Mitsubishi GTO

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Mitsubishi GTO
Mitsu-3000GTVR4.jpg
Mitsubishi 3000GT-VR4
Overview
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors
Also called Mitsubishi 3000GT
Dodge Stealth
Production 1990–2000 (Mitsubishi GTO)
1990–1996 (Dodge Stealth)
Assembly Okazaki, Aichi, Japan (Nagoya Plant)
Designer Masaru Suzuki (1987)
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer Sports car
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door convertible (1995–1996)
Layout Transverse front-engine,
front-/four-wheel drive
Platform Z11A, Z15AM, Z15A, Z16A
Related Dodge Stealth
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Powertrain
Engine 6G72 2,972 cc (181.4 cu in) V6
  • SOHC 12v
  • DOHC 24v
  • DOHC 24v twin-turbo
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual (from 1993)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Length 4,600 mm (181.1 in)
Width 1,840 mm (72.4 in)
Height 1,285 mm (50.6 in)
Curb weight 1,400–1,710 kg (3,090–3,770 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Mitsubishi Starion
Successor Dodge Avenger Coupe (for Dodge Stealth)

The Mitsubishi GTO is a sports car built by the Japanese automaker Mitsubishi between 1990 and 1999. In most export markets it was rebadged as the Mitsubishi 3000GT. It was also imported and sold by Chrysler of North America as the Dodge Stealth captive import from 1990 to 1996 with only minor detail/appearance differences; mechanically, the two cars were almost identical. The design was the result of the collaborative effort between Chrysler and its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi Motors. This differed from the two companies' other collaboration, Diamond-Star Motors, because both the Stealth and the 3000GT were assembled in Japan. The Japanese domestic market model took its name from the Galant GTO, a two-door hardtop coupé sold by the company in the early 1970s, which in turn took its name from a specific international endurance motor sport technical regulation, expressed in Italian as Gran Turismo Omologato.

In Japan, Mitsubishi's GTO was sold at a specific retail chain, called Car Plaza, and Japanese buyers were liable for elevated operating costs imposed by the annual road tax, and the vehicle's exterior dimensions exceeding the "compact size" exterior dimension regulations.

Overview[edit]

Following the successful showing of the Mitsubishi HSR and Mitsubishi HSX concept cars at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show,[1] Mitsubishi developed the new GTO as a technologically advanced 2+2 seater sports coupe to compete with the Honda NSX, Mazda Cosmo, Nissan 300ZX, Skyline GT-R, Subaru SVX and the Toyota Supra. They resurrected the GTO name, and the car went on to serve as Mitsubishi's flagship for the remainder of the decade. Despite the cachet of the badge at home, it was marketed as the Mitsubishi 3000GT and as the Dodge Stealth outside Japan; the company was concerned that connoisseurs would object to the evocative nameplate from the highly regarded Ferrari 250 GTO and Pontiac GTO being used on a Japanese vehicle. However, regardless of its badge or eventual target market, every car was built on the same production line at Mitsubishi's plant in Nagoya, Japan.[2] Its introduction in Japan was during the softening of the Japanese economy, known as the "bubble economy", which had an effect on sales.

A Dodge Stealth was initially to be used as a pace car for the 1991 Indianapolis 500 race. The United Auto Workers (UAW), however, rejected the Japanese-manufactured car, as they deferred the concept of a Mitsubishi being a pace car for the race, and a prototype Dodge Viper was substituted.[3]

1990–1993 Z16A[edit]

The first generation model incorporated many of Mitsubishi contemporary performance-enhancing technologies, such as full-time four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, active aerodynamics featuring automatically adjusting front and rear spoilers, sport/tour exhaust modes and electronically controlled suspension (ECS).[4] These "active aerodynamics" were not used on the Dodge Stealth. Visually, both the GTO, 3000GT and Stealth featured pop-up headlights and noticeable "caps" on the hood to accommodate the ECS controllers at the top of the strut turrets. However, the rest of factory body kit differed in styling with their respective badges. Most notable are the Dodge signature cross-hairs on the Stealth front bumper fascia, Ferrari inspired gills on the 3000GT rocker panels, Crescent shaped spoiler on the Stealth commonly referred to as the "Banana Wing" and front Active Aero air dam on 3000GT VR4 (later discontinued on newer models).

The European and Japanese specified GTO differed from the US specified 3000GT in certain ways. Only the US specified 3000GT was FWD. In Japan, the base model GTO, titled GTO SR, was AWD; no FWD version was offered in Japan. The GTO SR made the same power as the US spec 3000GT SL and was offered with the same 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic. Japan did not receive the SOHC V-6 that was standard on the base model US only Dodge Stealth and US spec 3000GT, the only two engines available in Japan were the N/A DOHC V-6 and Twin Turbo DOHC V-6.

