Saturday, January 23, 2010

Car Style - The 1994-1996 Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT

John Marine | 1/23/2010 08:46:00 PM | |
One of my all-time favorite Japanese sports cars is the Mitsubishi 3000GT. I used this car to win a great number of races in Gran Turismo 1 before eventually beating it. The car has four-wheel drive and has some serious horsepower for a high-displacement engine. Its performance can either be enjoyed with the normally-aspirated SL model, or the turbo beast most people (including myself) would prefer. It was a car that was somewhat a hybrid of a sports car with the rally prowess 4WD can provide. Despite this, there was one fatal flaw with this car- its excessive weight. This car was even 300 to 400 lbs. heavier than the Nissan Skylines of its time. In its eleven years of existence (1990-2001; Wikipedia), this was really a car that was an unusual marriage of sports car with rally car-style 4WD. Most road racing types would just harness its 4WD capability to own the road like no other. It's not Audi Quattro 4WD, but it's 4WD from another company entrenched in rally racing success. I can remember seeing the 3000GT retail for about $35K or $40K in newspaper ads back in the late 1990s. All I know is... Toyota had the Supra MKIV. Honda had the NSX. Nissan had their Skyline GT-Rs. Subaru had the Impreza. Mazda had their RX-7. And Mitsubishi? They had the 3000GT.

I will discuss the 1994-1996 Mitsusbishi 3000GT/GTO in this blog entry. I may discuss the style of the 1997-2001 model in a future Car Style blog post.

--- Car Style: The 1994-1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT ---

The 3000GT was a sports car that has some rally DNA. This was different from the Lancer, which is PURELY the rally car for the road. A nice glass cluster features a pair of lights. At the center at the front are the three diamonds that bear Mitsubishi's logo ("Mitsubishi" means "three diamonds" in Japanese). The front bumper features a big front opening flanked with two small fog lights at either edge of the front bumper's big opening. The openings on the sides at the edges of the front bumper are seperated by two horiztonal pieces. that add to the front style of the car. Other models feature fog lights around the two small openings on the front bumper opposite to the big front opening. This car is also available as a convertible, but I'm not as educated on the convertible version of this car.

The side profile is very sporty. Take note of the swoopy and sporty character of the side profile. The signal lights are on the sides of the car on the upper part of the front quarter panels. Towards the rear tires on the side are two little side ducts. It has a swoopy and mean profile which reminds me of the F-Body Camaro or Firebird/Trans-Am. Up top, it's mostly plain.

A horizontal strip contains some long tail lights. You either see "3000GT" or "GTO" between the tail lights. Depending on the model, you either see a wing-type spoiler or a tall arc-like spoiler. A pair of mufflers compliment the reat of the car on either side under the rear bumper. I usually see a pair of dual exhaust mufflers on the 3000GT/GTO. A smoothly styled rear windshield flanks the rear along with a rear windshield wiper.

This is an older car, so don't expect any ultra-modern styling cues. The steering wheel is sporty, and the instrument panel is flanked with easy-to-read gauges. The center console features a nice array of air conditioning as well as the radio. A sporty bunch of seats for this coupe lets you ride this Japanese coupe in style and comfort.

Times have changed the awesome Japanese sports cars of the 1990s. Still, the 3000GT/GTO was a fantastic car made by Mitsubishi. I still enjoy seeing these as much on the road now as I did in the 1990s. Mitsubishi's dominant car now is the latest Lancer. The 3000GT/GTO was a ridiculously heavy car that can still go like Hell. I wonder what a return of the 3000GT would be like. Would it boast a 4WD drivetrain, or would it be a rear-wheel drive car? Do you go with a turbo V6 or maybe a higher-displacement twin turbo V6? This was really one of the most interesting cars to ever come out of Mitsubishi. Not even the current lineup can produce a car so powerful and so sporty as this machine. This was the marriage of sports car with the conquer-all capability of four-wheel drive. Truly a car to treasure.

UPDATE: 3/28/2010
If you are looking for car parts for your car or the car I mentioned, I invite you to use either the Amazon Auto Part Finder widget on the side. Or click on the link at the end of this sentence, as it links you to Amazon Auto Part Finder. Please read "An Important Amazon Note" in the sidebar for more information on Amazon products. Thank you for reading!
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tim said...

I have to replace the headlight assembly on the drivers side as well as that quarter panel. Any suggestions as to used car part websites?


John B. Marine said...

Hi, Tim. My Style segments concern the looks of cars. I am not good with car parts sites. A random site I did look up however, , may help you. Just click on "Auto Parts" and then go to "Used Parts."

I'm sorry I can't give you any great sites to look up, but at least it's a start. Thank you for reading! :)

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