The EVO was originally intended for Japanese markets only, but demand on the “grey import” market led the Evolution series to be offered around the world. Mitsubishi decided to export the eighth generation Evolution to the United States in 2003 after witnessing competitor success.

Japanese-spec cars were limited by a gentlemen’s agreement to advertise no more than 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp), a mark already reached by Evolution IV. Each subsequent version has unofficially evolved above the advertised power figures, with the Japanese-spec Evolution IX reaching an alleged output of around 321 PS (236 kW; 317 hp). Various versions available in other markets, particularly the UK, have official power outputs up to 446 PS (328 kW; 440 hp).

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