Evo X FQ-360 GSR
Evo X is one of the best-
on the market
in FQ-360 guise
with 354bhp under its vented
aluminium bonnet its
STILL OR MOVING, even if you're not a fan, the Evo X is immediately
recognisable. Along its flanks, the clean, deceptively inoffensive four-door
saloon lines are punctuated by subtly-flared wheel arches stretched over some
seriously-wide Yokohama rubber.
And above the rear screen is a 'vortex downforce generator' a spiky strip
of eight small carbon-fibre fins that cleans the airflow over the large boot-mounted
rear wing; beneath the bumper and boxed-in by the big-bore tailpipes is a serious-looking
downforce diffuser. But, underscored by a low, carbon-fibre lip front spoiler,
it's the Evo X's all-black 'bite me' front-end that, in anybody's language,
growls 'don't mess with me'.
Sure, some earlier generation Evos had more extreme body mods but the X generation
is dramatic enough to suggest you take its supercar-equalling levels of performance
seriously with four-wheel drive and 354bhp, the'X is as quick as it looks,
catapulting off the line to 62mph in 4.1 seconds on its way to a governed 155mph
And despite the recession there's more than enough keen, non-green drivers out
there with around £40K to spend on a 'budget' performance car such as the Evo
X. If the £38K 354bhp FQ-360 is a tad too rich for your bank account, the £30K
FQ-300 costs a significant £8K less but still cracks 0-62mph in under 5 seconds:
4.7 to be precise. Maximum speed is the same because all Evos are limited to
the same 155mph.
The FQ-360 has a mouth-watering spec, starting with its Super All Wheel Control
(S-AWC). This is a vehicle dynamics control system that comprises, and orchestrates,
four component sub-systems (Active Centre Differential, Active Yaw Control,
Active Stability Control and Sport ABS) to enhance cornering, traction and vehicle
stability not just when accelerating but when cornering normally, braking
through corners and under all other driving situations.
Active Centre Differential uses an electronically-controlled hydraulic multi-plate
clutch to optimise front:rear wheel torque split, producing the best balance
between traction and steering response.
Evo X is designed
for drivers and the
driving position reflects
this: it is spot-on.
The Recaros hold
once you ignite
beneath the Evos
Active Yaw Control uses a torque transfer mechanism in the rear differential
to control rear wheel torque differential for different driving conditions and
so limit the yaw movement that acts on the vehicle body, enhancing cornering
Active Stability Control system stabilises vehicle attitude while maintaining
optimum traction by regulating engine power and the braking force at each wheel.
ASC also improves vehicle stability by suppressing skidding in an emergency
evasion manoeuvre or due to other sudden steering inputs. In addition, it also
improves traction under acceleration by preventing the driving wheels from spinning
on slippery surfaces. The ASC can also be switched off.
The Sport ABS allows the driver to maintain directional control and keeps the
vehicle stable by preventing the wheels from locking under heavy braking or
when braking on slippery surfaces. The addition of yaw rate sensors, steering
sensors and brake pressure sensors to the Sport ABS system has improved braking
performance through corners.
Other desirable kit includes 18-inch 12-spoke Enkei alloy wheels with 245/40
Yokohama Advan rubber, Brembo braking system, Eibach coil springs, Bilstein
shock absorbers, HID Bi-Xenon headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System
(AFS automatically turns on an additional lamp which follows the direction of
the steering wheel turn to further enhance night-driving safety), A/C, four
power windows (all one-shot, auto up/down), electrically-operated folding door
mirrors (on demand and automatically on locking), leather-and-suede Recaro front
seats, Bluetooth hands-free, leather sports steering wheel with audio controls,
privacy glass, driver, passenger, side and knee airbags, front and rear side
curtain bags, front fog lamps, automatic lights and wipers, touchscreen HDD
satellite navigation system, Rockford Fosgate premium audio system (650-Watt
output with six premium speakers and subwoofer), 30GB music server, iPod/MP3
auxiliary input port and an advanced driver's information/vehicle data system.
The cabin of the Evo is not there to impress your passengers so don't expect
the classy finish you'd get with a similarly-priced Audi or BMW sports saloon.
The Evo X is designed for drivers and the driving position reflects this: it
is spot-on. The Recaros hold you tight absolutely essential once you
ignite the mechanical fireworks beneath the Evo's vented aluminium bonnet.
steering wheel only adjusts for height and the manual seat bases only move fore
and aft there's no base tilt, height adjustment or lumbar support. Not
that you'll miss them because the Recaros are supportive in all the right places,
particularly around the shoulders. And you do get height-adjustable front seat
The 4/5-seater Evo X
will get you
not only at a rabid pace
but whilst carrying
four near six-footers...
More good news: there's room in every direction and visibility to the front
and side is excellent. Looking back is not so great because the rear spoiler
partially blocks the most important section of the rear screen. Apart from the
multi-function (it covers driver's information, music and navigation) touchscreen
and a hazard warning switch, the fascia is refreshingly uncluttered.
Even the dial-count is kept low just two; a rev-counter and a speedometer,
both with white-on-black graphics and white needles, separated by the driver's
information screen that incorporates a small digital bar graph fuel gauge.
The most important information on the display screen can be found at the top:
it shows which mode of the S-AWC is currently engaged; 'tarmac' (for dry, paved
surfaces), 'gravel' (for wet or unmade surfaces) or 'snow' (for snow-covered
surfaces). Switching modes is as easy as pressing the switch sited just behind
the gear lever this can be done on the fly at any speed.
