With production starting in 1994, the 3000GT was Mitsubishi’s attempt to compete with other popular foreign sports coupes such as the Nissan 300ZX and the Mazda RX-7. The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 was part of the second generation of the models that was a high tech, advanced and redesigned car with more power, more features and even AWD.
The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 built upon an already techonoligically advanced sports car model. The 3000Gt had full time all wheel drive, four wheel steering, front and rear spoilers that adjusted automatically to enhance aerodynamics, ECS (electronicall controlled suspension) and a tuneable exhaust system. The car was so technologically advanced that some people felt it took too much out of the control of the driver and took away from the driving experience. Although it was sold as the 3000GT in foreign markets, the car was known as the Mitsubishi GTO in the Japanese market where it originated.
In the second generation of the model, when the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 came onto the scene, some changes were made to the car, including larger wheels and tires and a redesigned front end. Some interior modifications were made as well, and front air bags were added. Most notably, many of the technologies that marked earlier models were removed, making the car lighter and more driver friendly. The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 was the most high performance model, with a Getrag six speed manual transmission as well as a twin turbo V6 engine. The car had 320 horsepower and along with all of the other changes to the car was a quick and impressive offering from Mitsubishi; it took 5.4 seconds to go from zero to sixty miles per hour.
For 1995 and 1996 there were special editions of the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, offering a convertible version of the car. The car had an automatic retractable hard top, and needed only the push of a button to open or close it. Although the car did not sell well, the retractable hard top became the newest thing in convertibles and Mercedes would later sell it very well on their SLK convertible.
The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, along with the entire line of 3000GT models, was discontinued in 1999, although a few models were sold into 2000 in the Japenese market. Slow sales in the American sports car market prompted the decision to pull the car from production.
The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 has since become a popular car with enthusiasts looking for peformance cars that they can modify and tune. The explosion in popularity of Japanese cars in underground races and modifications have ensured that the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 will always have a home in the United States. Models around today have likely had some modifications done and those that are stock and in good condition are likely to sell quickly when offered up for sale. Unlike some other Japanese cars, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 remains less known and even in the circles where it is well known it is still a less popular choice; still, it has many adherents.