

It looks as though the front bumper is missing! The engine looks messy as well, but I can just imagine what this thing is like to drive!

15 June 2009

Well i hope the whole boot is a petrol tank! because the last incarnation of this looney mobile if thrashed would only go about a hundred and twelve miles on a tank!,so whats the point? its useless as an everyday car,unless fitted with an endurance fuel tank it would be crap for racing in any form?,and most of all,there's less banzai cars for the same money that go at least twice as far on a tank of fuel! and don't have to be babied like a Ferrari! and handle a lot more predictably too!

Peter Cavellini.

15 June 2009

[quote 38carssofar]

If you really need 4 doors and 400 BHP - please buy an M3 Saloon or if you really need to spend £50k on a 4wd Japanese performance car - buy/wait for a GT-R.

[/quote]

My thoughts exactly! you'd have to be an Evo zealot ot go for this, and if its anything like the last one the service intervals and costs make it practically unusable as a daily drive, so its a specialist weekend toy only.

15 June 2009

[quote Orangewheels]Orangewheels wrote the following post at Mon, Jun 15 2009 2:54 PM:

[quote 38carssofar]

If you really need 4 doors and 400 BHP - please buy an M3 Saloon or if you really need to spend £50k on a 4wd Japanese performance car - buy/wait for a GT-R.

[/quote]

My thoughts exactly! you'd have to be an Evo zealot ot go for this, and if its anything like the last one the service intervals and costs make it practically unusable as a daily drive, so its a specialist weekend toy only.

[/quote]

For some people though only an Evo will do.

Personally though, not my cup of tea.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

15 June 2009

Anyone else picked out the spelling mistake in the article? (re. brakes) It's killing me...

15 June 2009

:o) I missed that on my first read of the article "and new Alcon six piston calibres"

The calibre of journalist on this magaizine has dropped or maybe he was overdue a tea "brake" (sic)

15 June 2009

There's only one way to solve this. A race. Gtr vs evo vs m3 vs amg vs rs4. And maybe a lotus exige to show them all up lol

15 June 2009

Rediculous price aside, this sounds like a bit of a deutsch uber saloon muncher! i think a group test is in order!! put this against an M3 saloon (or coupe for that matter!) and i reckon the M3 would struggle! think of all that extra torque and traction! road, track or straight line i reckon it would have it licked! Though the most interesting comparison in my opinion would be with the litchfield type-20 imprezza sti! I think that would be very interesting! especially since said looney scoob is a good £13k cheaper! and with the way the recession's going, you could probably by a new M3 saloon next week with that change! or at least 335i lol

16 June 2009

A few weeks ago there were several '09 regd. sub 1000 mile "ex-management" M3 Saloons for sale on Autotrader/MSN cars @ circa £39.995 ...

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