The Mitsubishi Colt is nameplate from Mitsubishi Motors that has applied to myriad automobiles since 1962. It was first introduced as a series of subcompact cars in the 1960s, and then as the export version of the subcompact Mitsubishi Mirage between 1978 and 2002. Chrysler, Mitsubishi's longtime partner, also used the name when its long-running practice of rebadging Mitsubishi vehicles as the Dodge and Plymouth Colt captive imports for the North American market between 1970 and 1994.
The most recent version is a subcompact model manufactured between 2002 and 2012, sold under the Colt name internationally. Mitsubishi replaced this series in 2012 with a new generation which reverted to the Mirage name.
In addition to these small cars, "Colt" in the Mitsubishi vernacular has also referred to unrelated vehicles of various forms as discussed below. The name has also been disaffiliated from Mitsubishi as an independent marque in some markets.
History of the nameplate
Mitsubishi started with the nameplate "Colt" in 1962. This original series started as a line of small cars sold predominantly in Japan. These models continued on in various similar forms until 1971. Between 1978 and 2002, the name "Colt" applied to export versions of the Mitsubishi Mirage in markets such as Europe and for a time, in Australia. Between 2002 and 2012, Colt has referred to a subcompact hatchback and derivative body styles that replaced the Mirage line. Unlike previously, Colt was the name used internationally.
Various other models have been designated "Colt" over time as well. The Mitsubishi L200 pickup truck in South Africa utilized the name from at least 1992 to 2008, as has the second generation Mitsubishi Delica in Indonesia—its full name being "Mitsubishi Colt Solar L300".
Colt was also used as a marque from 1974 to 1984 by the Colt Car Company to market Mitsubishi vehicles in the United Kingdom. In New Zealand, the Colt brand ceased in favour of the Mitsubishi name in 1970, upon the release of the new "Dyna-wedge" Galant model.
1962–1971: Colt 600, 800, 1000, 1100, 1500
Mitsubishi introduced the "Colt" name in 1962 on the Mitsubishi Colt 600, the first of a line of small family cars complementing their Mitsubishi 500, the company's first post-war passenger car. The Colt 600 is powered by a 594 cc NE35A OHV air-cooled straight-two engine. At this time, Mitsubishi did not yet exist as an autonomous company, and vehicles were being produced by three regional subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. MHI, which had been formally dismantled after World War II, resumed operating as a single entity in 1964, but continued to use the "Colt" marque until the 1970s in Asia, and the 1980s in Europe.
1978–2002: Mirage-based Colt
|Fifth Generation (Colt CJO)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-Door Hatchback|
|Layout||Front Engined/Front Wheel Drive|
|Engine||1299 cc 12-Valve DOHC Inline 4|
|Wheelbase||2,415 mm (95.1 in)|
|Length||3,900 mm (153.5 in)|
|Width||1,680 mm (66.1 in)|
|Height||1,365 mm (53.7 in)|
|Curb weight||945 kg (2,083.4 lb)|
Mitsubishi launched the Colt as a front-wheel drive hatchback in 1978, with a sedan later released in 1982. Sold in Japan as the Mirage, the Colt name was restricted to markets such as Europe and Australia (where the Colt was built by Mitsubishi Motors Australia from 1982 to late 1989).
Five generations of Mirage-based Colts were sold between 1978 and 2002, with new generations released in 1983, 1987, 1991, and 1995. These Mirage derivatives were sold in various forms as the Mitsubishi Lancer in many markets, with the Colt nameplate in Europe mainly restricted to the hatchback variants and the sedans and station relegated to the Lancer name.
|Seventh Generation (Colt Z30)|
Okazaki, Aichi, Japan
Bairo Canavese, Turin, Italy (Pininfarina)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
5-door station wagon (Plus)
2-door hardtop convertible
|Layout||FF layout (4WD in Japan)|
|Engine||4A90, 4A91, 4G15 & 4G18|
|Transmission||5-speed manual, INVECS-III CVT & INVECS-III 6-speed|
|Wheelbase||2,500 mm (98 in)|
|Length||3,870–3,885 mm (152–153.0 in)|
|Width||1,680 mm (66 in)|
|Height||1,550 mm (61 in)|
In 2002, a new Colt was released by Mitsubishi in Japan with a design by Olivier Boulay and built on the same platform as the Smart Forfour. In Japan, it was sold at a specific retail chain called Galant Shop. A European version made at Mitsubishi's NedCar facility followed into production a year later (see below). This generation is not sold in the United States.
