Well, I've always wanted one... right from when the 5 appeared and started getting ridiculous rave reviews in the mags filled with all the superlatives you could ever wish for. When the 6 was released and Autocar pronounced it "quite simply one of the best cars we have ever driven" I knew it had to be investigated very seriously indeed.

Forget the boring stories. Here are the EVO facts:

1. 0-60 in 4.5, 0-100 in 11.5, 50-70 in 4.2 - and thats a standard car. Most run at 330+ bhp after a modest amount of tuning. Then you'll need nothing short of a Tuscan, Esprit V8, 911 Turbo to keep up.

2. The EVO feels unbelieveably surefooted across country. The sense of security it imparts allow you to go quicker across country than something like the 340r. If its wet... forget it.

3. The EVO feels super-solid and highly responsive from the brakes to the chassis stiffness, gearchange and suspension. Don't compare it with an Impreza, its far more hardcore.

4. The EVO is not just a fast saloon. Its very racecar-ish in every facet of the vehicle that is communicating with you. Step back into your M3 and if it wasn't for the acceleration you'd swear that you were in a Ford Galaxy.

5. The EVO lacks the ultimate involvement factor of the elise variants but then again its just fun in a different way, you get a buzz out of different things but you definitely need to be going a touch faster to maintain the same level of interest.

6. The EVO is twice the weight of a 340r at 1350kg. It carries 5 people and 8 weeks of shopping. It will keep occupants dry in all conditions and can cruise to Switzerland and back at a steady 120mph (and it feels like about 80). As heavy all-purpose performance cars go, it has to be one of the most stimulating and focused you can get.

7. The EVO feels slower than a 340 up to 100mph but feels more powerful. In truth they are exactly the same in acceleration terms.

8. Beyond 100 when the 340 starts to run out of gears and struggle aerodynamically, the EVO will disappear to the other side of 150.

9. The EVO feels like a monorail especially around corners. Very little can compete with Lotus when it comes to bends but the EVO feels fabulous slicing through them.

10. The EVO brushes obstacles aside. Once you pick up the pace the harsh ride starts to make a lot more sense and mid-corner potholes and bumps haven't got a hope in hell of nudging the EVO from its line.

11. The EVO will power oversteer out of a bend and slide on entry under trailbraking. Its a rally car, designed to do anything at anytime. Just as long as you have revs left, a heavy throttle will keep it going regardless of which way you're pointing.

12. The EVO gets a lot of attention from the wrong sort of people. Way before the Tracking equipment kicks in, this one will gas its occupants for a continous 8 hours upon the slightest provocation.

The Jackals Racetrack 1998 Richard Morris