It may well have passed under the radars of all but the most fanatic petrolheads, but 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Mitsubishi in the UK. In an era when home-grown brands under British Leyland and US powerhouses such as Ford held sway over the market, the arrival of an obscure Japanese marque, better known for manufacturing wartime fighter planes than cars, was seen as a pretty bold step. Fast forward four decades and Mitsubishi is now a firmly established part of the furniture here in the UK. Despite developing a reputation for producing rugged off-roaders in the mould of the Shogun, it is undoubtedly the Lancer Evolution that represents the head-turning, heart-pumping, brand defining icon of the last 20 years. So naturally, there was only ever going to be one way for Mitsubishi to celebrate the big 4-0. Mitsubishi Evolution X FQ-440 MR Proves There is Life After 40.
Enter the special edition Evo X FQ-440 MR. A nod in the direction of its legendary rally-munching Evo ancestors, the FQ-440 MR is far more than just a hastily arranged scramble of letters. Harnessing more power than ever before on a road-going Evo, the 40th anniversary edition is literally chock-full to the rafters with juicy aftermarket extras to make it as unhinged as mechanically possible. The bespoke re-mapped engine now churns out, as the name suggests, 440bhp and 412 lb ft of torque and is mated to a six speed twin clutch Sports Shift transmission. The exhaustive list of tweaks also includes a Janspeed sports exhaust system with intake and intercooler piping kit, race spec high-flow fuel injectors, upgraded front and rear brake calipers and 18-inch BBS alloy wheels. The suspension is lowered substantially and Eibach coil springs added for enhanced sports-orientated handling.
Inside, Mitsubishi have thrown in Recaro leather bucket seats and sports steering wheel, an eight speaker premium audio system with subwoofer, plus a 7-inch LCD touch screen navigation system all as standard.
Available only in Frost White, the special edition Evo X’s £50,000 price tag won’t put off the scores of die-hard Evo fans around the country. However, the super-exclusive production run of just 40 models will ensure that this Evo is a very rare and coveted bird indeed.