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Mitsubishi Evo v Subaru Impreza

They're back, but are the new Impreza and Evo as good as the cars they replace?

The Mitsubishi Evo is a high-performance car for ‘our’ generation; an attainable, down-to-earth antidote to supercar elitism, and a car with such a powerful cult following that this boxy Japanese saloon has risen from Far Eastern obscurity to drivers’ deity in little more than a decade.

As for the Impreza, well it doesn't look much, but then that's not unusual with Imprezas – the ‘bug-eye’ Impreza had a hasty restyle almost as soon as it went on sale – and in a few months we’ll all be warming to the slightly gawky face and podgy profile of the newcomer. In fact, let’s all save a lot of heartache and agree right now to give in to the creeping inevitability that pretty soon the new Impreza will look, well, half decent.

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How do they stack up? Let's find out.

Comparison

 Subaru Impreza S - GTMitsubishi Evo X
EngineFlat-four, turboIn-line four-cylinder, turbo
LocationFront, longitudinalFront, transverse
Displacement1994cc1998cc
Bore x stroke92 x 75mm86 x 86mm
Cylinder blockAluminium alloyAluminium alloy, wet sump
Cylinder headAluminium alloy, dohc, 4v per cylinder, variable valve timingAluminium alloy, dohc, 4v per cylinder, variable valve timing
Fuel and ignitionElectronic engine management, multipoint injectionElectronic engine management, sequential multipoint injection
Max power260bhp @ 6000rpm276bhp @ 6500rpm
Max torque250lb ft @ 2800rpm311lb ft @ 3500rpm
TransmissionFive-speed manual, four-wheel drive, viscous centre differential, limited-slip rear differentialFive-speed manual or six-speed twin-clutch sequential manual, four-wheel drive, S-AWC, AYC, ACD, ASC
Front suspensionMacPherson struts, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll barMacPherson struts, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspensionMulti-link, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll barMulti-link, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar
BrakesDiscs front and rear, EBD, ABSTwo-piece floating front discs, single-piece rear, EBD, ABS
Wheels7 x 17in front and rear (7.5 x 18in as tested)8.5 x 18in front and rear, BBS alloys
Tyres205/50 R17 Bridgestones (225/40 ZR18 Michelins as tested)245/40 R18 front and rear, Yokohama A13
Weight (kerb)1395kg1540kg
Power-to-weight189bhp/ton182bhp/ton
0-62mph5.5sec (claimed)5.2sec (claimed, TC SST model)
Max speed146mph (claimed)155mph (limited)
Basic price£19,995 (see text)£30,000 (est)
On saleNowMarch 2008 (orders taken now)
evo rating3.5/54.5/5
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