A car remembered for its futuristic technology and performance, but not so much for its reliability, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 is certainly in the greatest hits album for 1990s Japanese sports cars. It’s rare to find a nice one nowadays like my friend just did — but what makes his find unbelievable is the interstellar odometer, which reads over 450,000 miles!
I actually have a personal connection to the 3000GT, as my grandma worked at Mitsubishi Motors USA when these were first sold. At the time, she was the chief information officer, and the first female upper level executive in the company’s history. She remembers the car being a big deal for Mitsubishi, as well as how it got its name. It was named GTO for the Japan market — but that obviously wouldn’t work in the United States, given the famous Pontiac GTO was already well established. So an internal contest with the company was held to find a name with the North American market, and 3000GT was chosen as the winner.
With the VR4 model, the engineers at Mitsubishi threw the 300GT every crazy idea they could think of. The engine itself was given not one, but two turbochargers, giving this 3000GT almost 300 horsepower — which was more than the Toyota Supra Turbo and the Acura NSX at the time. Since it’s all wheel-drive, the power delivery also got plenty of traction, but Mitsubishi went even further in the handling department with active suspension and 4-wheel steering. The only car at the time that comes close to this level of crazy Japanese tech is the Nissan Skyline, as it also used a twin turbo setup and all-wheel steering, but the 3000GT has even more tricks up its sleeve.
As if there wasn’t enough to keep the VR4 planted, Mitsubishi also engineered an active aerodynamics system, which deploys the rear spoiler at speed for even greater downforce. There’s also a little hidden front air dam in the front that drops a bit, as well. All of this performance tech might make you think the 300GT is more of a serious race car than anything, but not really, because inside, things are very civilized.
The 3000GT is actually the perfect grand touring car, as it has all the modern comforts inside, such as automatic climate control, power everything, and even steering wheel controls for the radio. This may all seem like normal features in cars of today — but keep in mind, this 3000GT is from 1992, meaning it’s 27 years old.
Given how comfortable and fun the 3000GT VR4 is to drive, it makes sense why someone would choose to put ridiculously high mileage on one — except infamous reliability issues and mechanical complexity would have made it challenging. Still, at least one person was committed enough to put 456,000 miles on this VR4 — and, amazingly, it’s still in great condition with all the cutting edge 1990s tech still functional. According to the Carfax, the previous owner bought the car in 2001 with 94,000 miles, and maintained it consistently before trading the car in at a rural Kansas dealership.
My friend Bob, owner of Euroasian Auto Inc. in Wichita, Kansas, recently purchased the 3000GT, and is now offering it for sale. Pricing is going to be hard figure out, since it’s in excellent condition, but there obviously aren’t any comparable vehicles for sale to gauge the market. I would make an offer, but given my luck, I would probably kill the thing before it hit 457,000 miles. Find a Mitsubishi 3000GT for sale
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