Mitsubishi GTO 3000 - side with black bonnet

Classic Car Spotlight: Mitsubishi GTO 3000 Twin Turbo 1990

The Mitsubishi GTO 3000 was, and is, Mitsubishi’s showcase car showing off their technical motoring capabilities. This particular Mitsubishi is also a perfect example of the exceptional skills of the VFR Motor Services’ Motor Engineers.

This scarlet and black beauty can get you to a sweet 95 mph in second gear. Want to know more? OK, let’s get with the hard facts and deal out the specs.

Mitsubishi GTO 3000 Top Trumps

  • Engine size: 3 litre
  • Top speed: 165mph
  • BHP (estimated): 400
  • Drive type: 4 wheel drive
  • Year: 1990
  • Suspension: Electric aerosuspension
  • Cool factor: speed freeze

About the Mitsubishi GTO 3000

Mitsubishi GTO 3000 - side with red bonnetJustin bought the beast back in 2015 for only £1,500 as standard manufacturers vehicle. But this was never a car to nip to the shops in. He chose this car because of rarity, ease of working, retro 90s look. There are only 126 Mitsubishi GTO 3000s left in the country, and only about 90 still on the road. Justin has seen a total of 4 others like it in person at shows or on the road.

The Mitsubishi GTO was bought primarily as a project for the garage and for track racing. Speed, as well as retro cool, was a huge factor when choosing the car.

Since 2015 the Mitsubishi GTO has enjoyed hours and hours of garage time while the specs were finely adjusted, tuned, and tweaked to peak performance.

Work in Progress

Mitsubishi GTO 3000 - elevatedWhen it started out, Justin’s Mitsubishi GTO 3000 was an outstanding vehicle with stunning performance plus all the creature comforts you could ask for: air con, leather seats, top of the range sound system, and 4-wheel steering. Unfortunately, all these are way too heavy if you want the car to go as fast as it possibly can. So, they had to go.

As soon as it came home to the VFR Motor Services garage, Justin immediately removed the engine and gearbox. A water leak from cylinder head needed dealing with and he wanted to upgrade the clutch to a racing clutch. A racing clutch gives better power to weight ratio. This means a speedier start, more power through clutch, and quicker gear shift.

Justin’s Mitsubishi has been treated to over 100 hours garage time in total. The weight of the vehicle has been reduced from 2,700 kg down to a mere 1,060 kg.

Some of the work so far includes:

  • Interior stripped and replaced with racing seats.
  • Complete changeover of suspension to coilovers fully adjustable suspension legs.
  • Uprated single intercooler with full replacement silicone hoses.
  • Plus loads and loads of engine work.

This is a project that will never be complete, but next on the list of improvements is:

  • Uprate the brakes because if you’re going insanely fast, you need to be able to stop,
  • Upgrade the fuel system.
  • Remap the ECU (main computer).

Car Shows and Track Racing

Mitsubishi GTO 3000 - engine cleaned and show-ready

The Mitsubishi GTO 3000 mainly gets taken out to car shows and for track days. Justin takes it to the track around 3 times per year. The main purpose of track day is to test the latest upgrades and improvements and to push the vehicle to its top speed possible.

To date, Justin has hit a top speed of 130 mph on a straight at Donnington with 146s lap time in the Mitsubishi GTO 3000. He’s also is chuffed to share that he beat his mate in their Evo who came in with a lap time of 148s.

Track days do take their toll on car parts meaning the clutch and brakes need replacing regularly. New brakes are required after every track day. The clutch needs replacing every two years or so, depending on track use.

The most challenging part of the Mitsubishi GTO 3000 project: stripping the engine bare, stripping the gaskets, spraying the subframe and chassis to make the car show ready.

Looking to Buy a Sports Car?

There is no doubt that this is a motor which really turns heads wherever it goes and gets a whole lot of attention at car shows.

If you’re thinking of investing in something a little racy for the weekend, Justin has these top tips:

  1. Make sure you have a good budget. This is not a project to get into without cash on hand.
  2. Find the right car and don’t rush into anything based only on looks.
  3. Arm yourself with a lot of time and patience.

The best place to look if you’re interested in this sort of project: the pistonheads website or fast car magazines like Fast Car, Classics Monthly or Practical Classics.

Good luck!

Mitsubishi GTO 3000 Gallery

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