|Also called||Mitsubishi Magna/Verada
Clovelly Park, South Australia
|Body and chassis|
|Predecessor||Mitsubishi Sigma (For North America)|
The Mitsubishi Diamante is a car manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors between 1990 and 2005.
The first series was a hardtop introduced to the public at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1989. It went on sale in Japan exclusively in May 1990 and won that year's Japan Car of the Year award. It was created by splicing an extra 6.6 cm right down the middle of the Mitsubishi Galant, which itself had won the Japan Car of the Year award in 1987.
The name Diamante was derived from the Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian word for "diamond" and was adopted also as homage to the Mitsubishi badge. In Japan, this vehicle was sold at a specific retail chain called Car Plaza.
From 1991, a more conventional Diamante-derived Mitsubishi Sigma sedan was also built in Japan for its domestic and European export markets. It became the basis of the second generation Magna independently built in Australia. Its Australian luxury derivate, sold as the Verada, became the Diamante for export markets including New Zealand and North America a year later. The Wagon version was also exported including to Japan.
There have been rumors that the Diamante was either not intended for a Japanese launch, or it might have been planned as a low-volume model. The reason for this argument is that until 1989, the width of vehicles was a vital indication of taxation class. The Diamante, being wider than the 1,700 mm (66.9 in) breakpoint, would have suffered a large tax penalty against most of its rivals, which were designed to be just under limit. At the time, Mitsubishi's image was also considered less than ideal for the marketing of a luxury car—its most expensive offering that the time, the Debonair, was largely seen as a company car project for Mitsubishi conglomerate executives. The Diamante's introduction was the result of the Honda Legend, which caught manufacturers by surprise when it appeared in 1986, inspiring the creation of the Lexus and Infiniti divisions, as well as various executive car class vehicles to be revised as a result. Mitsubishi needed to compete with the Legend and the Diamante was the result.
However, the tax situation had changed in 1989, and the Diamante became the surprise hit of 1990. Amidst Japan's bubble economy, many private car owners sought an executive car in a market that had very few new offerings that year.
First generation (1990–1995)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan (Sigma)
4-door hardtop sedan (Diamante)
5-door station wagon (Diamante)
|Layout||Front engine, front-/Four-wheel drive|
|Engine||2.0 L 6G71 V6
2.5 L 6G73 V6
3.0 L 6G72 V6
|Wheelbase||Sedan: 2,720 mm (107.1 in)
Wagon: 2,723 mm (107.2 in)
|Length||Sedan: 4,830 mm (190.2 in)
Wagon: 4,886 mm (192.4 in)
|Width||1,775 mm (69.9 in)|
|Height||Sedan: 1,335 mm (52.6 in)
Wagon: 1,470 mm (57.9 in)
The first generation Diamante was produced in three versions:
- Four-side window hardtop: a four-door hardtop with frameless windows that was built in Nagoya, Japan, and sold in Japan and North America. It featured advanced electronic aids such as four-wheel steering (4WS).
- Six-side window sedan: a more conventional variant built and introduced in Japan five months after the Diamante. It was called the Sigma and differed by having a slightly taller roofline, a six-window glasshouse, window sashes, revised front fascia and rear styling. It was exported to Europe and formed the basis of the second generation Magna/Verada sedan, which was independtently built in Adelaide, South Australia. Its luxury derivate, the Verada was intended for the domestic consumption and primary export to North America (hence the longer bumper bars to meet the latter's more onerous crash standards).
- Wagon: this was the wagon version of the abovementioned Australian sedan/s, introduced in 1993.
FWD versions featured an independent suspension design with MacPherson strut at the front and multi-link in the rear. This version was available with a range of engines listed below, some with 5-speed manual in addition to 4-speed automatic transmission.
AWD Diamantes come in three models: the 25V 4WD, 30R 4WD and the flagship 30R-SE 4WD. All have MacPherson strut front suspension with double wishbones at the rear. Both front and rear brake discs are ventilated. The AWD Diamante sits 5 mm (0.2 in) lower than a standard FWD Diamante and has a 70-litre fuel tank instead of the FWD's 72-litre tank. All are available only as 4-speed automatic.
