MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX FQ-360
- 366bhp version of the Lancer Evolution IX launched at British Motor Show
- On-sale now priced at £35,504 with first deliveries in September
- 1997cc turbo engine modified with high pressure fuel pump, high flow catalytic converter and reprogrammed ECU
- MIVEC variable valve timing
- Tuned for driveability: 366bhp@6887rpm and 363lb ft@3200rpm
- Peak output of 363lb ft is 8lb ft more than the Evolution VIII FQ-400 produced, and is delivered 2200rpm lower down the rev range
- 0-60mph 4.1sec (est.), 160mph+
- Unique five-spoke Speedline alloy wheels mimic tarmac-spec rally car
- Carbon fibre front lip spoiler and 'sharks tooth' rear vortex generator improve aerodynamic efficiency
- Decal kit a no-cost dealer-fit option
- Interior features Ralliart Sports Meter Kit displaying battery voltage, oil temperature and boost pressure
- Comprehensive luxury specification includes climate control, SmartNav navigation, leather/Alcantara trim, Recaro seats, Momo steering wheel
- Leather trim can be deleted, reducing the price by £1000
- Bilstein suspension, Brembo brakes and electronically-controlled 4WD system unchanged
- 3-year Unlimited Mileage warranty, 3-year Pan European Recovery Service and 6-year Anti-Corrosion Perforation warranty
- Supported by highly-trained network of Mitsubishi Ralliart dealers
Mitsubishi Motors UK has unveiled a new and more powerful version of the iconic Lancer Evolution IX supercar. A development of the FQ-340, the new FQ-360 features a 366bhp version of Mitsubishi's 2.0-litre turbo engine. On sale now, priced at £35,504, it reaffirms the 'Evo's' reputation as the everyday supercar, offering pace and practicality at an affordable price.
The new FQ-360 joins a three car Lancer Evolution line-up, consisting of the FQ-300, the FQ-320 and the FQ-340, all of which continue.
|Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX FQ-300|| ||£28,039|
|Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX FQ-320|| ||£30,039|
|Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX FQ-340|| ||£33,039|
|Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX FQ-360|| ||£35,504|
The FQ-360 has been developed by engineers from Mitsubishi UK's motorsport and performance division, Ralliart, who were also responsible for the limited edition FQ-400. Launched in 2004, the FQ-400 was the fastest-ever production Mitsubishi and the new FQ-360 shares some of its key components.
Mitsubishi's engineers sought to improve the performance of the 1997cc 4-cylinder 4G63 twin scroll turbo engine with the introduction of a high pressure fuel pump and a high-flow catalytic converter, both of which were employed in the FQ-400. The Engine Control Unit (ECU) has been fully reprogrammed to create a car that delivers 366bhp at 6887rpm and 363lb ft of torque at a lowly 3200rpm.
The torque output is the key to this car's character. The peak output of 363lb ft is 8lb ft more than the FQ-400 produced and it's delivered 2200rpm lower down the rev range. It's also 18lb ft more than the FQ-340. "We've worked hard to optimise the FQ-360's driveability," says Paul Brigden, general manager, Ralliart. "We wanted to deliver the best possible driving experience, rather than concentrating on a headline-grabbing power output."
This flexibility is further enhanced by Mitsubishi MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control System), which was introduced on the Evolution IX. MIVEC is a variable valve timing system that constantly matches the inlet valve timing to the engine speed and load. At higher engine speeds, the system improves the engine's air-supply to ensure that it doesn't run out of breath. At lower engine speeds, it helps to stabilise the combustion process, reducing both fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The end result is an engine that combines improved top-end performance with a three per cent improvement in fuel consumption, compared with a non-MIVEC engine.
The FQ-360 may have been tuned for driveability, but that doesn't mean that its supercar-bashing performance has been compromised. This car will sprint from 0-60mph in an estimated 4.1sec and top 160mph. These figures underline Lancer Evolution's reputation as the supercar bargain. By comparison, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, which costs almost twice as much, takes 0.7sec longer to reach 60mph from rest.
Subtle exterior enhancements differentiate the FQ-360 from the rest of the Lancer Evolution range and improve its aerodynamic efficiency at high speed. One of the most obvious changes is the introduction of a carbon fibre front lip spoiler, which is attached to the front apron and provides additional downforce. At the rear, a carbon fibre 'sharks tooth' rear vortex generator helps to reduce aerodynamic lift.
Keen 'Evo spotters' will also note the introduction of a bespoke set of alloy wheels. Developed by Speedline, they mimic the five-spoke design of Mitsubishi's tarmac-spec rally car and are not available as an aftermarket option. The new alloys are shod with Yokohama ADVAN AO46 235/45ZR17 tyres, which are shared with the rest of the Lancer Evolution range.
The rest of the styling will be familiar to FQ enthusiasts and benefits from the improvements introduced for the 'Evo' IX. These included the introduction of a rear diffuser, which controls the flow of air past the underbody and stops exhaust gas residues collecting on the rear bumper
Also new was an aluminium roof and side impact bars, which complemented the aluminium bonnet introduced on the Evolution VIII. The roof and impact bars reduced the overall mass by 7.5kg, while also lowering the centre of gravity by 50mm. The result is a car that's even more responsive to driver input.
