Timothy Pepperell: My Evo makes 720bhp and has a sequential six-speed gearbox. The engine was poorly built when I got it and had a few problems, including taking most of the teeth off the gears. Don’t worry about mileage when buying a stock car, as long as the service book is up to date.
■ Engine: Evo X’s 4B11T engine likes an oil and filter change every 4500 miles or six months under normal use, more often if you like track days. Timing chain on pre-2011 cars can stretch, so replace for peace of mind. If a car has an aftermarket exhaust fitted, check that the original catalytic converter will be supplied too. Fuel pump relay is a weak point, causing lean running – Mitsubishi recommends swapping the original black unit for an upgraded blue item.
■ Bodywork: A thorough inspection of the front chassis legs and boot floor is an absolute must – previous impacts could have been carefully concealed. Get the car out in the sun for a good look at the paintwork – sub-standard detailing work will leave swirl marks and small scratches. Factory-applied underseal wasn’t up to the task, so check the quality of any work carried out underneath.
■ Suspension: Knocking from the front end is a common issue; worn front damper bearings are the usual culprit. Budget around £450 for replacements, with fitting. Handling is sensitive to alignment, so have it checked by a specialist – as it’s easy to strip the threads in the camber and toe adjustment ‘discs’. Check the recommended settings for any aftermarket suspension components to avoid irregular tyre wear.