While there's no fancy starter button (just a traditional key), nice touches
include the music system that stores your CDs onto its 30GB hard drive as they
play and the straightforward A/C controlled by three rotary knobs. There's a
simple ball-shaped carbon-fibre gear knob and traditional handbrake with a carbon-fibre
grip. And that, apart from four one-shot auto up/down electric windows, is about
Apart from the Evo's practical saloon configuration seating unlike many
other seriously fast cars, the 4/5-seater Evo X will get you where you're going
not only at a rabid pace but whilst carrying four near six-foot adults with
room for their legs, knees and feet and, in the 400-litre boot, their luggage
too. A well-padded, comfy centre rear armrest with built-in cup-holders makes
two-in-the-back the best seating arrangement and there's the usual mix of bins
and cubbies dotted about the cabin.
what's it like to drive? Addictively more-ish. Power for the Evo X comes from
a new four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged and intercooled aluminium engine
that replaces the 2.0-litre iron-block used in earlier models. The new 1,988cc
engine features continuously-variable valve timing (MIVEC) on both the intake
and exhaust camshafts and, as intended, it revs easily and delivers a high-rev
punch. Peak torque, on tap at 3,500rpm, is a meaty 363lb ft.
takes just 4.1 seconds
to hit 62mph
the FQ-360 takes just 4.1 seconds to hit 62mph from standstill and while it
feels very quick, it's not quite as explosive as a Ferrari 599 launched off
the line (the £207K 599 hits 62mph in 3.7 seconds but doesn't max out until
205mph). Which explains why customers willingly pay the 360's £8,000 premium
over the 'entry level' FQ-300 to obtain an extra six-tenths of a second; and,
indeed, why they'll pay an additional £14,000 over a £38K FQ-360 for a FQ-400
to shave a further three-tenths off the 360's 4.1, bringing it down to a Ferrari-chasing
3.8 seconds. Whatever way you cut it, it's safe to say that the FQ-360 is flippin'
But unlike a Ferrari, more's the pity, there's no glorious soundtrack and barking
concerto from the Evo's exhausts but then you won't attract the wrong
kind of attention when you drop the hammer on those 354 horses. And when you
do, the boost is so smooth that it really doesn't feel turbocharged.
The gearbox's ratios are clearly stacked to favour the engine's power band and
so deliver superb in-gear performance. The lower gears are close-run, with first
used up in the blink of an eye when you full-bore it. Keep the revs coming and
before you know it you'll be snatching fourth. The upside to this is that whatever
gear you're in, the FQ-360 always feels raring to go.
The change action on our test car was notchy not all the time, just intermittently;
but it never once baulked. Interestingly, MotorBar's Maggie Woods managed the
change perfectly every time with never a snick of complaint! Hmmm.
One thing the Evo could use is a cruising sixth gear for motorway work. That
said, and despite constantly trying to change up to a phantom sixth gear, at
regular motorway speeds the FQ-360 is liveable enough: 70mph calls for 3,200rpm
in fifth; 80mph 3,600rpm.
the 360's power and torque is unarguably big-hearted, not so generous is the
Evo's fuel tank at just 12.1 gallons it limits the safe range to around
Even when it seems
way too much,
the Evo still feels
to the tarmac...
With some motorway miles under our belt our 360 averaged 20.5mpg although 17.7mpg
was more realistic for mixed secondary roads and town driving. Officially, the
FQ-360 returns 19.9mpg on the combined cycle and 12.9mpg in town.
'No fear' handling is without doubt the Evo's biggest draw. Put bluntly, on
just about any road you care to pick, and at any time and in any weather, few
road cars have a hope in hell of sticking with a well-driven FQ-360.
Evo's all-wheel drive system ensures enormous grip and handling predictability.
Even when it seems you're asking way too much, the Evo still feels unshakeably
glued to the tarmac. And okay it may be a cliché, but it really does 'corner
on rails'. At the same time it has an awe-inspiring talent for unhesitatingly
changing direction which it seems to do the very instant you've thought of it
with zero-tolerance body roll and unnervingly sharp turn-in.
The Evo's Sport ABS braking and massive red-painted Brembo callipers provide
serious stopping power that's unfailingly consistent bite and progression
is first rate and well modulated.
Stating the obvious here the suspension is very firm. However, we thought
it rode amazingly well given its unashamedly handling-biased damping. Note we
said 'firm' not harsh. What we definitely weren't expecting was how meticulously
the Evo communicates the road surface every little informative nuance
sent back through the Recaros.
And speed humps and potholes, although felt and heard, were taken without any
banging, crashing or jarring. In fact, as each day of our week-long test came
to an end we found we liked the Evo's physical communication more and more.
For the record, one of MotorBar's road testers suffers from a bad back and she
drove the bulk of the Evo's test miles with not one ache or word of complaint.
The opposite, in fact.
We liked the Evo X. A lot. It's a two-way street: the Evo X also likes keen
drivers, rewarding them with terrific interaction and asking nothing more in
return than that you turn the key in the ignition. It's thoroughly engaging
to drive, outgrips just about anything else on four wheels and serves up a rush
of hardcore performance that can be laid down in just about all weathers and
on all roads. What we never anticipated was the FQ-360's endearing character
which helps make it a surprisingly justifiable everyday proposition. Now who'd
a thought it?
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-360 GSR | £40,799
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 4.1 seconds | Overall test MPG: 20.5mpg
Power: 354bhp | Torque: 363lb ft | CO2 328g/km