History of the 3000GT
What Mitsubishi set out to do was to cram every bit of high-tech gadgetry available into its 2+2 3000GT, making it one of the most advanced sports cars on the planet.
Despite its credentials, the 3000GT can trace its lineage to a very unimpressive sporty car called the Starion. A rear-wheel drive car, the Starion was initially conceived as competition for the Nissan Z cars of the 1980's. However, with its boxy styling and modest performance and handling characteristics, the Starion was, by most measures, a failure. So, when Mitsubishi began planning for the car that would become the company's top-of-the-line replacement for the Starion, they literally started with a clean sheet of paper.
However, before the first line was drawn, some basic marketing decisions were made about the new car. Drawing in part on the marketing strategy made famous by General Motors founder Alfred P. Sloan, Mitsubishi decided the new car would be offered in multiple stages of tuning and equipment. This was especially important because Mitsubishi would be sharing the new car with its close U.S. partner, Chrysler. Although the car would be designed and build in Japan, it would also be available at Chrysler's Dodge dealers under the name Stealth. And Chrysler was insistent that a basic-level vehicle should be manufactured and sold for a price of just under $17,000.
While the ultimate goal was was to make a no-holds-barred sports car, the initial platform would have to be flexible enough to accomodate a bargain-basement model. The rear-wheel-drive platform that had propelled the Starion was discarded in favor of a front-wheel-drive set-up that could draw from Mitsubishi's other front-wheel-drive cars. The basis for the 3000GT is the chassis used in the Eclipse, a very cheaply priced sports coupe that uses four-cylinders for power and employs front-wheel-drive in its most common model.
With all these goodies crammed in, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 demanded aggressive styling. Working jointly with Chrysler's Highland Park International Design Studio, the stylists at Mitsubishi's studio in Okasaki, Japan, created a car that makes a definite performance statement. Influenced by the cab-forward styling of the HSR-II and Dodge Intrepid prototype vehicles, the 3000GT is awash in air dams, air scoops, vent ducts and power bulges. All are functional, but the rear side strakes that feed air to the rear disc brakes are undoubtedly there to remind people of the Ferrari Testarossa.
This is an excerpt from the book Japanese Supercars © 1992, Mallard Press
The development concept behind the Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo was to create a fun-to-drive, but safe, 4WD sports car the could raise the performance abilitly of the average driver. Bursting with power and the latest technological wonders, the GTO Twin Turbo seems to have achieved this loft goal. Under the muscular body styling lies a transverse mounted, 3 liter, DOHC V-6 cylinder, twin-turbocharged and intercooled powerplant. The multiport fuel injected engine produces 280 horsepower at 6000rpm and 42.5kg-m of torque at a remarkably low 2500rpm. Power from this awesome engine is channeled through a 5-speed manual German made, Getrag transmission. The full-time 4wd system incorporates a center planetary differential with viscous coupling. From this unit, a sleeve shaft supplies power to the front differential, while a concentric solid shaft supplies power to the rear, limited-slip differential. The front and rear 45:55 torque split ratio is automatically controlled according to running and track conditions. In addition, the widfely spaced wheels are fitted with fat tires to provide a stable and firm ride. Ventilated disk brakes at all corners are assisted by an anti-lock braking system, providing positive stopping performance. The Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo brings supercar pleasure to all levels of drivers.
This is an excerpt from the handbook for Tamiya's Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo Model
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