1991 Mitsubishi GTO
In 1989, Nissan released the first GT-R in 16 years, the legendary R32. The R32 featured a 2.6 liter straight six twin turbo was capable of producing 280 HP. The R32 also featured brand new technology such as 4 wheel steering and set the car community on fire, and set a stage for the first JDM supercar. Other domestic car manufactures sent in their best challengers but only one car challenged the GT-R head on: the 1990 Mitsubishi GTO.
Mitsubishi unveiled the GTO with the slogan 「スポーツは、ライバルがいるから、面白い。」or, “sports are more exciting when you have rivals”, clearly targeting the GT-R. Both the GTO and GT-R can still be found battling for attention in the Japanese dealer auctions. The top of the line GTO had a brand new 3.0 liter V6 twin turbo also pushing out 280 HP. The car also featured: “active exhaust system” which would vary the exhaust tone (quiet and loud settings), “active aero system” which would change the rear spoiler geometry for better high speed safety, and “electronic stability control” which electronically controlled the suspension for better handling. All models also came with 4WD and 4WS (4 wheel steering) which turned the rear wheels when turning at speeds above 50km/h for increased stability. To manage the power produced by the engine, a German 5-speed Gertrag transmission was used, a first for a Japanese car.
On the inside, the GTO was a grand tourer at heart. No bare bones interior here, the GTO featured all the creature comforts for long distance high speed cruising and had features such as powered door mirrors, optional leather seats, digital climate control and a very large trunk space. Because of their long distance comfort and high speed cruising ability, some GTO’s were even used as a police cars for high speed units!
For the export markets, the GTO was rebadged as the 3000GT as Mitsubishi was fearful of using the GTO name which was previously used by Ferrari and Pontiac. Mitsubishi also sold the GTO through Dodge as the Stealth in the United States. However all models were made on the same assembly line in Japan. Many remain in Japan waiting for a JDM enthusiast to import.
In the end, the downturn of the economy, as well as smog regulations doomed the GTO and its peers. The last GTO rolled off of the assembly line in 2001 and its rival, the GT-R, ended production in 2002.
This 1991 GTO sourced by Japan Car Direct features modifications like the Blitz adjustable ride height suspension and LED headlights. It was sourced from an area of Southwest Japan with a warm climate and was well maintained over its lightly driven life. It will be on its way to the US soon.
Please contact Japan Car Direct today to import your own GTO or other great JDM ride!