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Ôhese are the first official pictures of the UK-ready Mitsubishi Evo VIII, which is due on sale here in the spring. Powered by an uprated version of the 2.0-litre turbo introduced in the Evo VII, the car will offer 280bhp and a 0-60mph sprint time of less than 5.7 seconds.

Although the model seen here may look similar to the US-spec Evo revealed in our world exclusive first drive in last week's issue, there are key differences under the skin. Expected to cost around £28,000, this machine will offer a six-speed gearbox - a first in the history of the legendary Evo range - and uprated stability control systems. As a result, insiders at Mitsubishi's UK division claim this machine will make the Evo VII look tame, and should worry the top brass at Japanese rival Subaru.

However, the Evo is only the start for the firm's performance car dreams. As we revealed in Issue 724, drivers on a budget can look forward to a modified version of

the model we drove last week, offering around 230bhp. Those with a greater appetite for speed will also be able to get behind the wheel of flagship variants offering in excess of 300bhp. As an added bonus, buyers can choose from a wide range of individual tuning parts, including larger wheels, track-day brakes and outrageous bodywork add-ons, as Mitsubishi has brought its Rall-iart motorsport arm in-house.

All this is happening because the UK market is the most important to the firm after Japan. It also means we'll get this car a year before anyone else in Europe.
Gavin Ward

2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
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