This range of vehicles was powered by three V6 engines (of 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0-Litre capacity) of the 6G7 family; AWD was available on most models. Perhaps contrary to its overseas image, Mitsubishi at the time fully emphasized the use of electronic gadgets in its cars and the Diamante is notable for a long list of such features. Each engine choice obligated buyers in Japan to pay more annual road tax and the level of standard and luxury equipment increased accordingly.
Chief among these was an electronically controlled active trace & traction control system that Mitsubishi developed and was the first integration of these two systems in the world. Simply named TCL in 1990, the system evolved into Mitsubishi's Active Skid and Traction Control (ASTC) system. Developed to help the driver maintain the intended line through a corner, an onboard computer monitored several vehicle operating parameters through various sensors. In essence, when too much throttle was applied while negotiating a curve, engine output and braking would be automatically regulated to ensure the proper line through the curve is followed and to provide the proper amount of traction under various road surface conditions. While conventional traction control systems at the time featured only a slip control function, Mitsubishi's newly developed TCL system had a preventive (active) safety function which improved the course tracing performance by automatically adjusting the traction force (called "trace control") thereby restraining the development of excessive lateral acceleration while turning. Although not a ‘proper’ modern stability control system, trace control was able to monitor steering angle, throttle position and individual wheel speeds but without any yaw input. In addition, this TCL system also works together with Diamante's electronic controlled suspension and four-wheel steering that Mitsubishi developed to improve total handling and performance.
The 20E is the base model Diamante. It comes with a 2.0-Litre 6G71 SOHC 12-valve V6 engine outputting 91 kW (122 hp) at 5500 rpm and 172 N·m (127 lb·ft) at 3500 rpm. It is available as both a 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic, with 14in steel wheels shod with 195/70R tyres. Standard equipment includes power windows, rpm sensitive power steering, power mirrors, climate control and a 4 speaker AM/FM radio with cassette. Optionals are a rear wiper and alloy wheels. It is identified by the same E-F11A frame number as the 25V.
The 25E has the same features as the 20E but replaces the 20E's 2.0-Litre engine with a 2.5-Litre unit. The 25E's 2.5-Litre 6G73 DOHC V6 engine outputs 129 kW (173 hp) at 6000 rpm and 222 N·m (164 lb·ft) at 4500 rpm. The 25E has a frame number of E-F13A.
The next model in the long Diamante model range is the 25V. The 25V is almost the same as the 25E, although is identified with a different frame number (E-F15A) It uses the same 2.5-Litre 6G73 DOHC V6 engine, outputting 129 kW (173 hp) at 6000 rpm and 222 N·m (164 lb·ft) at 4500 rpm. It is available in 4-speed automatic transmission and 15in alloy wheels shod with 205/65R tyres. In addition to the 20E equipment, the 25V also features speed sensitive power steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel and ventilated rear brake discs for maximum braking performance. Optional is a rear wiper.
The 25V-SE is the top of the range 2.5-Litre Diamante variant. As with its lower variants the 2.5-Litre 6G73 DOHC V6 engine is used. Like the 25V upon which it is based, it is only available as an automatic. In addition to the 25V equipment, the 25V-SE features Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS) and electric-powered seats. Optionals are the rear wiper and leather interior. It is identified by the same E-F17A frame number as the 25V.
The 30V is the base 3.0-Litre FWD Diamante base. It comes with a 3.0-Litre 6G72 DOHC V6 outputting 154 kW (207 hp) at 6000 rpm and 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) at 3000 rpm. It is only available in automatic. The FWD Diamante Wagon comes with a 3.0-Litre 6G72 SOHC V6 outputting 118 kW (158 hp) at 5000 rpm and 251 N·m (185 lb·ft) at 4000 rpm. On top of the 25V equipment, the 30V features cruise control, remote central locking, 6 speaker AM/FM cassette player and TCS. Leather interior and rear wiper remain optional. The frame number of the 30V is E-F17A.
The 30R is the middle of the 3.0-Litre FWD Diamante range. It uses the 3.0-Litre 6G72 DOHC V6 outputting 154 kW (207 hp) a 6000 rpm and 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) at 3000 rpm. As with all higher spec Diamantes it is available in automatic only. Strangely the 30R, which sold for 40,000 yen more than the 30V has everything of the 30V except for TCS and ABS. The only addition is a front spoiler.The 30R is identified with the same E-F17A frame number.
