The Mitsubishi Evo X might have grown up, but the undeniable brilliance of traction, power and practicality remain. It is crushingly effective.

You only need to look at the Evo X to know that the rebel has grown up, but can it really rival the German sports saloons and coupés? No, not really. While interior quality is better, there remains a sizeable gap to the premium competition. It’s good news, then, that the chassis, both in its set-up and its torque-shuffling gadgetry, is as impressive as ever.

It is with the engine and gearbox that the X differs most from its predecessors. While the new engine has lost some of the tuned feel of old, and some character, in its place comes more flexibility and refinement.

Although outright acceleration times for the FQ-300 are slightly disappointing, this is more to do with the SST gearbox’s aversion to launches. But for those (most likely owners of previous-generation models) who think the X is missing a bit of the old Evo spirit, then there’s the FQ-360. It’s as mad as the last Evo IX, but with an even better chassis.In real-world driving, the Evo remains crushingly effective and still very much justifies its FQ tag.