Mitsubishi was at its peak in the 90’s while it still had a range of sportscars in the line-up. The FTO was one of them which has been mainly sold in Japan and is a rather unknown car to many. This 2-door coupe is like a little brother of the GTO, that most of us know as the Mitsubishi 3000GT.
The FTO has an elegant styling with a lot of round curves. Underneath the beautiful body, the platform components were shared with the Mirage/Colt/Lancer. As such the FTO was front wheel drive in the basis. A four wheel drive version was exhibited at a motor show but never brought to market.
The suspension was of a MacPherson strut type in the front and a multi-link in the rear. Two engines, a 1.8 liter four cylinder (4G93) and a 2.0 liter six cylinder (6A12), were available. The latter came in various power power levels throughout the years. All grades and engine variants could be had with either a manual or automatic transmission.
Upon the introduction in October 1994, three grades were available. GS, GR and GPX. The GS was the entry grade with the 1.8 liter with 125 horsepower. It already had equipment such as power windows and automatic air conditioning. The GR had the 2.0 liter engine with 170 horsepower while the GPX had the same engine but with 200 horsepower. That increase in power was thanks to the application of DOHC and variable valve timing which Mitsubishi called MIVEC. A limited slip differential was an option for the GPX. Wheel sizes of the GS were 14″, GR were 15″ and GPX were 16″.
The FTO was awarded Car of the Year in 1994 and for this occasion Mitsubishi released a special version in April 1995. Limited to 500 units (it is said that not all of them have been sold), it was basically a GPX grade with a unique yellow color called Dandelion Yellow and other features such as commemorative badges and a limited slip differential installed. May 1995 saw the GR Limited, a special model based on the GR grade with 16″ alloys, a rear spoiler and radio/cassette as standard.
1996 saw the introduction of two grades based on the GR grade. First of all, there was the GP grade, basically a GR grade with the GPX 200 horsepower MIVEC engine. And the Sports Package was introduced which simply said upgraded the equipment level of the GR towards that of the GPX. The new grade GP version R was also introduced a few months later and this grade was the sportiest of all. The limited slip differential was standard and the suspension had a more sporty setup.
A minor model change was introduced in 1997. Most noticeable changes were that the front bumper had a re-style with the fog lights and indicators being separated. As well as the rear spoiler having a different shape. A new grade was the GX Sports Package. Similar to the previous GR Sports Package, the engine got now 180 horsepower due to a changed throttle body. The GX Sports Package, GP version R and GPX also got a 5-speed automatic transmission instead of the 4-speed of the pre-facelift. And while ABS became standard, as a cost reduction, the full auto air conditioning of the GS and GR was removed in favor a manual one.
In November 1997 the Aero Series package became available for the GX Sports Package and GP version R. After that, only very minor modifications where made to car and at September the sales stopped. Due to it being to costly to adopt the FTO to the new safety regulations introduced around that timing, it was not possible to keep selling the car. In total 38028 units have been produced at Mitsubishi’s Mizushima plant.
Click on the picture below to see the Mitsubishi FTO details and specifications per year such as weight, new price and equipment for each version in the Goo-net.com catalog.
For more information about the FTO, be sure to have a look on the FTO Owners Club website: