First drive: Mitsubishi Evo X FQ-360

* 354bhp Evo tested * Stupendously fast * Costs from £35,499...

First drive: Mitsubishi Evo X FQ-360

Staring blankly into the middle-distance, you exhale slowly, wondering when your heart palpitations will stop - then you turn the engine off.

That's the standard reaction after driving the FQ-360 in anger for the first time.

The FQ-360 is the most ballistic version yet of the Lancer Evo. For £8000 more than the entry-level FQ-300, you get an extra 63bhp (up to a thundering 354bhp), a performance exhaust, carbonfibre interior and exterior trim, and leather/suede seats.

It doesn't sound like much for the money, but the result is one of the fastest cars for getting from over here to over there - no matter what the price.

It's as shockingly rapid around corners as it is in a straight line, the steering lets you know exactly what the tyres are up to, and the brakes stop you quicker than a windscreen stops a fly. Driving this car is a blast.

Downsides are a small boot, a steering wheel that doesn't adjust in and out, and that it's a tricky car to drive at manoeuvring speeds. Oh, and you'll get around 175 miles from a tank of fuel.

Still, having to stop at a petrol station so often gives your heart a chance to settle down.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X FQ-360 is on sale now from £35,499.

Mitsubishi Evo X FQ-360 0-62mph 4.1sec
Top speed 155mph
Power 354bhp
Fuel economy 19.9mpg
CO2/tax 328g/km/35%

Also consider