A powerful sport coupe with sophisticated gadgets like a GTR combined with a sleek body like an Mazda RX-7.
That was what Mitsubishi was aiming for when they created the GTO Twin Turbo, sold in the U.S as the 3000 GT VR-4. Do away the boxy look of a GTR or the bulkiness of a Supra and went for a low profile, curvy shape like the RX-7 or the Honda NSX.
To keep up with the other rivaling Japanese automakers, Mitsubishi drenched the GTO with technology like giving the robust 3.o V6 two turbos with a new bigger intercooler to produce 300hp. To keep all that power at bay, all wheel drive with four wheel steering was added with electronic controlled suspension. That wasn’t all, it’s got active aero with the rear spoiler rises at high speeds to improve stability, and even an active exhaust system that can make the GTO quiet or loud by the touch of a switch. Both of these gadgets starting to gain popularity in the past few years when the GTO had it in the 90's.
So why was it forgotten? All that technology comes at a price. At over $45k, it is rather expensive compare to its closest rival the Supra which produced more power for around $3k less. The other drawback is weight, at 3800 pounds its the heavyweight in the group of Japan’s “Bubble Era” sportcars with the GTR being a good 400 pounds lighter. This made the GTO’s handling despite having AWD and 4WS cumbersome.
In the end, sale for the GTO wasn’t brilliant. The updates Mitsubishi did for it after 1993 was more of a downgrade making the car uglier and more boring.
Like the R33 GTR I reviewed many moons ago, the GTO was portrayed in the wrong perspective. People expected the GTO to be as nimble and racy as a GTR, RX-7, or the Supra. But really the GTO is more of a grand tourer that chews up the miles on the freeway rather than bombing downhill on some twisty mountain roads. I feel sorry that Mitsubishi’s devotion in creating a high tech performance car didn’t pay off.
In a way though, the joke is on us. Because we will go down on our knees to beg, pray, anything to ask Mitsubishi to bring these back rather than all the ugly crossovers and plastic subcompacts they produce now.
This Tomica Premium captures the GTO’s charm fantastically especially the choice of representing the 1992 model that comes with all the advance tech and pop-up haedlights. The interior got attention too as usual with the Tomica Premium line with two-tone black and grey interior.
Let me know which car I should review next. Until next time. Cheers.