Some of the attention to detail is extraordinary. For example, the carbon fibre rear wing, introduced on the Evo VIII, now boasts a hollow construction to save a few more precious ounces and further improve the centre of gravity.
Five exterior body colours are available: red solid, cool silver, black mica, blue pearl, yellow solid and white solid (the traditional colour for competition models). A decal kit will be offered free-of-charge to FQ-360 customers. Fitted by the dealer, it highlights the car's motorsport heritage by listing some of the key component suppliers.
The interior of the FQ-360 builds on that of the FQ-340 with one notable addition. The space below the stereo - which is used for oddments storage in the FQ-340 - is now occupied by a Ralliart Sports Meter Kit. Three dials display the battery voltage, oil temperature and boost pressure, providing extra, useful information to the enthusiastic driver.
The new Meter Kit is in keeping with the rest of the cabin, which places an emphasis on driver-orientated functionality. All the critical "touch points", such as the steering wheel, seats and gearstick, highlight its motorsport heritage. The steering wheel is a small leather three-spoke, made by Momo, the company responsible for the wheel found in a Ferrari Formula One Car. The seats are by Recaro and combine exceptional support during hard cornering with supreme long distance comfort. Leather/Alcantara trim is standard, but FQ-360 customers can opt instead for fabric trim and save themselves £1000.
Rear passengers are not forgotten and benefit from a sculptured rear bench. Head and legroom is generous and the boot has a maximum capacity of 530litres. This five-seater practicality has been, and always will be, at the heart of the 'Evo' legend.
Fears that the FQ-360 would be a stripped-out road racer can also be allayed. Its comprehensive specification includes climate control, all-round electric windows and electrically adjustable mirrors, a category 1 alarm and four airbags, proving that performance and comfort can go hand-in-hand. The FQ-360 also features SmartNav, the innovative route and traffic guidance system operated by Trafficmaster®. This takes the stress out of route planning and allows the owner to focus on the thrill of driving.
The FQ-360 shares its Bilstein suspension system with the rest of the Evolution range. Developed at the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany by Mitsubishi and Bilstein engineers to improve "overall driving quality", the Lancer Evolution is now better to drive than ever before.
The Bilstein system was introduced on the VIII MR but enhanced for the IX. Although the basic principles of the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension were retained, the use of different damping rates for the single-tube front and rear shocks, together with the shape optimisation of the rear bump stop, led to significant improvements in traction and roadholding. Vehicle stability was enhanced during cornering or braking manoeuvres, and the Bilstein system has also had a beneficial effect on the ride quality. Put simply, the Evolution is now more 'driveable' than ever before.
ELECTRONICALLY-CONTROLLED 4WD SYSTEM
The Lancer Evolution remains one of the few cars on the road in which the four-wheel drive system is employed to improve the handling, rather than simply as a means of increasing traction. The All-Wheel Control (AWC) system is one of the most sophisticated in the world and incorporates several different elements - Super ABS*, Super Active Yaw Control (AYC)* and an Active Centre Differential (ACD)*.
After feedback from competition drivers, the operation of these elements was harmonised for the introduction of the Evolution IX. For the first time, the AYC and ACD systems remain active even when the ABS is in use. This allows the driver to use the brakes to balance the car and prepare it for a change of trajectory. Through a series of high-speed bends, for example, the system will continue to control the yaw moment of the car, even if the driver is applying braking force. The car's agility and stability are both improved, and the car responds more accurately to steering input on the entry to a corner.
Super AYC* acts like a limited slip differential to optimise the Lancer's handling during hard driving. This is the only electronic system anywhere that enhances cornering performance by transferring torque between the rear wheels. It also works harmoniously with the Active Centre Differential (ACD*), which was introduced on the Evolution VII.
The increased power and torque of the FQ-360 provides the driver with extra scope to enjoy the benefit of these systems.
STEERING AND BRAKES
The FQ-360's steering is unchanged from the standard Evolution IX. Critically acclaimed as one of the world's finest systems, it has been tuned to combine linear response with excellent driver feedback. The system allows the driver to place the car accurately on the road.
The Evolution IX's Brembo brakes are also more than capable of coping with the increase in performance. The 17in ventilated discs with four piston callipers at the front and 16in ventilated discs with two-piston callipers at the rear are supplemented by Sports ABS* and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). EBD automatically regulates the front and rear braking force to match the vehicle load and driving conditions.
In 2003, Ralliart, Mitsubishi's motorsport and performance car division, became a premium sub-brand of the Mitsubishi Motors UK operation and all 'Evo' products are supported by a highly-trained network of Mitsubishi Ralliart dealers. The FQ-360 is supplied with a 3-year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, a 3-year Pan European Recovery Service and a 6-year Anti-Corrosion Perforation warranty.