Wednesday, August 28, 2013

10k: Fat Cat: 1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 5-spd

The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 was the pinnacle of Japanese sportscar madness back in the mid 1990s.  It had room for four, a twin turbocharged V6 up front, power going to all four wheels, active rear-wheel steering, active aerodynamics and a profile wider than Kim Kardashian in Hammer pants.  When new, the 3000GT VR4 came with a price tag that would make even the biggest trust fund baby think twice, or at least wait 20 years for the prices to settle down.  Find this 1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 for sale in Mount Joy, PA currently bidding for $7,850 reserve-not-met with a few hours to go on ebay.

The 3000GT has its fair share of fanboys and detractors, but everyone will at least agree that the prices haven't been Fast & Furioused to silly values like the Mk IV Supra.  Additionally, the stock & clean examples do command a premium over highly modified examples -- and this once looks cool and blue.

The transverse mounted V6 under the hood displaces 3.0 liters and puts out 300 horsepower and 306 ft-lbs of torque thanks to twin Garrett turbochargers and intercoolers.  Performance from a standstill will be enthusiastic due to the all-wheel-drive system, but once underway the 3800 lbs of curb weight slows the VR-4 down considerably.  You will be dusted by modern lightweights like the Mazdaspeed3 in every performance catagory except '90s nostalgia, so break out your MC Hammer mix tape and win in the only competition you can...coolness...

The 3000 GT VR-4 will give you the full supercar experience, difficult ingress/egress, laid back seating, driver centric gauges, just without the supercar performance....besides, you'll spend most of your time driving in traffic and your license can't take any more points anyway, so just slow down and enjoy the ride.

The lack of rear-view cameras and park assist systems make make you park on top of the lines sometimes, but back in the '90s everyone made white lines disappear, so don't fret.  See a better 3800 lb time machine? email us here:


  1. "Room for four"? Four of what, cats? Granted, at least the 3000GT had a vestigial back seat (perhaps for insurance ratings, perhaps to claim some sort of marketing advantage over it's 2-seater competitors).

    Of the Japanese turbo coupes around that time (Supra, RX7 and 300ZX), the 3000GT was arguably the least appealing. Big outside, small inside, bulky, and at least in my opinion, not that attractive.

  2. Yeah. I never saw the 3000 as desirable, either, and it was sold when I was in my primo go-fast-lust-o-plenty early 20s. The styling just didn't push a single button for me, especially when the other aforementioned Japanese near-exotics were available at the same time. While the 300zx hewed close to the MID4 concept and the Supra went all in with classic exotic car bulges and wings and such, the 3000 always looked hodge-podge to my uneducated eye. Sort of looks to me as if there were a collection of style elements they wanted to incorporate but couldn't find a way to make the final iteration portray a sense of gestalt.

  3. Nice analyses guys. To me the 3000GT/Dodge Stealth looks like the Japanese interpretation of the 4th-gen Camaro ('93-'02). Granted they were designed around the same time so it's hard to say who was inspired by whom, but neither car ever got me excited from an aesthetic perspective. They were both overwrought '90s interpretations of what sleek performance should look like, with "aero" being a design buzzword more than a guiding physical principle. When you remember the Chrysler connection with DSM and the 3000GT styling, it starts to make more sense - kind of halfway between an Eclipse/Talon/Laser and an original Viper in the DSM canon.

  4. My understanding is that the transmission is the weak link in these cars. Also, they do have the Chrysler Cirrus plastic look about them, but they are not any uglier than the Supra, IMO. These cars probably had considerable curb appeal off the showroom floor, but I can see where it would be pretty easy to get upside-down on one due to all of the aging complex systems and build quality.

  5. When people talk about Japanese over-engineering, this is what they're referring to. Active aero, active 4-wheel steering (electronic, not mechanical)... meanwhile you could get a 5-speed Miata with manual steering for half the price. :)

    1. ~ and... speaking of engineering, do not forget the rare 3000 GT Spyder retractable hard top. it was the first of its kind in a lot of years.
      . one minute video of operation here;

    2. ~ production/customization was done in California by American Sunroof Company and only 1618 units were sold.

    3. The internet teaches me something new every day. Thank you. I would describe that folding top operation as complex, delicate, and sluggish. Hmmm, almost sounds like the car itself.

  6. I bought this car in September. i love it, complements my 5-speed Miata that i bought for half the price last year. i look at as more of a GT car and not a sports car. she won't win any races due to it age, but i'm not planning of racing it. she's a highway cruzer. out of the Supra, RX7, 300ZX, adn the 3000GT. The VR-4 is the one i like the best because im a massive DSM fan. you just don't see 3kGT anymore and never in this color.


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