The Smart Forfour also shared the '03 specification chassis, with Brabus releasing a performance version of the Forfour in '04 using the same engine as used in the '04 European cz-T, but squeezing 30 extra HP out of the same 4G15.
In November 2004, a 1.5 L D-ID direct injection turbodiesel version with turbocharger and intercooler, producing 95 PS (70 kW) was made available, with an option of the Allshift automatic manual gearbox with electric clutch and six gears.
The performance specification 1.5 T was based on the 4G15 block, with a Turbo and Intercooler to aid power (147 hp @ 6000 rpm / 155 lb·ft (210 N·m) @ 3500 rpm). MIVEC variable valve timing was also used to increase the output, upping the power dramatically from the 109 hp (81 kW) 1.5 MPI. The same performance engine was also used to power the later released CZC cabrio model Colt (2005), with the more petrol-friendly 1.5 MPI available as an option.
Mitsubishi released its new Colt CZC coupé cabriolet to the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005, and the car has been on sale since 2006. The car is a 2+2 with a retractable hard-top and available with the turbo engine from the European cz-T or as just a 1.5 MPI. Jointly developed by Mitsubishi and Pininfarina under Ken Okuyama, it was partially made in the Netherlands, with final assembly taking part at Pininfarina in Turin, Italy.
Mitsubishi released a new Colt Ralliart Version-R in Japan on May 30, 2006. Its 4G15 engine, with MIVEC variable valve timing and turbocharger, produces 154 PS (113 kW; 152 hp) at 6000 rpm and 210 N·m (150 lb·ft) at 3500 rpm for manual model, 154 PS (113 kW; 152 hp) at 6000 rpm and 180 N·m (130 lb·ft) at 2500 rpm for CVT model. Other key features include a stiffer spot welded chassis, stiffer suspensions, improved exhaust system, improved steering mounting, bodykit, 240 km/h scale speedometer, low profile high-grip 16 inch tires (205/45R16), and Recaro bucket seats borrowed from the Lancer Evolution VIII MR. The rear seats are molded for two passengers, as opposed to three in the rest of the range. Incidentally, this is the same engine used in the 2004 European performance specification Colt (cz-T), only running slightly increased horsepower figures (torque stayed the same). This version is also sold in Australia and New Zealand as the Colt Ralliart, without the 'Version-R' designation. The CVT version is officially sold in Singapore and Hong Kong under the same designation as Japan.
In 2008, the Version R went through a minor facelift with its engine uprated to 163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp) at 6000 rpm and 210 N·m (150 lb·ft) at 3500 rpm for the manual model, 154 PS (113 kW; 152 hp) at 6000 rpm and 180 N·m (130 lb·ft) at 2500 rpm for the CVT model. In Australia and New Zealand the 2008 and onwards models were fitted with lighter rims and chrome headlamps, but the sunglass holder and front Recaro seats were removed and replaced with standard sports seats to reflect a reduced retail price.
Also in 2008, a limited version called Colt Ralliart Version-R Special was launched in Japanese market for a limited number of 300 units. The difference from the usual version is further stiffer continuous seam welded chassis and a Ralliart muffler. Another 200 units of Version-R Special were launched in 2010.
In Switzerland, presents itself as a sporty top model from 2008 - apart from the former Colt CZT with turbocharged 150 hp - the CZT Ralliart high performance version with 180 hp at 6000 rpm and rich 245 Nm at 3500 rpm. The extensive modifications include a lowered ride height, a reinforcement of the rear axle and a tighter coordination of shock absorbers and springs. Special front and rear spoilers and side skirts provide the appropriate visual appearance.
In 2006 Mitsubishi displayed the Colt MIEV, using a separate electric motor at each wheel. Development of their MIEV technology was first announced May '06 when Mitsubishi unveiled the Colt version is a rear-wheel drive all-electric vehicle fitted Colt MIEV test-bed. With two 20 kW in-wheel motors. The Colt MIEV has a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph) and a cruising range of 150 km (93 mi) on a single charge. Charge times have been suggested to be a quick as 10 minutes, although whether this is partial or full is undisclosed. It does however point to the usage of quick-charge batteries such as those developed by Toshiba.
Mitsubishi used the Colt test bed to perform on-road testing to identify and resolve any problems unique to the in-wheel motor vehicle, including any deterioration in road holding and ride comfort due to increases in unsprung weight, as well as reliability and durability issues in the in-wheel motor system and its peripheral components (suspension, wheels, tires). They simultaneously worked on developing a more powerful version of the in wheel motors for 4WD applications.
