Mitsubishi FTO History

30 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mitsubishi FTO History
Mitsubishi FTO

Mitsubishi FTO

History

Mitsubishi FTO

The Mitsubishi FTO, short for Fresh Touring Origination, was a car produced by Mitsubishi for the domestic Japanese market from 1994 through 2000. Announced in October 1994, the car was only made at the Mizushima plant and sold in Japan, though the tide of grey-market imports to the UK and Australia led to some limited distribution through Mitsubishi dealers in those countries.

In the Mitsubishi context, the name FTO harkens back to the Galant Coupe FTO model of the early 1970s. The 1970s FTO was a smaller companion car to the larger Galant Coupe GTO.

INVECS-II Sports Mode, Mitsubishi’s answer to Porsche’s Tiptronic, made its debut in the 1994 FTO. Production of both the FTO and GTO (Mitsubishi 3000GT) ended in the summer of 2000, when Mitsubishi decided not to modify either car to improve their performance on side-crash tests.

Models

All FTOs were made front wheel drived with either a 4 cylinder engine, or a transversely mounted V6. The body only came in a 2 door coupe version. The front bumper was changed in 1997, but the rest of the body remained the same.

A convertible version was never made.

October 1994 – August 1997

GS – 1800cc 4 cylinder SOHC 16 valves producing 125bhp at 6,000rpm

GR Sports Package – 2000cc V6 DOHC 24 Valve Multi Point Injection producing 170bhp at 7000rpm

GP (1996-7) – 2000cc V6 DOHC 24 Valve MIVEC producing 200bhp at 7500rpm

GPX – 2000cc V6 DOHC 24 Valve MIVEC producing 200bhp at 7500rpm

GPX Limited Edition (1995-6) – 2000cc V6 DOHC 24 Valve MIVEC producing 200bhp at 7500rpm

August 1997 – July 2001

GS – 1800cc 4 cylinder SOHC 16 valves producing 125bhp at 6,000rpm

GX Sports Package – 2000cc V6 DOHC 24 Valve Multi Point Injection producing 180bhp at 7000rpm

GX Sports Package Aero Series – 2000cc V6 DOHC 24 Valve Multi Point Injection producing 180bhp at 7000rpm

GP Version R – 2000cc V6 DOHC 24 Valve MIVEC producing 200bhp at 7500rpm

GP Version R Aero Series – 2000cc V6 DOHC 24 Valve MIVEC producing 200bhp at 7500rpm

GPX Limited Edition

Mitsubishi FTO

On 2nd December 1994, the Japanese Car of the Year Executive Committee announced the selection of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s sports car FTO as the ‘1994-1995 Japanese Car of the Year.’ The reasons cited for this selection were that apart from its superior performance as a sports car, the FTO had a good chassis function and used an advanced INVECS-II Sports model automatic transmission. In recent years award winners have all been sedans.

The FTO is the first sports car to win this award since Toyota’s MR2 in 1984. To celebrate this award, Mitsubishi produced a Limited Edition version. This is easily indentified as it is painted Dandelion Yellow and sports the emblems shown above, it also has a rear wash wiper and LSD as standard.

Indications are that less than 500 of these were produced.

Nakaya Tune FTO

The Nakaya-Tune FTO was a limited car in early 1997, only 300 cars were sold. The car is tuned by Akihiko Nakaya, Driver of the Taeivon FTO in the Japanese GT300 series in 1998-1999 The main differences are Nakaya-Tune Sports Muffler (made by Prof), Nakaya-Tune Brake Pad (made by AP), Nakaya-Tune Carbon Fibre Lip Spoiler, Nakaya-Tune Suspension, Nakaya-Tune Shock Absorber (made by OHLINS)

Gearbox

The choice of gearboxes available to the FTO were a 5 speed manual or the INVECS-II Tiptronic gearbox, which is an automatic transmission that also allows gears to be changed manually.

INVECS II

In simple terms INVECS II is a computer-controlled automatic transmission which has the ability to learn your driving style, using its Adaptive Shift Control software. As soon as you start driving the computer begins to monitor your driving style, and after a short while sets the up and downchange points to suit, thus smoothing out progress on the road. It’s almost like having a person sitting next to you who, having seen how you drive, adjusts the automatic gearbox accordingly.

For the fully automatic mode to be in operation, the gear selector is simply left in ‘D’. But if you want to use the manual mode – which gives the driver more control over the transmission, and allows higher engine revs in each gear – then the lever is slid over to the left into another gate, which is Sports Mode.

Now, tapping the lever forward prompts an electronic upchange, while moving it back downshifts. Effectively you have a clutchless gearshift, but you don’t need to worry about suddenly being caught out at low speed in a high gear, because when stationary the transmission automatically reverts to first.

Production Figures

The FTO was made from 1994 through to 2001, with a revision made, commonly known as the facelift versions, in mid 1997.

Mitsubishi FTO
Mitsubishi FTO
Mitsubishi FTO
Mitsubishi FTO
Mitsubishi FTO
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