In Europe, only the Twin Turbo model was offered. Unlike the Japanese and US Twin Turbo models, the EU spec model came standard with the more powerful 13G turbos, and was rated at 280 BHP. Mitsubishi included the 13G turbos for the European Autobahn, making the EU spec GTO Twin Turbo arguably the fastest stock Twin Turbo version. Mitsubishi released a final small edition of 30 first generation GT3000, branded as "Beckenbauer Edition" in 1994, which was advertised with Franz Beckenbauer as godfather. All GT3000 Beckenbauer Edition came in yellow and were equipped with Remus sports exhaust, OZ Futura rims, HKS air filter, a model number plate, C-net mobile phone system and a power increase to 294 kW (400 hp)[5]. All 30 were signed by Beckenbauer.

Model name Engine Peak power Peak torque
Dodge Stealth (United States, Canada) SOHC 12v V6 119 kW (162 PS; 160 hp) at 5500 rpm 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) at 4000 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT, 3000GT SL (United States); Mitsubishi GTO SR (Japan); Dodge Stealth ES, Stealth R/T (United States, Canada) DOHC 24v V6 164 kW (223 PS; 220 hp) at 6000 rpm 272 N⋅m (201 lb⋅ft) at 4500 rpm
Mitsubishi GTO twin turbo, GTO MR (Japan) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 206 kW (280 PS; 276 hp) at 6000 rpm 427 N⋅m (315 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, 3000GT (Europe), Dodge Stealth R/T twin-turbo (United States, Canada) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 221 kW (300 PS; 296 hp) at 6000 rpm 415 N⋅m (306 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm
Mitsubushi 3000GT Beckenbauer Edition (Germany) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 294 kW (400 PS, 394 hp) at 6000 rpm 562 N⋅m (414 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm

1994–1997 Z15A (2WS) and Z16A (4WS) [edit]

Second generation models are identified by a revised front bumper to accommodate projector beam headlights and small, round projector fog lights. The caps on the hood were replaced with integrated blisters, and the side air vents and rear bumpers were modified. The interior was redesigned with dual air bags, a new audio system, and revised air conditioning refrigerant. The engines in the twin-turbo models received a slight boost in horsepower to 320 hp and a boost in torque from 307 lb⋅ft (416 N⋅m) to 315 lb⋅ft (427 N⋅m).

To complement this, the VR-4 now included a six-speed Getrag manual transmission with more aggressive gear ratios for faster acceleration. Bigger wheel/tire combinations were provided beginning in 1995. The base and SL model received 16" wheels in silver or chrome with 225/55 tires, while the VR4 now had 18" chrome wheels with 245/40 tires (the Spyder had the standard 17" with higher profile tires from 1994 to handle the additional 400 lb (180 kg)). As the price of the cars increased, many of the "gadgets" on the car were discontinued. The tunable exhaust was phased out after model year 1994, the ECS disappeared after the 1995 model year, and the active aerodynamics disappeared after 1996. Finally, Chrysler ceased sales of the Dodge Stealth captive import, and for the remainder of its life only Mitsubishi-badged versions were available.

The US motoring press found the 3000GT VR-4 somewhat difficult to launch, but road tests showed the second generation 3000GT VR-4 to be capable of 60mph in 4.8 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.4 seconds at trap speeds between 101mph and 105mph, markedly faster than both the Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo and Mazda RX-7 Twin Turbo in a straight line.[6][7][8] The 0 to 60 mph time of the second generation VR-4 was faster than that of the Toyota Supra Twin Turbo, and the quarter mile times of both were very similar with the Supra Twin Turbo having a higher trap speed.[9] With a correct launch, owners of the second generation 3000GT VR-4 have run consistent low 13 second quarter mile times; for example, 13.2@102.7mph is not an unusual time for a stock vehicle[10].

When the GTO MR was released, it was known to be the most powerful production car in the 90s Japanese market, and only a very small number were produced during 1996, just 30.[citation needed] The GTO MR was significantly lighter than the GTO TT and 3000GT VR-4, weighing only 1510kg due to lighter BBS rims and the deletion of 4WS, Active Aero and the tunable exhaust. There is much debate about the engine of the GTO MR; some say it has the normal 9B turbos, others say it is putting up 10 psi on factory installed 11B turbos. Examples of GTO MRs with both 9Bs and 11Bs can be found on imported or grey market cars. The MR also had optional shorter gear ratios from the factory, allowing it to run 12.88 seconds to the 400m mark and surpass the R32 and R33 Skyline GT-R in speed over a mile distance[11].

The United States had their own version of the VR4. The U.S and the Mitsubishi factories worked with another company, ASC, to convert 3000GTs into hard-top convertibles. Mitsubishi produced a number of limited edition 3000GT VR4 convertibles. This rare special edition was known as the Spyder VR4. Only 877 were imported to America.[citation needed] The Spyder was one of very few hard-tops to release in the United States. The Spyder was released in 1995 and ended production in 1996.

