Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

THE new Evo­lu­tion— I much pre­fer Evo — can be a riot on a closed, safety- first race­track.

It is fast, re­spon­sive, sharp and re­fined. It will also hold a drift that goes on and on.

Not that I would rec­om­mend such anti-so­cial be­hav­iour on the road.

On the other side of the ac­tion, the cabin is im­proved and the de­sign of the cen­tre stack is mak­ing a good bid for pre­mium class.

But the press preview cars — ad­mit­tedly pre-pro­duc­tion build — showed too much vari­a­tion to carry it off prop­erly. And while the body gen­er­ally looks good, the high rear wing cuts across the rear vi­sion.

But all that is forgotten when you get go­ing.

Even my all-too-short test drive was enough to prove the Evo has fi­nally man­aged to com­bine per­for­mance with com­fort.

Un­like the harsh ride of the pre­vi­ous mod­els, the new Evo is com­pli­ant over bad sur­faces, and yet the car is tack­flat through cor­ners.

There is al­ways plenty of go on tap and the twin-clutch gear­box is a su­perb tool to dig it out, chang­ing seam­lessly and clev­erly in ev­ery mode.

Cou­pled with all that, the steer­ing is al­most fault­less, with the kind of re­sponse that is sharply at­ten­tive with­out be­ing twitchy.

I was punt­ing the car through rain on greasy hill roads and it never looked like get­ting out of step in what would have been ten­ta­tive mo­tor­ing in any other car.

The Evo’s all-wheel-drive sys­tem is so good that grip is as tena­cious as most well­sorted cars in per­fect weather.

On a dry road it should be noth­ing short of as­ton­ish­ing.

I am still un­cer­tain about the pre­mium ap­peal of the Evo­lu­tion, but I am cer­tain the new Evo is go­ing to slap smiles across across Aus­tralia — and force a few frowns on STi driv­ers.

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