09 January 2007

Detroit show: Mitsubishi Evo X concept

Tenth-generation Impreza rival shows off production styling

Mitsubishi Evo X concept

We'll have to wait a whole year until we can get our hands on a full production version of the Mitsubishi Evo X, but we can tell you this is going to be one of the hottest cars of the year when it arrives.

There's no more Mr Nice Mitsubishi with the Evo X. Simply, it's out to make the Subaru Impreza look second best.

Because of World Rally Championship (WRC) rules, the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder stays, but it will be an all-new engine sprouting more than 300bhp in basic trim.

Expect to see a succession of more powerful versions follow on, including a 400bhp model.

A sequential manual gearbox with paddle-shift is likely to be an option, copying the WRC rally versions.

Handling all of this power is a new four-wheel-drive system called S-AWC (super all-wheel control). Taking Mitsubishi's four-wheel drive and associated electronics to a whole new level, S-AWC is said to make the Evo X the best handling saloon car in the world.

The concept car at the Detroit show has LED head- and rear lights, which will not see production. However, Mitsu assures us that the body shape is exactly how the finished car will look when it reaches our roads early next year.

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