The Car Connection Mitsubishi 3000GT Overview
Sold from 1991 through 1999, the Mitsubishi 3000GT took on the Toyota Supra, Nissan 300ZX, and Mazda RX-7 in a 1990s showdown among high-tech Japanese 'supercoupes.' A version of the 3000GT with somewhat different styling but comparable performance specifications was also sold as the Dodge Stealth.
The 3000GT arrived as a higher-performance, step-up model—above the Mitsubishi Eclipse, and more of a full-fledged, serious sports car, and with more than a passing homage to the Ferrari Testarossa. Coupe and Spyder models were offered, with the latter getting a retractable roof setup.
Powered by a family of V-6 engines, as opposed to fours for the Eclipse, the 3000GT lineup started with a 161-horsepower, SOHC 3.0-liter V-6—a smooth but not altogether perky powertrain—but the 222-horsepower, 3.0-liter DOHC V-6, with four valves per cylinder, that was introduced in 1997, did considerably better, with plenty of power to spare. VR-4 models pushed out 300 hp and had full-time all-wheel drive.
Acceleration times for the top 3000GT VR-4 were around 5.0 seconds to 60 mph by some accounts—putting it in an elite group of performance cars for the time. Spyder models also stand in a unique spot in automotive history as they were among just a few vehicles on the market at the time to offer AWD in a convertible body style.
The 3000GT had a number of 'trick' features for its time, including an exhaust note that could be controlled by an in-dash switch, an adjustable suspension, and front and rear 'active' spoilers. But perhaps the 3000GT's biggest bragging right was the all-wheel steering, which helped add maneuverability at low speeds but didn't help that much in higher-speed maneuvers.
Although the 3000GT took the top position in Mitsubishi's lineup and was pitched as superior to the Eclipse, critics called this model out for its imprecise driving experience and a lack of as much of a connection to the road as such a high-power vehicle should have. The 3000GT's cabin also somehow ended up more cramped than that of the Eclipse, with headroom extremely limited—impossibly short for anyone around six feet tall, in fact. Rear seats weren't even adequate for kids. And outward visibility was ridiculously limited.
Positives—and reasons to consider a 3000GT today—include the model's relative rarity on the road, it's racy good looks, a plush leather interior, premium sound systems, and ride comfort that was arguably better than any of the other flashy, capable sports cars of the time.
The 3000GT was ultimately discontinued at the end of the 1990s; today, the 3000GT stands as a sort of odd-duck performance car, with plenty of tired used-car examples still out there but few in truly good shape.