What is it?
Version 10 of the car that was supposed to provide the same halo effect to Mitsubishi’s dowdy range of cars as the VW Golf GTi does to the Golf model line-up. But never managed anything like the same success.
This is the first time anyone has driven the Evo X in the UK; its performance on our roads will be the benchmark against which the new Subaru Impreza STi will be measured when it comes to Britain in February.
Historically the Evo has always been a sharper driving machine than the Subaru, but will this new version, tested here in base GS 300 guise, and with a predicted price of around £27,000, have lost some of the sparkle that characterised its progenitors?
What’s it like?
Not far from what you’d expect. This was a pre-homologation version with no miles on the clock, and it was tighter than Colin Goodwin in a pricy restaurant. The motor was smooth, throttle response good and the boost arrived so calmly that it barely felt turbocharged. So much for the histrionics of Evos past.
The Evo X gearchange feels identical to that of the last car, and the five before that. And the interior, now with attractive instruments and a large sat-nav screen plonked on the dash, still has an air of budget-ness about it that leaves the Evo feeling far cheaper than any VW group hot hatch.
Awesome handling was always this car's trade for questionable interior quality, though, and this new one still offers the kind of all-weather abilities that will allow the Evo X driver to disappear from most other road cars at this time of year.
Using Mitsubishi’s AYC (anti yaw control) differentials, the car can simply be pointed at a turn, steered to the apex and then driven away. If it senses understeer you can feel it trim the axle at fault. Likewise, if the car wants to oversteer, torque shifts forwards and the car slings forwards with little drama. This used to be the Evo's USP; today, many other all-wheel drive systems manage such tricks. But what still sets the Evo apart is how neutral and unaffected it feels from behind the wheel.