What is the Lancer Evolution X FQ-400 like to drive today?
Well I (Brian) had the absolute pleasure of driving the Lancer Evolution X FQ-400 prototype that we have as part of our heritage fleet. Only 35 units were registered in the UK and this is #001. Having been given the keys to the car I jumped into the driver’s seat and was quickly reminded how snug the Recaro seats are! The car felt low, only because it is so much lower than my Outlander PHEV SUV that I drive every day. I was also acutely aware that the ground clearance is minimal thanks in part to that revised front bumper and carbon lip spoiler. I started the engine and the beautiful Lancer Evolution sound bellowed out assisted by that modified exhaust system, it is a low, rumbling sound that is truly unmistakable.
This isn’t a car that is very subtle, it looks and sounds aggressive no matter what speed you are travelling. Not so much a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but more like a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Having said that you can also drive the car in a more sedate manner than I expected. Keeping to the speed limits around the Cotswolds was actually pretty simple, but the car always felt like it was going faster than it was partly due to the low ride and that exhaust tone. You do have to be a little gentle on the throttle and treat it with respect as the car always has so much more power to deliver, but thankfully the Lancer Evolution X has much more to offer than raw power.
In terms of pure handling, few cars could ever match the Lancer Evolution - it changes direction like a startled hare and always seems like it’s being sucked down onto the tarmac. The sophisticated suspension set-up (for example, the rear suspension has three control arms in addition to the main A-arm, plus an anti-roll bar) combined with the grip and adjustability of the Evo’s S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) system just supplies you with so much confidence.
Having driven the car for a few days and a couple of hundred miles I found it surprisingly easy to live with. I managed to get shopping in the boot, my daughter comfortably sat in the back and even my wife was happy, however she did mention more than once or twice that all I was doing was talking about the car! This isn’t a car that blends into the background, people turn their heads when you drive past and stop to check the car out when you’re sat at traffic lights, in a car park or indeed the fuel station. Not a car for you if you’re the shy type who doesn’t like attention.
None of that matters, though, if you enjoying driving above all else. The Lancer Evolution FQ-400 is a car that connects and interacts directly with the driver and delivers the highest level of driving pleasure. It may be ten years old now but even still the Lancer Evolution X FQ-400 feels special - a supercar slayer, both in terms of performance and looks, and priced at just under £50,000 when new you could argue it was really a bit of bargain.
Was the Lancer Evolution X FQ-400 the most powerful Lancer Evolution officially produced in the UK? Those of you who know, know it wasn’t… but we’ll save that for another day!
In the meantime check out our concept car the e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT: www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/innovation/e-evolution/
Keep your eyes peeled for more heritage stories on the Official Mitsubishi Blog.
Ramblings by Brian – Press Officer