Take a Mitsubishi Evo down a B-road and several things will be revealed. First, that 20 miles will pass as if they were 10; it’s so easy to maintain speed without really trying. Second, and more importantly, it’s not necessary to drive the Evo at full pelt to get a buzz.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you that at slow speeds the X rides really quite poorly, with a lot of intrusion into the cabin. But this drawback aside, ride and handling are quite exceptional.The steering is quick, without being nervous, and strong on feedback. Wieldy and nimble, the X turns into a corner with a keenness that excites, but then provides a seam of information so strong that it breeds confidence.

The truth is that in normal road driving, you’re not likely to come close to the Evo X’s limits. So much grip is produced by the stiff chassis and sticky Yokohama tyres, and so clever is the mechanical and electronic assistance, that the Evo will corner at monumental speeds. Where conditions allow a more committed driving style, ASC intervenes subtly to keep things tidy. It can be disabled in two stages; the first cuts traction and stability control, but retains individual wheel braking. The second cuts all assistance, and yet the Evo’s chassis remains delicate and delightfully neutral. Eventually it’s the front end that slips first, but it sends a clear warning through seat and steering, and a gentle lift brings the X back on line. Be more provocative mid-corner with a sudden lift or tightened line and the Evo can be felt to pivot around its mid point, the rear axle being worked harder. It’s not oversteer, more a four-wheel drift.

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S-AWC exploits and manages the car’s movement. It incorporates all of the electronically controlled transmission aids: an Active Centre Differential (varying front-rear torque split), Active Yaw Control (a limited-slip rear differential), stability control and ABS. The mode selector that controls S-AWC once again allows it to be put in Tarmac, gravel or snow settings, which adjust its operation to suit how much traction and grip are available.

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