Saturday, May 7, 2016

Down The Hatch: 1989 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo

The 3rd generation Mitsubishi Mirage was sold in North America starting in the 1989 model year at Mitsubishi dealers, but you could also get the same exact car (albeit with different badges) from Dodge/Plymouth dealers as the Colt, and over at Eagle as the Summit.  They should have imported the top of the line JDM version that was called the Cyborg, but at least you could get the hatchback version with a turbocharged engine.  Find this 1989 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo offered for $3,800 in Moreno Valley, CA via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck. 

It is always interesting when a seller in a craigslist ad says something like "Supposedly Big 16 turbo".  What do you mean "supposedly?"  Supposedly isn't something I want to hear when I'm buying a car.  Supposedly this bank check is real.  Determining the bigness (or 16ness) of a turbocharger shouldn't be more than a few minutes of poking around with a flashlight.

Under the hood is a 1.6 liter 4G61T inline-4 that is turbocharged to generate 135 horsepower when stock, but with a supposed Big 16 turbo, and some silicon hoses, it should be good for a few more.  Want an easy method to determine power?  Do a big smokey front wheel drive (one-wheel) burn out -- you should get about 10 feet per 100 horsepower.

 See another car that will get mistaken for a Civic hatch everywhere you go?


  1. A big 16 turbo? Thats going to require a motec system exaust. Just dont run enough nos to blow your intake welds. Might cause your floorboards to come loose.

  2. Proof that not all cars look better slammed into the ground, yo

    1. He really ought to put the springs back in it before he sells it, before everyone realizes it probably needs $2K worth of suspension and underbody work to fix all the pothole and speedbump damage...

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  3. The C4 Corvette wheels do look appropriate on this thing though, I have to say.

  4. California smog tech opens the hood, sees the open-element air filter and all the blue hose, closes the hood, hands you back the key and says "You're kidding, right?"

  5. 1.6l trying to push what I assume is a 16g turbo will result in pretty comical lag.
    Think 80's 911 turbo. Floor it, nothing, nothing, Bueller, nothing, EVERYTHING, panic, lift throttle, tires hook up, WYSIWYG, which is usually a ditch.
    I had one on a 2.3l engine and it took a good bit of time before it woke up. I think 2500-3000rpm is when all of the boosts came on at once.


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