The 30R-SE is the top of the FWD Diamante range. It uses the same 3.0-Litre V6 as the 30R/30V and again is automatic only. The 30R-SE has all the equipment fitted to the 30V but Active suspension granting it a 10 mm (0.4 in) road height. Externally, it also features the front spoiler of the 30R. Its frame number is E-F17A.
- 25V 4WD
The 25V 4WD is the entry level Diamante with AWD. It has a frame number of E-F25A.
The 25V comes with a 2.5-Litre 6G73 DOHC V6 engine, outputting 129 kW (173 hp) at 6000 rpm and 222 N·m (164 lb·ft) at 4500 rpm. Standard equipment includes speed sensing power steering, power windows, power mirrors, cruise control, leather steering wheel, alloy wheels, remote central locking, climate control and a 4 speaker AM/FM radio with cassette player. Optional is full leather interior and a rear wiper.
- 30R-SE 4WD
The 30R-SE 4WD is the flagship of the Diamante range. It has the frame number of E-F27A as it is the same basic vehicle as the 30R. The only difference between the 30R-SE and 30R is the addition of a CD player.
The Diamante was first sold in 1992 in the United States, replacing the Sigma, which was based on previous generation Mitsubishi Galant. Mitsubishi Motors North America sourced their Diamante hardtop sedans from Japan and the wagons from Australia. It was originally available in two trim levels listed below and only as FWD automatics.
The ES was the base model, using the 12-valve 6G72 SOHC 3.0-Litre V6, same as the Magna/Verada of the time. The Diamante Wagon also comes with the 3.0-Litre 6G72 SOHC V6 engine producing 118 kW (158 hp) at 5,000 rpm. It is only available in automatic. Standard equipment for ES included central locking, driver's airbag, power windows and power mirrors. Optional is ABS, cruise control, alloys and sunroof. When the Diamante was facelifted in 1994, the ES received passenger side airbag and cruise control as standard.
The LS Diamante uses a 6G72 DOHC 3.0-Litre V6 engine. The LS comes with everything of the ES and adds alloy wheels, cruise control and ABS to the standard equipment list. A manual sunroof and leather was also optional. As with the ES, when facelifted in 1994, the feature list changed. The manual sunroof was deleted from the option list and replaced with CD Player, power sunroof and TCS. A passenger side airbag became standard.
The Australian-built first generation Diamante was manufactured in Adelaide, South Australia. It was marketed in its domestic market as the Verada, which was a more luxurious version of the more mainstream second generation Australian-made Magna, both based on the Japanese Sigma. This model was the only one also built as a wagon that, along with the sedan, was intended for both the Australian domestic and export markets.
Second generation (1995–2005)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
|Engine||2.5 6G73 V6
3.0 L 6G72 V6
3.5 L 6G74 V6
|Wheelbase||2,720 mm (107.1 in)|
|Length||4,930–4,980 mm (194.1–196.1 in)|
|Width||1,785 mm (70.3 in)|
|Height||1,370 mm (53.9 in)|
The second iteration of the Diamante was introduced in Japan in January 1995. The car was marginally larger with improved headroom. The Sigma variant was eliminated and not renewed for a second generation, due to poor sales in Japan; most Sigmas sold had become taxis and patrol cars.
Diamante was powered by several engines: the base engine was a 2.5-Litre MVV (lean burn) V6, followed by a number of 2.5 and 3.5-Litre variants, the 2.5-Litre engine sported 175 hp and the 3.5-Litre engine boasted 210 hp. The new Diamante range in Japan topped off with a 3.0-Litre MIVEC V6 rated at 201 kW (274 PS; 270 hp) at 6000 rpm and 304 N·m (224 ft·lbs) at 4500 rpm. In its latter years, the Diamante range was reduced to a single engine offering in Japan, first a 3.0-Litre GDI V6 with 240 hp (the first of its kind), and then a conventional 2.5-Litre V6.
In Australia, the new Verada - which formed the basis of all Diamante's sold outside of Japan - debuted in 1996 and was locally produced in Adelaide, Australia. The very first 1997 Verada rolled off the assembly line on July 1, 1996 and was based on the 3rd generation Mitsubishi Magna.
Sales on the US market commenced with the 1997 model year, featuring export-only extra equipment such as keyless entry. These export models were mechanically different from the Japanese Diamante since the latter:
- had multi-link front and rear suspension (whereas the Australian version had more basic MacPherson front struts);
- only featured leather trim (Verada Ei featured cloth trim);
- had a foot operated parking brake (whereas the Australian production featured a conventional lever design)
- had a pressed steel front cross-member.
