10k: Future Classic: 1994 Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR-4
The Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR-4 was Mitsubishi’s entry into the free-for-all cage match that was the 1990s Japanese sports car scene. Nissan had its turbocharged 300ZX and Skyline GT-R, Honda the superb NSX, Mazda the rotary screaming RX-7, Subaru sold a few funky SVX and even Toyota got in the ring with the bulletproof Supra, but the 3000 GT VR-4 was special…different…an eccentric madman in the clubhouse. Find this 1994 Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR-4 offered for $11,000 in Houston, TX via NASIOC forums classifieds.
Whereas its competitors were all about getting to the business of going fast while making profit for their parents companies, the 3000GT went a few steps farther, Mitsubishi turned it up to 11 in their halo car. Active aerodynamics, electronically control dampers, 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel steering, adjustable exhaust sound — sure, you could get one or two of those features in the competition, but only the madmen at Mitsubishi were willing to shove it all into one package. It was as if the corporate bean counting overlords at Mitsubishi had a bad plate of sushi the night before and missed the meeting where the proposed features were approved.
Under the hood was a technological tour-de-force for 1994 — the 6G72 V6 was turbocharged and intercooled from the factory to produce 300 horespower and 315 ft-lbs of torque. It is nice to see that this one is mostly stock aside from a cone element air filter and a boost controller that delays opening the wastegates on the stock Garrett T25 turbochargers a few psi of intake manifold pressure. More power, probably won’t blow up soon.
The interior looks in decent shape, the seller has added a big screen CD player and is hanging a collection of crap from the windshield, but both of those items are easily rectified if you so desire. Of course, this one has the 6-speed manual gearbox, an upgraded getrag unit that the VR-4 cars used after 1994.
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Never driven one of these, but they look alright and should go pretty well, even for today's standards. I like the idea that this one has an improved transmission, as these are known for being the weak link in the drive train.
On a side note, nothing says "something in this car smells even worse than a vanilla Little Tree" like the presence of a vanilla Little Tree. For an $11,000 car, my advice to the seller is to drop $150 and have it detailed professionally and get any funk shampooed out of it.
I wouldn't buy a car like this from a 25 year old speed demon. Added boost controller but won't pony up for a tune? no bueno