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.
|Subaru Impreza S - GT||Mitsubishi Evo X|
|Engine||Flat-four, turbo||In-line four-cylinder, turbo|
|Location||Front, longitudinal||Front, transverse|
|Bore x stroke||92 x 75mm||86 x 86mm|
|Cylinder block||Aluminium alloy||Aluminium alloy, wet sump|
|Cylinder head||Aluminium alloy, dohc, 4v per cylinder, variable valve timing||Aluminium alloy, dohc, 4v per cylinder, variable valve timing|
|Fuel and ignition||Electronic engine management, multipoint injection||Electronic engine management, sequential multipoint injection|
|Max power||260bhp @ 6000rpm||276bhp @ 6500rpm|
|Max torque||250lb ft @ 2800rpm||311lb ft @ 3500rpm|
|Transmission||Five-speed manual, four-wheel drive, viscous centre differential, limited-slip rear differential||Five-speed manual or six-speed twin-clutch sequential manual, four-wheel drive, S-AWC, AYC, ACD, ASC|
|Front suspension||MacPherson struts, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar||MacPherson struts, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar|
|Rear suspension||Multi-link, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar||Multi-link, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar|
|Brakes||Discs front and rear, EBD, ABS||Two-piece floating front discs, single-piece rear, EBD, ABS|
|Wheels||7 x 17in front and rear (7.5 x 18in as tested)||8.5 x 18in front and rear, BBS alloys|
|Tyres||205/50 R17 Bridgestones (225/40 ZR18 Michelins as tested)||245/40 R18 front and rear, Yokohama A13|
|0-62mph||5.5sec (claimed)||5.2sec (claimed, TC SST model)|
|Max speed||146mph (claimed)||155mph (limited)|
|Basic price||£19,995 (see text)||£30,000 (est)|
|On sale||Now||March 2008 (orders taken now)|