In 2004, the Colt Plus was launched in Japan, and later to other international markets. This was essentially a longer version of the standard Colt with around 30 cm (12 in) more boot space compared to the regular colt. The Colt plus also features an automatic tailgate with an obstacle sensor. The Tailgate can also be opened via the remote. The Colt Plus is uses 4A91 MIVEC instead of 4G15 MIVEC.
In March 2007, Mitsubishi launched Colt Plus in Taiwan, which is similar to the version launched in Japan in 2004 but the engine is different. It's powered by a 1.6-litre SOHC 4G18 engine and it's the same engine used in the 2000 Taiwanese Lancer, running slightly increased horse power figures (112 hp @ 6000RPM / 14.9 kg-m @ 4500RPM) and it uses the INVECS-III CVT transmission in fully automatic mode. In 2008 it added a sporty version for the Taiwan market called "Colt Plus iO" which uses the INVECS-III with 6 speed Shift and changed the facelift to fit the styling in Japan.
The Colt Plus Turbo has the same feature as the Colt Plus except for the difference in engine and transmission. The uses the same 4G15 engine as the '04 European cz-T with an output of 143 bhp but with 180 nm of torque. The Colt Plus Turbo also uses the Invecs III with 6 speed sport Shift.
The Colt Plus Ralliart is basically a 2006 facelifted version of the Colt Plus Turbo. The 4G15 engine has been uprated to 154 bhp to match the Colt Version R. The styling of the Colt Plus Ralliart also matches the Colt Version R with the same EVO-inspired bonnet vents and bumpers. It is also accompanied with leather seats.
Colts built in the Netherlands received a facelift in 2008. The Japan built Colt has had the facelift in October 2009.
- All engines detailed
|Models||Engine codes||Net hp, torque@rpm||Drive|
|Colt (DBA-Z21A) 1.3 RX||4A90 MIVEC||92 PS (68 kW; 91 hp) at 6000rpm, 124 N·m (91 lb·ft) at 4000rpm||2WD|
|Colt (DBA-Z22A) 1.3 RX||4A90 MIVEC||91 PS (67 kW; 90 hp) at 6000rpm, 122 N·m (90 lb·ft) at 4000rpm||4WD|
|Colt (ABA-Z23A) 1.5C||4A91 MIVEC||105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) at 6000rpm, 141 N·m (104 lb·ft)@4000rpm||2WD|
|Colt (DBA-Z23W) 1.5 RX||4A91 MIVEC||105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) at 6000rpm, 141 N·m (104 lb·ft) at 4000rpm||2WD|
|Colt (DBA-Z24W) 1.5 RX||4A91 MIVEC||102 PS (75 kW; 101 hp) at 6000rpm, 138 N·m (102 lb·ft) at 4000rpm||4WD|
|Colt (CBA-Z27AG) Ralliart Version-R||4G15 MIVEC||163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp) at 6000rpm, 210 N·m (150 lb·ft) at 3500rpm||2WD|
|Colt (CMN-Z37A) CZT Ralliart||4G15 MIVEC||180 PS (130 kW; 180 hp) at 6000rpm, 245 N·m (181 lb·ft) at 3500rpm||2WD|
- Colt Engines
Powertrain choices include 1.1 L engine (with 3 cylindres),1.3 L engine, INVECS-III CVT transmission, 2- or 4-wheel drive for Very (XSJH9, XSDH9), COOL Very (XSJH8, XSDH8), 1.3 RX (XSXH) models. 1.5 C (XNMH) includes 1.5 L engine, 5-speed manual transmission, 2-wheel drive.
- Colt Plus Engines
Powertrain choices include 1.5 L MIVEC engine, INVECS-III CVT transmission, 2- or 4-wheel drive for Very (LSUH1), COOL Very (LSUH2), 1.3 RX (LTPH, LSPH) models. 1.5 RX also includes 6-speed sport mode settings for the CVT transmission.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mitsubishi Colt.|
- "Mitsubishi Colt". Mitsubishi Motors History. DaimlerChrysler South Africa: Mitsubishi Motors South Africa. Archived from the original on 2005-03-19.
- "Mitsubishi Colt V (CJO) 1300 GL,GLX (CJ 1A) (1996) (petrol) - Technical data". www.thecaryoudrive.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-04. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- Davis, Tony (1987). Aussie Cars. Hurstville, New South Wales: Marque Publishing. p. 165. ISBN 0-947079-01-7.
- Tony Davis, Mitsubishi Colt, The New Car Buyers Guide - 1st Edition - 1990/91, page 33
- Guide to assembly plants in Europe
- "MIEV – Mitsubishi In wheel motor Electric Vehicle – A next-generation EV", Mitsubishi Motors website