Open main menu

The Mitsubishi GTO is a front-engine, all-wheel drive 2+2 hatchback sports coupé and Grand Touring car manufactured and marketed by Mitsubishi for model years (MY) 1990-1999, across a single generation with one facelift. Manufactured in Nagoya, Japan, the four passenger coupés were marketed in the Japanese domestic market (JDM) as the GTO and globally as Mitsubishi 3000GT. The Dodge Stealth — a badge engineered, mechanically identical captive import — was sold for model years 1991-1996 along with the 1991-1999 Mitsubishi 3000GT in North America. As a collaborative effort between Chrysler and its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi Motors, Chrysler was responsible for the Stealth's exterior styling.[1][2]

Mitsubishi GTO (Z15A/Z16A)
3000gtlev.jpg
Mitsubishi 3000GT
Overview
ManufacturerMitsubishi Motors
Also calledMitsubishi 3000GT
Dodge Stealth
Production1990–2000 (Mitsubishi GTO)
1990–1996 (Dodge Stealth)
AssemblyJapan: Okazaki, Aichi (Nagoya Plant)
DesignerMasaru Suzuki (1987)
Body and chassis
ClassGrand tourer sports car (S)
Body style
LayoutTransverse front-engine,
front-/four-wheel drive
PlatformZ11A, Z15AM, Z15A, Z16A[citation needed]
RelatedMitsubishi Diamante/Sigma
Powertrain
Engine6G72 2,972 cc (181.4 cu in) V6
  • SOHC 12v
  • DOHC 24v
  • DOHC 24v twin-turbo
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual (from 1993)
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Length4,600 mm (181.1 in)
Width1,840 mm (72.4 in)
Height1,285 mm (50.6 in)
Curb weight
  • 3,131 lb (1,420 kg) Base
  • 3,263 lb (1,480 kg) SL
  • 3,649 lb (1,655 kg) SL Spyder
  • 3,737 lb (1,695 kg) VR-4
  • 4,123 lb (1,870 kg) VR-4 Spyder
Chronology
PredecessorMitsubishi Starion

The GTO, 3000GT and Stealth were based on Mitsubishi's Sigma/Diamante and retained their transverse mounted 3-liter, 24-valve V6 engines and front-wheel-drive layout.[3] The GTO's engines were naturally aspirated or with twin-turbochargers and were also available with active aerodynamics (automatically adjusting front and rear spoilers), four-wheel-steering, full-time all-wheel-drive and adaptive suspension.[2] Mitsubishi also marketed a retractable hardtop variant, engineered and converted from coupé models in California by ASC[4] and marketed as the GTO Spyder or VR4 Spyder for MY 1995–1996.[5] – the first fully automated retractable hardtop since the 1959 Ford Skyliner.[6]

The JDM model took its name from the Galant GTO, a two-door hardtop coupé marketed by the company in the early 1970s, which in turn took its name from the Ferrari 250 GTO, short for Gran Turismo Omologata which signified that it met motorsport homologation regulation. In most export markets, Mitsubishi called their product the 3000GT so as not to disrespect or cause confusion between the Mitsubishi and the Ferrari nor the Pontiac GTO.

OverviewEdit

 
1991 Mitsubishi GTO (non-turbo, JDM)

Following the successful showing of the Mitsubishi HSR and Mitsubishi HSX concept cars at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show,[7] Mitsubishi unveiled the new GTO as a 2+2 seating sports coupe in order to compete with the Mazda Cosmo, Nissan 300ZX, 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.

Each was built on the same production line at Mitsubishi's plant in Nagoya, Japan.[8] Its Japanese introduction coincided with the softening Japanese economy, subsequently known as the "bubble economy".

JDM GTOs were marketed at Mitsubishi's Car Plaza retail chain, with JDM buyers paying additional annual road tax as well as elevated taxes for being classified as a large car by Japan's exterior dimension regulations.

A Dodge Stealth was scheduled as a 1991 Indianapolis 500 pace car, until the United Auto Workers (UAW) rejected it because of its Japanese rather than US-manufacture. A prototype Dodge Viper was substituted.[9]

1990–1993 Z16AEdit

First generation Mitsubishi models were internally designated Z16A and incorporated full-time four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, active aerodynamics with automatically adjusting front and rear spoilers, sport/tour exhaust modes and electronically controlled suspension (ECS).[10] The GTO, 3000GT and Stealth featured pop-up headlights and articulated blister caps on the hood to accommodate the ECS controllers at the top of the strut turrets. The Dodge Stealth featured a signature cross-hair front bumper fascia and crescent-shaped rear spoiler — and did not include active aerodynamics. In 1993 the engine went to a 4 bolt main and a forged crankshaft. In the U.S., both the 1990 to 1993 Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 received the transversely mounted 24V V6 paired with a long ratio 5-speed manual.

