In the pantheon of the mightiest four-cylinder engines, surely Mitsubishi's "FQ" Lancer Evolutions stand near or at the top. This series of UK-only special edition Evos were tuned to produce as much as 400 horsepower in Mitsubishi FQ-400 form. Great news, rally hoons! Even more juice is coming.
This is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution FQ-440 MR. It was done up to celebrate Mitsubishi's 40th anniversary in the UK. As you can probably guess from its name, its 2.0-liter turbo four has been tuned to a mind-bending, unfathomable, insanely insane, I pee my pants just thinking about it 440 horsepower and 412 pound-feet of torque.
How does such a humble engine produce such numbers? According to Mitsubishi, it has a custom ECU tune; an exhaust system with a high-flow sports catalytic convertor, intake & intercooler piping kit and tubular manifold from Janspeed; motorsport-grade high-flow fuel injectors and other tweaks. This FQ-440 comes with the Evo's six-speed twin clutch paddle shift gearbox and boasts a lowered suspension.
On the inside, you even get nice-ish stuff like leather Recaro seats, a nav system with a 7-inch screen, Bluetooth and a Rockford Fosgate premium audio system. All that for the low, low price of £50,000 (about $82,000 in the U.S.).
Sure, plenty of tuners have done up their Evos to have as much or more power than this, but the FQ-440 comes with a full factory warranty. Peace of mind is important when you're driving like a maniac in your over-tuned rally beast, isn't it?
Top Gear once said the old FQ-400 was faster than an M3, a 911, and was within shooting range of the 911 Turbo; it has a better place on their leaderboard than several Lamborghinis. I can only imagine how nuts this one will be. It's a giant slayer.
These days, Mercedes claims its CLA45 AMG has the most powerful four-cylinder engine in production because it comes out of the AMG factory with 355 horsepower, while the FQ cars (that means exactly what you think it does) are after-the-fact tune jobs by Mitsubishi UK.
I think it's a slippery slope when you start talking about what is and isn't a "production car" since no one ever agrees on that, so I'd like to see these two duke it out on the track instead. Having driven the CLA45 AMG, my money's on the Mitsu.
Some supercars should come along for the fun, too — if they think they can hang with the FQ-440.