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Mitsu's FQ400 II greatest Evo yet

2009-05-27 12:35
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mitsubishi
Model Evo X FQ400
Engine 2l, Mivec,four-cylinder turbo
Power 296kW @ 6 500r/min
Torque 524Nm @ 3 500r/min
Transmission Five-speed manual (no kidding)
Zero To Hundred 3.8 seconds (no kidding either)
Tyres Toyo Proxes R1R
Cold, wet and crowded, the UK is rather depressing. But it's the only market to get the Mitsubishi Evo X FQ400, which is reason enough to move there.

Rumoured since late last year, the Mitsubishi Evolution X FQ400’s existence was officially acknowledged yesterday, before it goes on sale in June - for United Kingdom customers only.

It will fulfil the expectations of the UK’s forbidding rally replica market, where aesthetics and heritage are superseded by electronically fettled dynamics and crassness.

Subtle four-door Lancer styling? Not quite

Evo X is the tenth incarnation of Mitsubishi’s stupendous line of rally derived road-going four-door supercars.

FQ400, as the ultimate Evo X, has been designed to pay homage to a lineage of cars which obliterated the credentials of established performance models from Germany and Italy.

As expected, the FQ400 features a gaggle of mechanical engineering technology, wrapped in bodywork which might be suburban in its four-door configuration, but hardly understated in its execution.

Think your local illegal drag racing chapter features some ornate bonnet designs? Think again, this is the most elaborate production car bonnet we've come across in a long time. Hides (kind of) nearly 300kW of Mitsubishi's finest 2l turbo power.

Even Mitsubishi admits the car was specifically styled with as many rally refugee motifs as possible. It's a Tokyo thing, design an impossibly complex torque distributing all-wheel drive system on a C-segment sedan chassis and brush up the styling as an afterthought.

The new side skirts, and everything added to the rear third of the car (wing, bumper and diffuser) are carbon-fibre. Viewed front-on, the new composite bumper – or lack thereof – imbues FQ400 with a forbidding rear-view mirror overtaking presence.

FQ400's styling piece de resistance though, is the roof mounted vortex generator, which allegedly contributes to cooling by channeling airflow.

All things considered FQ400 (espeically with its severely cut-out bonnet surfacing) looks absolutelty nails - to borrow a UK turn of phrase

Without doubt the styling will give most Italian supercar fans apoplexy, yet FQ400's performance puts it in a world where the only other four-door competitors are shod with slicks and have numbers on the doors…

Bodykit features plenty of yummy carbon-fibre bits (like the fully functional rear diffuser), and tyres are suicide patterned Toyo Proxes R1R. Cross country B-road capability should be peerless.

Big power with a five-speed box? In 2009?

Powered by Mitsubishi’s 2l, in-line four cylinder engine, the FQ400’s power and torque figures are more in line with engines twice its size. It's unrestricted too, so there is none of the old 200kW, Japanese specification, homologation restrictions running.

Sporting a set of high-flow injectors, low friction bearings spinning enlarged turbocharger and intercooler units  - which flow exchange with a new stainless steel - exhaust it’s about as trick a 2l engine as you’ll get.

With its engine management unit radically reprogrammed, FQ400 has 296kW on tap at 6 500r/min. Rotational force peaks at a low 3 500r/min with 524Nm, which should shove FQ400 along with the alacrity of a rocket.

Transferring the FQ400’s power to the road is a five-speed manual transmission, as Mitsubishi’s twin-clutch SST ‘box would simply be twisted out of proportion by the amount of torque produced by the engine.

Featuring a standard clutch (the previous FQ400 had a practically undriveable race-spec left-pedal) Mitsubishi claims this latest FQ400 will sprint form 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds on a proper surface.

For something with four doors and useable bootspace it's hardly slow then. 

How they homologated it for road use running pratically without a front bumper is beyond us. Five-speed manaul gearbox even perplexing, rendering FQ400 as probably the world's greatest current five-on-the floor stick shifter.

FQ400 rides 30mm lower than a standard Evo, thanks to recalibrated Bilsten dampers and Eibach springs at each wheel corner.

Mitsubishi’s fabled active centre differential, which modulates the curiously named Super-All Wheel Control drive system, should yield outlandish levels of grip and cornering poise, despite the severe increase in power and torque.

Mitsubishi will be releasing only 100 FQ400s for sale, with each one featuring a commemorative plaque on the carbon fibre handbrake girdle.

If you have a cousin in the UK and a very sweet connection at local customs, list price is £49 999 and you get a 30GiG hard-drive and sat-nav thrown in as standard.

Your sanity though, is not guaranteed.

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