In the past year, you’ve been unwillingly introduced to almost every oddball member of the DSM compact-car family. Almost. Besides the responsible matron with a crippling meth addiction (Hyundai Elantra, 4G63-powered), the androgynous middle child (Mitsubishi Mirage, also 4G63-powered), and the estranged uncle (Eagle Summit with slicks, side-exit exhaust, and yes, a 4G63), there’s the square-jawed all-state sports prodigy who showed promise at a young age (winning Car & Driver’s 10 Best award in 1989), but nevertheless succumbed to Hollywood pressure and went under the knife. Now with 300 horsepower, this tater tot has all of the beef and none of the filler expected in a modern hot hatch. It also sports a 26-year-old engine with 150,000 miles running 24 psi. And it’s less than the price of a high-end refrigerator. Find this 1989 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo for sale in Albuquerque, NM for $2,900 via craigslist.
It’s called the Colt/Mirage Turbo, a rare DSM answer to the Volkswagen GTI. All stock, the 1.6-liter DOHC 4G61T (essentially a smaller version of the 4G63) revved to 7,000 rpm, generating 135 horsepower on 12.1 psi of boost. Its redline in 5th gear is 153 mph, or just beyond the speedometer’s limits, but now within the realm of possibility for this Mirage.
In typical modified-car fashion, the seller features a laundry list of modifications, yet goes the extra mile by explaining each item’s purpose:
1000cc injectors, more air, means more fuel needs to be added
Hmm, that could be problematic down the road.
…Walbro 255 fuel pump, to support the increased fuel demands
Well, this guy has thought of everything! Mechanically, everything is there that should be, with the exception of air conditioning and a de-powered power steering rack. Typically, keeping the hydraulic system requires more steering effort than a dedicated manual steering rack, although cranking the wide-diameter hub in a 2,500-pound car shouldn’t be unfeasible.
Aftermarket HIDs, this decade’s neon underglow equivalent, are housed in retrofitted BMW projectors. Universal four-lug wheels should have been left behind in 2004 along with the tinted side indicator lights, which join the automatic nanny-state seatbelts on our short list of grievances. It’s hard to find fault in a bite-sized hatch with 300 horsepower, manually shifted, and powered by an engine designed to withstand such pressure.
See another needlessly boosted hatch? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.