Magazines from the era praised it's brutal acceleration and AWD grip but disliked it's Active Aero and other 'special' gadgets, saying they were useless and added weight to an already heavy platform. By 1993 all electronic gadgets were still standard on the '93 VR-4, with magazines getting 0-60 times ranging from sub 5 seconds[11] to 6.3 and quarter mile times of 13.6-13.9 at 95-98 mph[12][13] Only US 3000GT models could be configured with front (FWD) rather than all-wheel drive (AWD). In Japan, the base GTO SR included AWD; no FWD version was offered in Japan. The GTO SR hd similar power to the US spec 3000GT SL and was offered with the same five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Japanese buyers did not receive the SOHC V6 standard on the base model US only Dodge Stealth and US spec 3000GT. The JDM received the N/A DOHC V6 and Twin Turbo DOHC V6.

In Europe, only the Twin Turbo model was offered. Instead of the TD04-09B used on Japanese and US Twin Turbo models, the EU-spec model received the higher capacity TD04-13G turbochargers. While power output is no higher, these have lower discharge temperatures to better handle the prolonged high speeds possible on the German Autobahn, along with an upgraded transmission.[14] The engine was rated at 286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp); the modifications took time and European market models only went on sale in the autumn of 1992.[15] In 1994 Mitsubishi released a limited edition of 30 of the slow-selling first generation 3000GT, branded as "Beckenbauer Edition." Honoring Franz Beckenbauer they were sold into 1995. All were painted Lamborghini yellow and were equipped with a Remus sports exhaust, OZ Futura rims, a numbered plate signed by Beckenbauer, and a C-net mobile phone system.[16].

Model name Engine Peak power Peak torque
Dodge Stealth (United States, Canada) SOHC 12v V6 164 hp (122 kW; 166 PS) at 5500 rpm 251 N⋅m (185 lb⋅ft) at 4000 rpm
Mitsubishi GTO SR (Japan) DOHC 24v V6 225 PS (165 kW; 222 hp) at 6000 rpm 275 N⋅m (203 lb⋅ft) at 4500 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT, 3000GT SL (United States); Dodge Stealth ES, Stealth R/T (United States, Canada) DOHC 24v V6 222 hp (166 kW; 225 PS) at 6000 rpm 272 N⋅m (201 lb⋅ft) at 4500 rpm
Mitsubishi GTO twin turbo (Japan) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) at 6000 rpm 417 N⋅m (308 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, Dodge Stealth R/T twin-turbo (United States, Canada) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 300 hp (224 kW; 304 PS) at 6000 rpm 417 N⋅m (308 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm
Mitsubishi 3000GT (Europe) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 210 kW (286 PS; 282 hp) at 6000 rpm 407 N⋅m (300 lb⋅ft) at 3000 rpm

1994–1997 Z15A (2WS) and Z16A (4WS)Edit

Second generation models were internally designated Z15A (2WS) and Z16A (4WS) and featured a revised front bumper to accommodate projector beam headlights and small, round projector fog lights. They were presented in August 1993 in Japan and gradually made their way to other markets as the first generation cars sold out. Some markets didn't get a second generation car until 1996, such as the UK.[17] The caps on the hood were replaced with integrated sheet metal blisters, and revised side air vents and rear bumpers. 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 boost to 320 hp (239 kW) and a boost in torque from 307 to 315 lb⋅ft (416 to 427 N⋅m). Japanese models received an increase in torque, but limited to 280 PS manufacturers' figures the claimed peak power did not change.

The VR-4 now included a six-speed Getrag manual transmission with revised, more aggressive gear ratios, especially in lower gears like 3rd which went until approximately 107mph (vs the first generation 3000GT VR-4's third gear which went until 120mph). Larger 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)). With subsequent price increases, features were discontinued: the tunable exhaust was phased out after model year 1994, the ECS after model year 1995, and the active aerodynamics disappeared after 1996. This was also when Chrysler ceased sales of the Dodge Stealth captive import, and for the remainder of its life only Mitsubishi-badged versions were available.

Chrysler and Mitsubishi worked with ASC to engineer and convert 3000GTs into retractable hardtops, marketed as the Spyder VR4 for MY 1995-1996.

In 1995 Mitsubishi's 3000GT Spyder was available in four color combinations: red with grey leather interior, black with ivory leather interior, white pearl with grey, and martinique yellow with ivory leather interior. In 1996 the 3000GT Spyder was available in red with tan interior, black pearl with tan leather, white pearl with tan leather interior, and green pearl with tan leather. SL Spyders were only available with an automatic transmission while the VR4 Spyder was only available with a 6-speed manual.

