Wednesday, February 25, 2015

10k: All Wheel Everything: 1993 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 Twin Turbo

I hate to rag on any particular manufacturer or brand (except for Lincoln...what is Ford thinking?!?!), but one of the 21st century disappointments has to be Mitsubishi.  Lets look at their 2015 lineup and match them up with one of the Seven Dwarves from Snow White.  Mirage -- Grumpy; Outlander-- Sleepy; Outlander Sport -- Bashful; Lancer -- Sneezy; iMiev -- Dopey; Lancer Evo -- Happy.  Where's Doc?  How did the product planners miss the most important of all the Dwarves, and they are going to cancel Happy after 2015 with no planned replacement.  How can they survive the next decade without making any noteworthy automobiles?  This wasn't always the case, and for a while Mitsubishi built some insanely complicated, but notoriously fast machines, like the 3000GT VR-4 -- and guess what? You can buy a used one for cheap.  Find this 1993 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 Twin Turbo offered for $10,000 in Amherst, MA via craigslist. Tip from Jdah.

Back in the 1990s, Nissan built the turbocharged 300ZX and Skyline GT-R, Honda had the superb handling NSX, Mazda the rotary screaming RX-7, Subaru built the funky SVX, and even Toyota got in the ring with the bulletproof Supra, but the 3000 GT VR-4 was special...different...a Miley Cirus in the the Barbershop quartet.  The 3000 GT dared to be different, it was randomly putting power to the front wheels, steering with its rear wheels, or shaving its head and swinging around on wrecking balls totally-butt-nekkid. 

Under the hood is a technological tour-de-force for 1993 -- the 6G72 V6 was turbocharged and intercooled from the factory to produce 300 horespower and 315 ft-lbs of torque.  It is refreshing to see a 3000 GT with stock engine bay, even the original air filter housing is intact. 

The seller claims only 96k miles on the odometer, but these seats look like they've been to hell Detroit and back again.   Since this is a 1993 model, it uses the earlier 5-speed manual gearbox (post 1994 VR-4s got a 6-spd) and power goes to all four wheels.

Does that exhaust look stock to you?  See another VR-4 for cheap? Send it here:


  1. One of the best factory cars ever. So much for so little prepared to spend a little more for parts, but nothing compared to it's peers..

  2. To my eye the lines of the 3000 GT have held up very well over the years. A bonus is that it doesn't look like anything else. The Twin Turbo is the one to get because these cars weigh close to two tons.

    1. Fleetwood T. BroughamFebruary 25, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      "it doesn't look like anything else"....well, except a Dodge Stealth.

    2. What in the diamond star are you talking about?

  3. Mitsubishi's built a few brilliant cars (anyone remember the old - I mean OLD, like 1982 old - Colt Turbo? My appreciation of the Evo line ends with IX, the tall, slabby, tubby X just doesn't cut it (was interesting to look back at that Lightning Lap article posted under the Cobalt SS and note that the Cobalt beat the pants off both the Evo and the STi), but a wingless Evo VIII or IX in gray or white is a nice stealth rocket.

    These...I'm less convinced. They were part of that era when the Japanese - think Infiniti Q45a - were doing all kinds of stuff that looked great on paper but wasn't really all that on the road. These things were right on 4000lb if I recall correctly and you could definitely feel the averdupois.

  4. I am talking cars of its day....killed them .....for cheap.
    Those pipes are not original...

  5. I like the VR-4 as well as the 300zx but the true king of this generation is the Supra. It is just a nasty car, especially with 1000hp.

  6. The subject of “chick cars” has appeared before here on DT, but if there was ever a “dude car”, surely this model must be included. I can’t ever recall seeing a woman driving one of these.

    I must admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of these, which is surprising for me. They’ve always seemed odd to me; too big, fast but with very little feeling, faddish, overly laden with gadgets and not quite a GT. And yet, they still catch my eye when I see one.

    The Spyder is the pick of the litter, obviously. If there ever was a 90s Japanese car that has all the making of a future collectible, that would be a good bet. 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder VR-4 with 40K miles for sale.

    It would also be worthwhile checking out the identical Dodge Stealth R/T if I were interested in one. Which I’m not, I swear. But by skipping the Mitsu badge, the value drops even lower. Here’s one for less money that sounds like it survived a minor fender-bender. That may mean this isn’t a good purchase or it might be just fine.

    Some interesting data; the car featured here on DT weighed roughly 3803 pounds. Weight varied a bit over the years, with the heaviest in 1996 for the Spyder VR-4 coming in at 4123 pounds and the lightest, also in 1996, for the Stealth R/T Turbo at 3671 pounds. Clearly, the convertible hardtop added weight. My guess is that the 96 Dodge had fewer gadgets or something, in addition to the smaller wing.

    Driving a non-turbo version of this car would make me distinctly unhappy.

    So here’s my question for my fellow DTers; Spyder aside and the stock performance specs (easily overcome, as testified to multiple times here on DT), why would you choose this over a DSM coupe, especially given the higher residual value? Obviously, the market spoke and the DSMs outlasted the 3000GT/Stealth twins, but DTers are not your everyday, average consumer…

  7. the downfall of Mitsu saddens me. I have a 1995 Montero as a 3rd vehicle and it makes me smile every time I drive it. You can tell they were trying to make the best car they could and it still shows. I wish they made something today that remotely compares.

    1. Agreed. Their current lineup is anything but inspiring. Which is too bad. I also miss the Montero/Pajero, but sales were dismal towards the end, so who can blame them for killing that model here in the States. The L200 is ancient too, but maybe they'll bring it back if the new Colorado takes off (hopefully). But the real crime is that they don't offer the Delica D:5 here. But NOBODY (except me) would buy that. So they're in a pickle, with no new, compelling offerings. It's starting to look a lot like a certain Swedish company. cough *Saab* cough

      I recently mentioned the Delica here on DT. Much merriment was made and it caused quite a stir. As in, a dialtone...Bueller? Bueller?


  8. I have a friend who designed the current but aging Eclipse. He actually quit his job over the management of his design.
    His Prototype:
    What it turned out as:

    He said that the demographic studies showed that women that drove FWD automatics were going to buy the Eclipse.
    His concept was much more radical.
    I still think it is super cool that he has designed a car that you see all over the place. He doesn't feel the same way.
    He ended up quitting and going to work for Jesse James. Those are some good stories!

    1. He went to work for...Jesse James!?! Wow, that is weird. What a strange direction in career. His concept car was amazing and his ideas are still recognizable throughout the range since. Thanks for sharing that, Sean!


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.