Not Sold Here: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV

Today’s edition of “Not Sold Here” features this Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV GSR that I recently spotted at Highline Autos Cars and Coffee in Arizona.

The Lancer Evolution arrived in North America in 2003, but it was already well-established in Europe and Asia since its debut in 1992. The Lancer Evolution has a long history of track racing, hill climb, and World Rally Championship wins, including four consecutive WRC Driver’s Championships from 1996 to 1999.

The Evolution IV was produced from 1996-1998, with a total of 13,134 units built. There were 12,193 units in GSR trim and 941 units in RS trim, according to a post on Lancerregister.com.

On the exterior, the front is dominated by two oversize fog lights set low in the front bumper. The large front mount intercooler, hood vent, and single NACA duct on the passenger side give the car an aggressive look.

A front lip spoiler and side skirts hint that this is no ordinary sedan, and the massive rear wing confirms it.

The car has a gray interior with red inserts on the sport seats and door cards. A Momo leather steering wheel and white-face gauges round out the interior of this Japanese sport sedan. Being that this is a Japanese import car, the steering wheel is on the right-hand side.

Power comes from a 2.0L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine making 276 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. A 5-speed manual gearbox was the only transmission offered.

This car shows its original 16-inch OZ Racing F1 wheels wrapped in Dunlop Direzza ZIII tires. It looks to be a nice, clean example of a Lancer IV, which you don’t see very often in North America.

Importing vehicles that are 25 years old or more means that the vehicle is NOT bound to the 2,500 mile per year limit under the “Show or Display” law of 1999. That law only applies to vehicles that are less than 25 years old and with no similar make or model certified for sale in the U.S.

Because of this, there have been a lot of quirky Japanese cars popping up in the U.S. lately, such as the Honda Beat, the Toyota Sera, and countless Nissan Skylines.

I think it is neat that we are starting to see more of these unique cars appearing in the U.S., and I was glad to have crossed paths with this Japanese sport sedan.

Mitsubishi Diamante VR-X: Clapped Out Japanese Luxury

The U.S. auto market is among the most competitive you will find anywhere in the world. Throughout the age of the automobile, there have been many cars which were notorious for their failure in the market. The Ford Edsel, Chevrolet Corvair, the Ford Pinto, the Yugo, and even the DeLorean DMC-12 became famous for their lackluster sales. These names are known to those who are not automotive enthusiasts.

But for every widely-publicized flop into the North American car market, there are many more cars which sell poorly and disappear from dealerships without anyone even noticing. Cars like the Lexus ES250, Peugeot 405, and the Chrysler TC by Maserati for example.

Today I present another one of these low-production import cars: the Mitsubishi Diamante VR-X. Continue reading

Identity Crisis

While fellow editor Mike Ross and I were (at the time) unsuccessfully shopping for the vehicle that was to be my significant other’s daily driver we came across this vehicle. Now this is for those of you that haven’t lived in, or spent a lot of time in South Phoenix. For those of us who have, prepared to be unsurprised.

I really have to appreciate the fact that this owner settled on making sure it was properly re-badged a Diamante, despite all of it’s other more glaring cosmetic flaws. They apparently didn’t have the wherewithal to get rid of the adhesive from the old badges, especially the plainly noticeable right adhesive telegraphing an old 740IL badge. What I have to chuckle at is the Bimmer badges are on straighter than the Mitsu ones.