The Mitsubishi Evo name is steeped with rallying pedigree, a moniker synonymous with the petrolhead holy triumvirate of blistering speed, supreme handling prowess, and sporty looks. It is a vehicle that is understated and yet over delivers on driving thrills. To the uneducated it's just another lancer, but to those who live and breathe everything automotive, this is a car that commands respect.
Experiencing the acceleration powered by the 2.0 litre turbo engine is fraught with sheer savagery and not only envelops occupants with a sense of speed reminiscent of being strapped onto the outside of a rocket, but of realising that the rocket with which one is strapped has no indication of ever stopping, speed ever increasing to the point of lightspeed. Think Millennium Falcon .5 past lightspeed and with a 0-100 time of around 4.1 seconds, it's no Jabba the Hutt.
As with the acceleration, stepping on the brakes is also a physics bending affair as the factory fitted Brembo brakes scrub off speed with such a ferocity that your body is barely contained within its restraints.
The handling of this car is also out of this world and the all-wheel drive inspires even the most timid and unconfident of driver with a sense that he is Lewis Hamilton incarnate. Turn in is laser like in precision with apexes rarely missed. In fact the car inspires such a confidence on turn in that you often realise that you can get on the power before you even hit said apex, with the electronic Active Centre Differential (AYC) system sorting out all your handling requirements, allowing you to slingshot out the other end. The feel translated to the driver through the steering wheel is also as communicative as that of a blind individuals sensitivity when reading braille and provides a deft translation of road texture that allows one to sense what the tyres are doing beneath them at all times.
It is not all however, a pretty picture of motoring perfection and positivity. There are indeed gripes. The fuel consumption is poor for one with its thirst for fuel as insatiable as that of a black hole sucking everything in its wake. Parking is also a constant struggle and if you think you have made all the right calculations in your internal nav computer when turning into a parallel space, allow an additional rough circumference of Jupiter in adjustment to ensure that you make that spot down at your local.
It is also noteworthy that in the current second hand market, examples of a clean and unmodified Evo IX are as rare as a Halley's comet sighting and you will need to be aware of modified examples which more often than not have been tracked. Servicing too can also be expensive as with parts so be sure to do your research if you do manage to find one that takes your fancy.
However, despite its minor foibles, the package that Mitsubishi have delivered never disappoints in driving engagement and thrills and if one is after a mode of transportation that gets you places quicker than the Starship Enterprise, this is the definite answer for it is a car that will open up a wormhole and take you to a whole new world of driving nirvana.