In addition, with the Japanese Diamante, Mitsubishi introduced more technological innovations including:
- a more advanced Traction control system (which was later introduced in Australia and therefore all export models);
- satellite navigation system with a display featuring prominently on the center console;
- Head-Up Display;
- a distance/lane-keepingsystem that tracked lanes and cars ahead using a set of laser and camera (being technology first adopted by the 1992 Debonair);
- the world's first 5-speed automatic transmission in a transverse-engined drivetrain, complete with INVECS-II software logic and Tiptronic-functionality (the latter also subsequently introduced on Australian models from the KJ-series).
Australia was also the source of all Diamante Wagons, for its domestic market but also export markets including Japan. Wagon sales started in Japan in October 1997.
The exterior was refreshed for 2002 and then a radical restyle presented at the 2003 New York International Auto Show. Mitsubishi ceased to export the Diamante to North America after 2004 due to a decline in sales and unfavourable exchange rates. The U.S. market Galant grew in size, and the Diamante was replaced by the upper-end GTS trim of the Galant. In Canada, the Diamante was only sold in 2004.
On June 15, 2005, Mitsubishi announced it would halt production on larger sedans within Japan by December of that year, affecting both Diamante and Galant models. The production of the Magna/Verada combo by Mitsubishi Motors Australia continued unaffected.
Introduced in 2002, the VR-X was a sporty variant of the Australian-made Diamante exported to North America. It was continued with the 2004 restyling.
The 2002 model's exterior was based on the top-of-the-range Australian KJ-series Verada sedan, whereas its mechanicals and fittings were derived from a combination of other Australian-made models:
- Stiffer sports suspension from the limited edition Verada GTV (which, in turn, inherited it from the Magna Sports/VR-X sedans);
- 16-inch sports alloy wheels from the Magna Sports;
- Leather trim and electric seats from the Verada Xi;
- White "VR-X"-marked instrument fascia from the Magna VR-X (as opposed to the standard Diamante and Verada electro instruments);
- Silver centre console trim and 2-tone leather steering wheel from the Magna VR-X Limited Edition (losing the other Diamante's radio remote control);
- Bodykit featuring front wheelarch extensions and wheelbase skirts from the Magna VR-X, plus unique rear wheelarch extensions and bootlid spoiler.
This version's 3.5-Litre V6 engine developed 210 hp (157 kW) compared to the standard 3.5-Litre V6 engine's 205 hp (153 kW). It did not, therefore, feature the Australian "High Output" version fitted to the Magna Sports/VR-X and Verada GTV models, which produced 163 kW (219 hp) and was mated to a 5-speed tiptronic automatic transmission.
The 2004 model continued the above mix of features but this time became more directly based on the TL-series Magna. Specifically, unlike the standard Diamante models that were Verada on the outside, the 2004 model was based on the Magna VR-X (for example, the rear light cluster were identical between these two). This Diamante VR-X inherited the 16-inch alloy wheels from the Australian Magna VR-X AWD (notably, the front-wheel drive Magna instead had 17-inch alloy wheels and the Magna Sports was no longer the wheel donor car because it was discontinued by this time). Electric seats and leather trim remained Verada-derived fittings. The steering wheel remained the 2-tone leather unit of the 2001 TJ-series Magna VR-X Limited Edition (that became an optional accessory available across the Australian range).
- "Control Technology", Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website[dead link]
- "Mitsubishi Diamante", Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website[dead link]
- "Stability Control", Mitsubishi Motors website[dead link]
- "Traction Control System for Improved Driving Safety", SAE Technical Papers
- "1992 Mitsubishi Diamante", by Tom Incantalupo, Newsday, October 1991
- "Electronic Stability Control - Part 1", by Michael Knowling, autospeed, May 2006[dead link]
- "Mitsubishi Motors history 1981-1990", Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website[dead link]
- "Mitsubishi Diamante". Goo-net. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Mitsubishi Magna TE Executive Car Review". NRMA. 3 May 1996. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Why the Aussie Magna struggles in US". Drive. Fairfax Media. 13 August 1999. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Please Reconsider - Mitsubishi Magna". Wheels (Sydney): 42. May 1996.
- "Mitsubishi Diamante Wagon". Goo-net. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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