Remove the badging from a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, and any passerby would be forgiven to think that the sleek coupe hailed from Italy and not Japan. Far more stylish, and packing more technology, than any Mitsubishi car that had ever come before it, the 3000GT VR4 was a revelation.
Lending its automotive bones to the creation of the Dodge Stealth R/T, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, when released, looked like a vehicle sent back in time from the future. Loaded with exciting gadgetry and performance-enhancing parts, it was simply way ahead of its time and made rivals like the Porsche 944 look like museum relics.
Still able to put a new generation of sports cars in their rightful place, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 continues to deliver high-performance thrills, but now with a huge retro appeal. Holding back the ravages of time with ease, these are 10 reasons why we love the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4.
10 Fantastic retro styling
With its inspired air vents and angular styling, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 certainly wouldn’t look out of place on the forecourt of a certain Italian supercar manufacturer. Ahead of its time on release, the overall sleek bodywork still looks good today.
Easy to spot among the wave of ever-popular SUVs, the 3000GT VR4 looks like a million dollars. Often mistaken for a car costing ten times as much as it does, the retro styling, and sporting appearance just further the Japanese classic’s appeal.
9 As Fast As It Looks
This is one performance car that is not all show and no go. Its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine pumps out a healthy 320hp, allowing for the 3000GT VR4 to rocket to 60 mph in an impressive 5 seconds before running onto a 160mph top speed.
On the move, the 3000GT VR4 gathers speed at an incredible pace. With in-gear acceleration aided by the twin-turbo setup, overtaking maneuvers are a simple ankle flex as the mighty Mitsubishi piles on the speed and heads towards the horizon.
8th An Impressive Technology Fest
Not only did the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 have a highly sophisticated engine, but it also benefited from other performance-enhancing features. Its all-wheel-drive system glued it to the road, whilst the active aero package ensured it cut through the air like a bullet.
The rare VR4 Spyder featured a retractable folding hardtop and was the first of its kind since the Ford Skyliner in 1959. In addition to a variable exhaust system, the VR4 also could be specified with an intelligent and fast-shifting automatic gearbox.
7 All The Bells And Whistles
Far from being a stripped-out racer, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 was luxuriously appointed internally. Every part of a grand tourer, top-spec model had comfortable leather seats, air-conditioning, a quality CD player, and would eat up miles without fuss.
When lined up against other cars from its generation, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 equipment list read like an order sheet for NASA. Very few cars could even begin to offer what Mitsubishi had packed into their super coupe, and most wouldn’t even try.
6 Plenty Of Modification Potential
The last Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4s off the production line came as standard with 320hp. Remaining a respectable amount of power today, those seeking more horses have a wide array of options open to them, with the potential for huge numbers.
Thanks to the twin-turbo setup, extracting more power is a pretty straightforward process and, depending on needs, further engine enhancements and modifications can see the ’90s monster put out a reliable 1000hp. Now that’s something to brag about.
5 The Affordable Japanese Classic
Due to certain Hollywood movies, the resale cost of several secondhand Japanese cars has jumped considerably. Thankfully though, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 has bucked this trend and remains an affordable proposition for those seeking classic thrills.
Often overlooked as an oddity, the 3000GT VR4 doesn’t have the same kudos as a Toyota Supra or Nissan Skyline, and its price reflects this. But don’t let the bargain price fool you, as this is one seriously rapid and competent machine.
4 A Sales Failure Led To A Fan Favorite
Having delivered a sports car that was unlike any other, Mitsubishi was faced with the problem of making potential customers buy into its ethos. Many were put off by its complex nature, whilst some simply couldn’t see past the manufacturer’s badge on the hood.
Outside of Japan and Europe, the American market had the option of buying the Dodge Stealth, a vehicle that shared the 3000GT VR4 basic DNA but came in at a much lower price and from a brand that had its roots within its native car community.
3 Highly practical
Having been a failure on the new sales ledger, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 makes a superb secondhand purchase. Aside from the performance, drivers can look forward to a spacious cabin, relatively decent-sized trunk, and room for the kids.
Where many cars that offer this level of style and performance tend to not offer up much practical application, the 3000GT VR4 bucks that trend. Sure-footed, fast, and able to haul around weeks’ worth of groceries, the Mitsubishi deserves a firm second look.
2 An Everyday Race Car
Unlike many classic cars from the ’90s, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 can be treated as any other daily driver. Its split personality allows for sensitive low-speed cruising or high speed, canyon carving fun. It’s a refined and very well-thought-out tool.
Looking like it belongs on a race track, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 is easy to live with, a do-it-all performance car. Utterly glamorous and a rare sight on roads, it will reward a keen driver and cosset those seeking some exclusive posing power.
1 Overengineered To Last
Renowned for producing vehicles that last, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 is no exception. Despite its complex setup and electronics, looked after examples gave very few problems. This is one high-performance machine that will not leave you stranded.
Routine maintenance will ensure that this beast from the east continues to breathe fire. As a testament to the 3000GT VR4’s rock-solid build quality, one owner has recorded a mega mileage of over 450,000, with the numbers still climbing thanks to daily use.
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