03 October 2007

Generation X

Tenth-gen Evo on its way to Tokyo. Look out, Impreza

Mitsubishi Evo X

We've seen concept and prototypes, but now it's officially officially official: the Mitsubishi Evo X is coming to Tokyo, and we've got all the details.

If the 10th generation of Mitsu's mad Lancer looks familiar, that's because the looks are virtually unchanged from the Prototype X concept that appeared at the Geneva and Frankfurt motor shows.

That jet-fighter-inspired nose dominates the front end - the 'inverted-slant nose with a trapezoidal grille design' (the designers' words, not ours) will form the family face for the next generation of Mitsubishis - while there's a huge 'twisted section' rear spoiler and massive diffuser round the back to keep all the air flowing neatly.

Under the bonnet, there's an all-new two-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. Developed as part of Mitsubishi's 'global engine alliance' with DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai, it's all-aluminium with a stronger mid-range and revised variable valve timing.

A heftier turbo means that there's more boost than before, and though the initial Evos will develop around 276bhp and 311lb ft of torque, think of that as no more than a healthy baseline from where the real madness can begin.

The chassis will be able to take it, too. Some 40 per cent stiffer than the previous iteration, the Evo also gets a bunch of clever acronyms to keep it on the road, packaged together as Super All Wheel Drive (S-AWC).

The cleverest bits of this are Active Yaw Control (AYC), which improves cornering speeds and traction by monitoring and controlling torque transfer between the wheels, and a new system called Active Stability Control (ASC) which, in essence, is traction control with a PhD.

Transmission? You've got the choice of Mitsubishi's new dual-clutch automated manual transmission - called the Twin Clutch SST - which works in similar fashion to VW's ubiquitous DSG system. If flappy paddes aren't your thing, there's always a five-speed manual.

But will it be any good? Our man Jason Barlow got a first drive in the Evo X out in Japan, and reported back that generation 10 is, well, the best ever.

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