Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

Previous generations of Mitsubishi Evolution have used derivatives of the same 4G63 engine, but the latest model’s is all new. The 4B11 unit has an aluminium head and block with floating pistons. It also sits 10mm lower than the Evo IX’s engine.

In its lowest power form in the FQ-300 tested here, the new engine has similar power to the IX’s (291bhp at 6500rpm), but more torque at low revs (300lb ft at 3500rpm). It drives through an SST, twin-clutch, robotised gearbox, then to all four wheels via a transmission controlled by Mitsubishi’s latest generation of Super-All-Wheel Control (S-AWC). That means a 4.7sec 0-62mph time and a top speed of 155mph.

New engine or not, there is no escaping the fact that even in its most docile form the Evo X produces 291bhp from an engine of just 1998cc. So it’s no surprise that the car still needs to be worked to deliver its best.

It’s advisable to keep it beyond 2500rpm, from where the momentum builds before hitting full stride at 3000rpm. Peak torque of 300lb ft is produced at 3500rpm, but in practice the torque curve is flat from 3000-5000rpm, and it’s within this range that the Evo feels most urgent.

What of Mitsubishi’s dual-clutch gearbox? Unless it is set to the most extreme of its three shift patterns, those seeking mechanical involvement will find there is just too little. But it does provide the Evo with a more adaptable character, and with it, we imagine, a broader audience.

Yet with the engine at its sweet spot and the gearbox delivering swift changes, the Evo feels so much quicker than the figures suggest. So effectively did it dispatch our cross-country test route that we retested the 0-60mph sprint – yet it went no faster.

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The FQ-360 also makes do with just five transmission ratios rather than the six fitted to the Evo IX, because the five-speed gearbox is more resilient for competition use. There is more shove than you'd find in the lesser Evos – quite a bit more – but the FQ-360 remains linear in its delivery from 3000rpm to the redline. At full chat, the 2.0-litre four-pot produces 354bhp and at 3500rpm torque reaches 363lb ft, making the Evo good for a 4.1sec 0-62mph and a 155mph maximum.