Would You Import a Mitsubishi Sports Car from Japan?

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A few years back, we were contemplating the capabilities of the upcoming, maybe now dead, Mitsubishi Lancer Crossover. We’ve heard next to nothing about this vehicle since 2018 with all the plug-in hybrid concepts coming from Mitsubishi Motors like the Mi-TECH Buggy and the Engelberg Tourer, and the mystery car announced during the mid-term plans for Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance don’t seem to be about the new Lancer. Assuming the Lancer Crossover and the “performance” tag Mitsubishi slapped on it, where does that leave us? Well, there’s always the ability to import.

Wait, what? People can do that? Yes, it’s true – you can order a vehicle from overseas to be delivered to your front door for a couple of extra thousand USD. The problem is, most of these vehicles can’t be legally driven, and the only reason someone would get a vehicle imported would be for display purposes – a collector’s item, and that’s about it. However, there is a loophole to this rule, and who doesn’t love a good loophole? According to hack of sorts, if a vehicle is 25 years or older, it’s free game. Wouldn’t you know, in 2019, the U.S. released a list of vehicles now available for import, and a lesser-known Mitsubishi Sports Car is on that list.

Does anyone remember the Mitsubishi FTO? We don’t blame you if not. Produced between 1994 to 2000, a good chunk of the current buying demographic didn’t even have a learner’s permit around that time. Those of us who had a license and were driving about most likely got something in the early-to-late 2000s – raise your hand if your 2009/2010 model is starting to show its age. When it comes to the Mitsubishi FTO, the 1994-1996 model years are able to be imported and driven on the roads legally.

Now, we won’t lie, it can be a little costly. A quick search on the internet ranges from $1500-4500 to import a vehicle, and that includes destination fee and delivery. Mind you, this is a 25-year-old or older car, so it isn’t going to be up to par with vehicles today. We’re looking at a vehicle able to generate a little less than 200 horsepower at its best, but Chevy Corvettes of the 90s only went up to 250, so it’s not that far from the mark of prestige and power. If looking for the top of the line, consumers will want to look for the Mitsubishi FTO GPX, a model with only 207 units ever produced – definitely a rare vehicle that will get people talking.

Now, why the Mitsubishi FTO? If it’s so old, why would anyone want it? One reason – race cars. Mitsubishi Motors has a rich history of rally cars, and the Mitsubishi Evolution series was one of the best. Mod-friendly, able to take sharp turns without losing traction, and just having a lot of cool factors in terms of style, many fans were sad to see it go. Before the FTO was the Mitsubishi Galant FTO, one of Japan’s first sports cars that did pretty well in terms of sales. The Mitsubishi FTO pays homage to the original Galant FTO to relive its success as a true sports car from Mitsubishi Motors. Best of all, with the FTO as old as it is, your average consumer may not need to pay more than $10,000 for the best-of-the-best Japan can offer.

That’s not a bad deal for a sports car. Plus, with the extra cash someone would save by purchasing a $10,000 sports car, they could look into some upgrades, body shops, and companies that specialize in aftermarket customization. Would you import a vehicle from Japan to drive a sports car from Mitsubishi Motors again? Let us know on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: TorqueGT

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