GTO MREdit

The GTO MR model appeared in the Japanese market in August 1994. The ‘Mitsubishi Racing’ or MR moniker, has been used in most performance Mitsubishis such as the Lancer Evolution, and usually meant a stripped or lighter model. The GTO MR was essentially a lightweight GTO Twin Turbo that deleted 4WS, ABS, ECS or Active Aero, but was mechanically identical to the normal GTO Twin Turbo. Chassis numbers should start with Z15A.

Best Motoring, a Japanese television program about Japanese cars, debuted the 1994 GTO MR in an hour long program where it beat the lighter R32 Skyline GT-R over a mile in acceleration.

ReceptionEdit

The redesign of the second generation 3000GT was well received, especially the loss of pop up headlights and smoother hood. As the years went on, the Tuneable Exhaust System was phased out in 1995 and the Active Aero was phased out in 1996, allowing for less weight, which made the vehicle much quicker on its feet. The new 6-speed, while notchy, was geared well and the extra horsepower and torque allowed it to out-accelerate most of its' rivals from a standing start to top speed or from a rolling start.

Road tests at the time showed the second generation 3000GT VR-4 to be capable of 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.8 - 5.4 seconds[18] and the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds at 101 to 105 miles per hour (163 to 169 km/h), making it faster in a straight line than the Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo and Mazda RX-7 Twin Turbo.[19][2][20] Though heavy, it could be taken around a track quickly, with noted under steer and a feeling of nose heaviness.


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 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 VR-4 Spyder (United States); Dodge Stealth R/T twin-turbo (United States, Canada) DOHC 24v V6 twin turbo 238.4 kW (324 PS; 320 hp) at 6000 rpm 427 N⋅m (315 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm

1997–2000 Z15AMEdit

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. With sales slowing to a trickle and new side impact regulations looming, production for the Japanese domestic market finally ceased in 2000.[21] A last two cars were sold the following year.[22] In a test by Popular Mechanics the VR-4 ran a 13.44 second quarter mile (~402 m) at 101.7 miles per hour (163.7 km/h).[23]

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 Z11AEdit

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.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Dodge Stealth". Allpar.
  2. ^ a b c Chris Perkins (January 12, 2016). "The 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 Was Too Far Ahead of its Time". Road & Track.
  3. ^ "Near-luxury Mitsubishi Diamante has an Aussie accent". Boca Raton News. AutoWeek. 1997-09-28. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  4. ^ "3000GT Spyder - ASC Production, The Making of a Retractable Hardtop".
  5. ^ "History, Revival". Retractable Hardtop Online. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Disappearing Top On Auto Worked By Push Button". Popular Mechanics. 63 (2): 253. February 1935. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  7. ^ Motor Trend, January 1990
  8. ^ "3000GT/Stealth Production Numbers", Michael Reid & Jeff Lucius, stealth316.com, 2000–2004
  9. ^ Levin, Doron P (1991-02-26). "A Pace Car Made (Quickly) in U.S." The New York Times.
  10. ^ GTO at Mitsubishi Web Museum Archived 2006-10-22 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Strohl, Daniel (2019-01-03). "Were it not for the UAW, the Dodge Stealth R/T would have been the true Indy 500 pace car in 1991". Hemmings Daily. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  12. ^ St. Antoine, Arthur (1991-08-01). "Nissan 300ZX Turbo vs. Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo". Car and Driver. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  13. ^ "1991 Dodge". www.lov2xlr8.no. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  14. ^ "BPT-MHI-3000GT 13G Turbochargers (Pair)". Blouch Performance Turbo. Archived from the original on 2016-08-04.
  15. ^ Aichele, Tobias, ed. (1992). Auto Katalog 1993 (in German). Stuttgart: Vereinigte Motor-Verlage GmbH & Co. KG. p. 136.
  16. ^ GmbH, Pixelgenau Consulting. "Galerie - Autohaus Bernd Klügl in 64646 Heppenheim". www.mitsubishi-kluegl.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  17. ^ "Mitsubishi 3000GT (1992 - 2000)". Honest John. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  18. ^ "Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, Porsche 911 Turbo, and Toyota Supra Turbo - Performance Imports". 1 May 1997. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Virtual Velocity - Cover Story - MotorTrend". MotorTrend. 1 July 1995. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  20. ^ "1994-1999 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 / GTO / 3000 GT VR-4 - Modern Racer - Auto Archive". www.modernracer.com. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  21. ^ Shinichi Ishida (2000-07-13). "スポーツカーは不必要、三菱『FTO』と『GTO』が揃って廃止" [Sports cars unnecessary, Mitsubishi FTO and GTO discontinued]. Response.jp (in Japanese). IID, Inc. Archived from the original on 2016-06-24.
  22. ^ Fact & Figures 2005 Archived 2007-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, Mitsubishi Motors website
  23. ^ Popular Mechanics. Hearst Magazines. July 1999. p. 86. Retrieved 18 June 2019.

BibliographyEdit

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

External linksEdit

  Media related to Mitsubishi GTO at Wikimedia Commons