In 1995 Mitsubishi's 3000GT Spyder was available in four different combinations: carson red with grey leather interior, sable black with ivory leather interior, glacier white pearl with grey, and martinique yellow pearl with ivory leather interior. In 1996 the 3000GT Spyder was available in four different options: caracas red with tan interior, solano black pearl with tan leather, glacier white pearl with tan leather interior, and pamana green pearl with tan leather. Its many unique color options and hard-top convertible gave the vehicle a unique history, and created a cosmetic impact in the auto industry. While the cosmetics of the Spyder VR4 made it unique, its framework differed. The Spyder's frame and bodywork was similar to their brothers, the 3000GT SL and VR4 models. The Spyder model had its disadvantages compared to the VR4 and SL, due to heavy brackets under the body. The extra weight under the body interfered with the handling. Due to slow sales of these vehicles, Mitsubishi decided to discontinue the 3000GT VR4 Spyder.

The SL Spyders were only available with an automatic transmission while the VR4 Spyder was only available with a 6 speed manual.

Model name Engine Peak power Peak torque
Dodge Stealth (United States, Canada) SOHC 12v V6 119 kW (162 PS; 160 hp) at 5500 rpm 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) at 4000 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT, 3000GT SL, 3000GT SL Spyder (United States); Mitsubishi GTO SR (Japan); Stealth R/T (United States, Canada) DOHC 24v V6 166 kW (226 PS; 223 hp) at 6000 rpm 277 N⋅m (204 lb⋅ft) at 4500 rpm
Mitsubishi GTO twin turbo, GTO MR (Japan) DOHC 24v V6 11B turbos 1510kg 206 kW (280 PS; 276 hp) at 6000 rpm 427 N⋅m (315 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, 3000GT VR-4 Spyder (United States); Dodge Stealth R/T twin-turbo (United States, Canada) DOHC 24v V6 9b twin turbos 1660kg 238.4 kW (324 PS; 320 hp) at 6000 rpm 427 N⋅m (315 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm

1997–2000 Z15AM[edit]

The SOHC engine, previously only available in the base model Stealth, was added to the Mitsubishi range after the Dodge version was discontinued. Slower sales in the American sports car market led to a planned facelift for 1997 being abandoned in favor of minor cosmetic adjustments, including a new front bumper and rainbow shaped arched type wing. In 1999 the car received another exterior makeover, including a new aggressive front bumper, headlamps, turn signals, sail panels, and a true inverted airfoil spoiler coined the "Combat Wing" for the 1999 VR-4 to distinguish it from previous models. 1999 was the final year the 3000GT was available in the U.S. market. Production for the Japanese domestic market finally ceased in 2000, with the last two cars sold the following year.[12]

Model name Engine Peak power Peak torque
Mitsubishi 3000GT (United States) SOHC 12v V6 119 kW (162 PS; 160 hp) at 5500 rpm 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) at 4000 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT SL (United States); Mitsubishi GTO SR (Japan) DOHC 24v V6 163 kW (222 PS; 219 hp) at 6000 rpm 277 N⋅m (204 lb⋅ft) at 4500 rpm
Mitsubishi GTO twin turbo, Mitsubishi GTO MR (Japan) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 206 kW (280 PS; 276 hp) at 6000 rpm 427 N⋅m (315 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 (United States) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 238.4 kW (324 PS; 320 hp) at 6000 rpm 427 N⋅m (315 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm

All years Z11A[edit]

The z11a chassis code was used for the 3000GT ES and SL, and the base Dodge Stealth. The Mitsubishis lacked the "twin turbo" writing on the faux windows. The Dodges had different bumpers than the turbo cars. Otherwise the non-turbo cars looked cosmetically like the turbo cars. These cars were front wheel drive and lacked four-wheel steering and active aero. They came with a 5 speed manual (F5M33) or with automatic transmissions. Both the DOHC and SOHC 6G72 V6 was offered in this platform, with the DOHC being the more powerful.

Gallery[edit]

The Active Aero spoiler on a 1992 3000GT VR-4 
1991 Dodge Stealth Indy 500 official car 
A 1991 Dodge Stealth RT 
1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 
A 1995 base model 3000GT 

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Motor Trend, January 1990
  2. ^ "3000GT/Stealth Production Numbers", Michael Reid & Jeff Lucius, stealth316.com, 2000–2004
  3. ^ "A Pace Car Made (Quickly) in U.S.", Doron P Levin, The New York Times, February 26, 1991
  4. ^ GTO at Mitsubishi Web Museum Archived 2006-10-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ GmbH, Pixelgenau Consulting. "Galerie - Autohaus Bernd Klügl in 64646 Heppenheim". www.mitsubishi-kluegl.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-06-03. 
  6. ^ http://www.motortrend.com/news/virtual-velocity/
  7. ^ "The 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 Was Too Far Ahead of its Time". 12 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "PM: ACCELERATION NATION: JULY 99". 16 August 2000. 
  9. ^ http://www.motortrend.com/news/mitsubishi-3000gt-vr4/
  10. ^ "AP3D 13.2@102.7 - Google Search". www.google.com. 
  11. ^ "gto mr vs skyline - Google Search". www.google.com. 
  12. ^ Fact & Figures 2005 Archived 2007-03-05 at the Wayback Machine., Mitsubishi Motors website

Bibliography[edit]

  • Jackson, Terry (1992). Japanese Super Cars. London: Apple Press. pp. 6–11, 32–43. ISBN 1850763658. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Mitsubishi GTO at Wikimedia Commons