LOL, OMG a VR-4!
|This 1991 Galant has seen better days, but runs, drives, and had $3,000 worth of work put into it in the past year.|
The automaker fielded a successful rally team between 1988 and 1992, racking up 6 World Rally Championships. The driver in two of those was Japan's Kenjiro Shinozuka, who caught air with the VR-4 more than a few times.
|Kenjiro Shinozuka piloting the VR-4 to victory in 1991. Photo Credit: responsejp.com|
The whole time Mitsubishi was enjoying success with an AWD sport sedan and selling them around the world...Americans weren't able to purchase them. Apparently we preferred the Mirage. Ahem.
Mitsubishi finally introduced the VR-4 to Americans in 1991, and we only saw 2,000 of them, and a mere 1,000 the following year. The US-spec cars receieved a 195 horsepower, 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual transmission and an AWD and AWS system. Yes, all 4 wheels steered the cars. Similar to Nissan's HICAS or (High Capacity Actively Controlled Steering), Mitsubishi engineers created an equally smart speed-sensitive system designed to make the VR-4 hug the curves at high speed.
|Rear window stickers call out the fact that this car steers with all 4 wheels.|
Bringing it all to a halt are 4 wheel anti-lock brakes controlled by a computer that's probably still using a floppy disk, but hey its got ABS. On the open road, the cars would do about 130 miles per hour, run the quarter mile in 15.3 and run from 0 to 60 in 7.3 seconds. This is way slower than we've come to expect from its descendent, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution today. But you have to remember this was the 'grandfather' of the turbo AWD sport sedan. Its okay that he's a little slower and creaks a little.
As for the white VR-4 sitting near the pizza place? This one definitely is ready for a little R & R. The owner dropped it off at the shop after the serpentine belt broke, and the car died after running down the battery. Rather than pay for a tow, the owner ingeniously rigged up a rechargable jumper pack to the battery leads and got the car to run. Here's where it gets good.
|The hood, front bumper, and radiator are broken on this poor car. Maybe more. But someone would still buy it in a heartbeat for what it is.|
I asked the repair shop owner if the car was for sale. "Let me ask the guy. Come back in a few days and I should know more". Not that I need a Japanese sport sedan in my stable, but it is winter and all-wheel-drive would come in handy. So would a turbo. A turbo would be awfully nice to have.
Gotta run, pizza's ready.