Young at Heart (Mitsubishi GTO)

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Twin turbochargers, electronically adjustable suspension, four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, limited-slip differential and active aerodynamics. You’re not looking at the latest Mitsubishi, but one from the 90’s. Makes any new Mitsubishi today look boring.

Of course, the mere mention of the twin turbos and all-wheel drive will wet every motoring enthusiast. 280 hp delivered with the planted feel of four driven wheels. But for the owner, the GTO was just one of the cars he wanted to own and drive.

He used to own one of the GTO’s competitors, the 300ZX (and he’s still looking for one too). The Skyline GT-R and Supra however, stole the 90’s limelight for JDM classics as they were easier to work on, and the aftermarket industry went wild over how easy they were to modify for complete banzai power.

Therefore, the GTO lived life in quiet existence. Mitsubishi did facelift it in 1995, with projector units and the five speed gearbox was replaced with a six-speed. This “Mk2” version endured until the model was dropped entirely in 1999 – perhaps the Lancer Evolution had a part to play for that.

The GTO’s dynamic shortcomings are perhaps the reason to modify them, this particular GTO being no exception. It has a custom exhaust, lowering springs, nice wheels and sticky tyres. Anyone can mod it further, but with a dwindling number of GTOs, it might be more worthwhile keeping upgrades subtle to protect longevity and desirability.

Being a Japanese car, all of the high-tech equipment still works, even during the shoot. In fact, this car owns its existence due to the presence of yet another GTO which has become a donor car.

It happens to be the second ever GTO we’ve featured on REV magazine – almost 2 years apart. However, this example was more of a full restoration project. As such, we were engaged in 90’s talk about how licence plates should look like, while deeply sniffing the distinctive 20 year old interior scent.

Parts were obtained either though “New Old Stock” dealers from all over the world, or the donor GTO, which came as a relief as this car saw much acceptance in the US car scene – being sound as the 3000GT/Dodge Stealth over there.

There is plenty of reminders that this car was built in the 90’s. Firstly, the mind-numbing number of switches that did something really cool like lower the Active Aero components. Four wheel steering was a fad back then, and delivers as much cornering performance like today’s torque-vectoring. Save for the odd modern touchscreen receiver, the entire car sticks right back to the 90’s, including the curvaceous 5 spoke design of the SSR wheels.

Fire it up, and watch the dash glow red. Yes, despite its age, the car purrs its V6 song and revs with an unreal smoothness to the red line – as for the exhaust system, Mitsubishi would probably give you a puzzled look if you ask for a GTO exhaust instead of a Lancer. The other reason? The V6 just sounds better that way!

 

While it may not have the same cult status as other 90’s JDM rides, the GTO, along with its rarity, still has the vibes of a classic car. Yes, there are “many better” cars to restore and work on, but we still have to chase the teen spirit from time to time. It’s what keeps us alive!

Mitsubishi GTO

Engine:
Tanabe Medallion Touring Dual Muffler Cat-Back exhaust system

Undercarriage:
Tein S.Tech Lowering Springs
Yokohama Advan AD08 R tyres
19 inch SSR Professor SP1

Interior:
Restored to Original
Pioneer Touchscreen Multimedia Receiver

Exterior:
Restored to Original

Pull out quote:

“..The GTO’s dynamic shortcomings are perhaps the reason to modify them…”

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About Author

Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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