09 October 2007

And so it begins...

Evo X modification has already begun with Mitsu's official rally course car

Mitsubishi Evo X

That didn't take long. Mitsubishi only released official details of the Evo X last week, and already the 10th generation loony Lancer has been modified.

At least it's an inside job. This is the official course car for the WRC Rally of Japan at the end of this month, and we can't quite decide whether it's dead cool or deeply, deeply uncool.

The course car's job is to run the rally route before the competing vehicles, warning spectators and clearing the track... and, with its roof air intake and sirens, there's no chance that anyone's going to miss the Evo.

The modifications - carried out by Ralliart and Mitsubishi's in-house motorsport department - aren't merely cosmetic, though. The running gear and brakes have been toughened up, and the Evo also gets a new constant-mesh close-ratio gearbox.

Naturally, the seats are five-point harnesses, while the entire underside has been reinforced, as has the Evo's body strength, thanks to an integrated roll cage. We like those hi-pro knobbly tyres and the bonnet catches, but we'll give the mudguards a miss, thanks.

In any case, the course car demonstrates that modified Evo Xs - and there are going to be plenty - will look, erm, functional rather than graceful.

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