Official performance figures are yet to be confirmed, but the FQ330 is expected to better the 4.4 seconds* 0-60 time achieved by the FQ 300. Top speed will continue to be limited to 157mph.

The Mitsubishi Evolution VIII FQ330 will be available through Ralliart dealers from 1st December, with on the road prices starting from £31,999.

The FQ330 retains all of the FQ300's distinguishing features and to produce a further 30 bhp, two specific modifications are made:

1. A supplementary ECU is hard-wired to the cars existing engine management system, the unit controlling ignition timing and air/fuel mixture.

2. A revised waste-gate actuator ferrule is installed, which increases turbo-charger boost to 1.4 bar at peak pressure, which falls well within accepted engine and turbocharger tolerances.

Both of these modifications can also be carried out by Mitsubishi Ralliart dealers, allowing existing FQ300 customers to upgrade without having to buy a new car. All FQ300 owners can upgrade and have the extra 30bhp for £1500 (incl VAT) + fitting charge . Ralliart dealerships can fit the upgrade in just two hours.

To visually distinguish the new FQ330, its package will include black Alcantara leather seats, complete with in-set Ralliart logo. Cars will display FQ330 identity and, as with the rest of the Evolution VIII range, each will be individually numbered.

Another feature of the FQ330, which will serve to cut down journey time and assist with maintaining an improved average speed, will be the addition of Smart Nav. This hi-tech Satellite Navigation system provides drivers with accurate directional information, reports live incident and predictive traffic data and subsequently computes a revised route around the hot spots.

Such is the capability of the Evolution VIII’s handling, stability and stopping power, the 20% increase in bhp over that of the conventional Evolution VIII, allows the car's existing suspension and braking system to be retained for the FQ330.

Initial tests have shown that the FQ330's star quality is its awesome mid-range power. The ECU and waste-gate actuator modifications enable the engine to produce an impressive 330 bhp at 6800 rpm, with 315 lb ft of torque at 5000 rpm.

Published : 24/10/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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