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Road Tests

Mitsubishi UK Unleashes Extreme Evo

By Feann Torr - 3/12/2004

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII FQ400
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII FQ400

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII FQ400
The enhanced FQ400 Evolution generates
298kW of power (brown undies not included)

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII FQ400
298kW @ 6800rpm and 481Nm @ 5000rpm
help the MR FQ400 to surpass 280km/h

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII FQ400
It's an Evo - only much scarier, able to
go from 0-100km/h in just 3.5 seconds

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII FQ400
The "sharks tooth" rear vortex
generator is too cool for school

Having just driven a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII that races to 100km/h from standstill in 6.1 seconds, one wonders what it would feel like to drive the MR FQ400 version.

The forces of gravity that wrack your body when driving the 195kW Australian-spec Evo VIII are best described as intense, so what would an Evolution with an additional 103kW feel like?

Mitsubishi UK's motor sports department together with tuning specialists Rampage, Flow Race Engines and Owen Developments got together recently and created a monster of a four-pot screamer in the form of the 298kW Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ400 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Mitsubishi's entry into the UK market.

The 405 horsepower (298kW) Evo is wild. Completely insane, if you like.

Able to outpace cars like Porsche's Carrera GT and the Pagani Zonda from 0-100km/h, the new FQ400 Evo VIII churns out 298kW @ 6800rpm and 481Nm @ 5000rpm.

Only 100 of the ballistic pocket rockets will be built by Mitsubishi UK's motor sports division, and each will sell for a lot less than exotic supercars of relatively similar performance.

£46,999 is the asking price, which, at the time of writing, converts to roughly $117,000 in Australian currency, which is double what the stock Evo VIII costs just a tad cheaper than the Zonda, which fetches $1,200,000 here.

"The new Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ400 is the ultimate expression of who and what we are as a brand. This is a versatile four-door saloon that can out accelerate supercars costing almost ten times as much," said Lance Bradley, Mitsubishi Motors UK's sales and marketing director who came up with the idea for the excessively powerful FQ400.

And while many backyard tuners may be able to reach similar outputs with a Lancer Evolution VIII, how many of them offer a 3 year warranty?

Mitsubishi UK's new fire-breathing four-banger has undergone "extensive reliability testing" according to the company and, as such, buyers get a 3 year/36,000 mile (57,940km) manufacturer's warranty.

The FQ400 begins life as a normal Evolution VIII and then gets tweaked. And by tweaked I mean comprehensively upgraded.

To begin with, the standard turbo is ditched for a big and very bad custom built Garrett GT dual ball bearing turbocharger, and to deal with the increased strain this puts on engine components, things like HKS forged connecting rods, Omega forged pistons, 680cc HKS injectors and a Zytec high pressure fuel pump are used.

One of the FQ400's major build partners, Owen Developments, contributes a custom manufactured cast stainless steel exhaust manifold and exhaust elbow, while a Jan Speed high flow sports cat ensures the engine breathes easily.

A new engine control unit is used to oversee the upgraded engine's major functions, a Motec M800 OEM ECU, and another notable addition is the Alcon competition-derived 240mm heavy duty clutch.

These go-fast goodies help the Evo VIII MR FQ400's 2.0-litre, 16-valve engine achieve its whopping 298kW power output, allowing the AWD supercar to dash to 100km/h from rest in just 3.5 seconds.

It has a top speed of 281km/h, or 175mph, and that puts it firmly in superbike territory, most of which weigh under 200kg!

In addition to all the tasty engine upgrades, one of the keys to the MR FQ400's driver's license voiding performance is in its sophisticated chassis, says Mitsu's UK motorsports division.

Just like all other Evo VIII MRs, the FQ400 makes use of Mitsubishi's electronically-controlled 4WD system to make sure all that power torque is put to effective use, both in a straight line and round corners.

The Bilstein suspension system (which was refined and tuned at the legendary Nurburgring road/racetrack) allows the FQ400 to corner with the utmost confidence, and the introduction of an Alcon Mono6 brake kit (incorporating Monobloc 6 piston calipers with 343mm curved vein discs with Ferodo DS2500 brake pads) ensures that deceleration matches the car's forceful acceleration.

High speed stability has been improved by upgrading the aero bodykit with a carbon fibre front lip spoiler and the incredibly aggressive "sharks tooth" rear vortex generator. Somewhat stubby Ralliart Aero mirrors also make the cut, and lightweight alloy wheels by Team Dynamics with a gloss black finish reduce unsprung weight for quicker turn-in and rapid changes in direction.

Mitsubishi's UK motor sports branch have given the Evo VIII MR FQ400's interior a very mild going over, and though the Recaro racing seats and Momo steering wheel steel are retained (no bad thing in my book), new additions comprise carbon fibre detailing and a production number plaque next to the gearstick.

The electric windows, mirrors and climate control are all fitted as standard, with Mitsu UK insisting the FQ400 is no "stripped out road racer".

Mitsubishi Ralliart dealers in the UK are now taking orders for the violently powerful Evolution variant, and there's a good chance they'll be snapped up quick smart.

Just to recap, the preposterously quick Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ400 makes 298kW @ 6800rpm and 481Nm @ 5000rpm, and will hit 100km/h from rest in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of just over 280km/h. I could go on, but why bother? The stats speak for themselves.

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