20 Mitsubishi Models That We Forgot Were Super Fast And Cheap

Mitsubishi is either a brand that consumers know about or have downright forgotten. Whatever camp they fall in, the small automaker is actually one of the most influential brands in the industry and has been in the background quietly making fun cars for years. When car brands such as Isuzu and Suzuki went bust and were not able to stay afloat, Mitsubishi maintained some kind of hold on the domestic automotive market for many years thanks to a loyal fan base and periodic appearances in some of the most iconic movies around. When you think of fun, cheap and fast compact cars that hit the scene in the '80s and '90s, Mitsubishi was the brand that brought these cars to the light and did it in style.

From cars such as the Eclipse that embodied what's fun to drive while being economical to the Lancer Evolution, one of the most iconic sports sedans in the world, the brand delivers. Mitsubishi needs no introduction and will continue to prosper as time goes on with various improvements to the brand's image and new crossover models that are hitting the scene. There were so many good Mitsubishi models that came out during the last couple of decades and many of them were underrated, which is sad. Regardless of what the general public thought, we're going to look at some of the most iconic and fun to drive Mitsubishi cars to hit the scene in the last couple of decades. We'll look at what made them some of the most iconic and fun to drive cars you can get.

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20 2004 Lancer Ralliart Sedan

Via: Bing

When it comes to Mitsubishi during the 2000s, the brand had become obscure in the automotive world and the Lancer was set to compete with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The Ralliart edition was a model that added flair to the compact car industry and gave this car a bit of flare that would make any real enthusiast ripe with envy. The model was actually a rarity and if you can find one in clean condition these days, this is a one of a kind car that is on the way to becoming a collectible. (Motor Trend)

19 2004 Lancer Ralliart Wagon

Via: Bing

Rarer then the Ralliart sedan is the Sportback wagon, which made its own appearance for a few years. This made for a one of a kind wagon that many people never knew really even existed. The 2004 Lancer Ralliart Wagon came in a variety of unique exterior colors which gave the car a true euro turner look, coupled with the intriguing rear hatch design and the trendy looking rims that came with each model. The naturally aspirated engine was one of the best to come out of a Mitsubishi design, and the overall car is a rarity. (Motor Week)

18 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT

Via: Bing

When the Mitsubishi Eclipse was redesigned for the 2000 model year, the car was an improvement in every aspect. The company worked to create a sports car that would connect with the Gen X consumers they were seeking. The GT was a step above the average Eclipse model and was known for its timeless styling and a much more luxurious interior that gave the car a sense of style that was irreplaceable. Another thing that was unique about this generation of the Eclipse was that it was the basis for the Chrysler Sebring two-door of the time as well. (Motor Week)

17 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

Via: Bing

During the early '90s, Chrysler and GM were both working hard to get imports onto the market under their monikers, in an attempt to take market share from the growing popularity of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX was the birth of a legend with a built-in turbocharger and a one of a kind design that remains iconic and popular to this day. Mitsubishi really hit its stride with the Diamond Star Motors partnership, and this variation of the Eclipse was also sold as the Plymouth Laser. (Motor Week)

16 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T

Via: Bing

The second generation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse was notable for its stylish exterior and a groundbreaking interior that was far more luxurious than you would expect coming out of a compact sports car. The GST added a level of performance to the line that hadn’t been seen since the '90s rendition of the popular two-door, and Mitsubishi managed to add a good deal of notable features to make this car more unique than ever. Finding a GST in good condition is a real find, and one of the most notable models. (Motor Trend)

15 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS-T

Via: Bing

Although Mitsubishi is smaller than most of the automakers in terms of market share, the company has continued to improve on the various performance models for the past few decades, and the 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS-T introduced the world to the very first convertible model to carry the Eclipse name. Notable for the GST model is the factory turbo and the leather-appointed interior, which gives the car an increasingly stylish level of comfort that hadn’t been seen on a compact car. (Motor Trend)

14 1990 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

Via: Bing

Arguably one of the most underrated sports cars of all time, the 1990 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 is a far cry from the every popular Toyota Supra that's dominated the auction blocks over the last decade. Many people don’t know that the VR4 though competed directly with this popular Toyota, has as much horsepower and you can find one for a fraction of the price. The 1990 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 introduced the world to the one of a kind sports car that dominated Mitsubishi showrooms for most of the decade, and the car is still fun to drive to this day. (Motor Week)

13 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT

Via: Bing

When the final generation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse hit the market in 2006, the model was a complete change from the previous generations, with an all-new exterior style that was both modern and completely updated. This car was an all-new vehicle in every sense of the word, and in the long run, this was one of the most underrated sports cars on the market at the time. Still, the 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT is an exciting car and one that you can find for a very affordable price and still have a boatload of fun driving. (Motor Week)

12 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT

Via: Bing

2006 was going to be a big year for Mitsubishi as a brand, with the company attempting to launch a pickup truck and the redesigned Eclipse. The 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT hit the scene too much fanfare, in-fact the car was one of the most popular models in the auto show circuit at the time. Available in the trademark orange paint job this was one of the most fun to drive eclipse models around, and to this day still remains one of the rarest and most fun to drive models that you can get. (Motor Week)

11 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

Via: Bing

Another interesting model that was coming out during the '90s was the 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4. While many automotive enthusiasts comparing the Toyota Supra and the Nissan 300ZX there is constantly a forgotten vehicle, and that is the 3000GT. The 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 added a plethora of new options that gave the car even more power and performance while building on the legendary brand image. Finding one of these cars is extremely rare but if you can you are in for a real treat. (Motor Trend)

10 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart

Via: Bing

Wagon models are never a big seller for Mitsubishi but the brand knows how to do them right, and this might be where the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart comes in. Offering a unique style that's all it's own, this is a one of a kind car that never really got the credit that it deserved. Offering a naturally aspirated engine that could take the car around twists and turns with the east, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart is a pretty rare and fun to drive wagon that will leave a smile on your face. (Motor Trend)

9 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

Via: Bing

When it comes to the final generation of the Mitsubishi Lancer, the model was never really a big seller for the company, but there were quite a few limited edition models that offered a good deal of performance and style. The Ralliart brand, in general, has always added a good deal of pizazz to an otherwise bland model, and this is what has made the Lancer of this generation one of the more memorable models to come around. The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart has a special place in the history of Mitsubishi. (Motor Trend)

8 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder VR-4

Via: Bing

Perhaps one of the rarest cars around, the 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder VR-4 is a completely different car altogether. With a beautiful hard convertible top, this was one of the most expensive and beautiful convertibles that you could get at the time, and the 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder VR-4 is still a very rare model to date. Finding one of these increasing rare models is going to set you back a pretty penny but with the twin turbochargers and the manual transmission, this is one of the fastest sports cars available. (Motor Trend)

7 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII

Via: Bing

When the Lancer EVO came to the domestic shores, the car was set out to compete with the Subaru WRX at the time, and Mitsubishi wanted a car that would stand out from the crowd. The 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII is built for the racetrack in every way possible, and the model has a special place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts everywhere. Finding one of these models is very expensive and many of these cars have already been heavily modified over the lifespan of the vehicle. (Motor Trend)

6 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR

Via: Bing

When the Lancer was redesigned for the new generation, the company worked hard to differentiate the car from its previous model, while improving on the performance in every way. The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR is a direct result of rigorous testing and feedback from drivers of this legendary track car. When you take a look at the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR you can immediately tell that the car is something special, and with enough performance, upgrades to take on just about anything this car is something special. (Motor Trend)

5 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

Via: Bing

If something faster is in the cards, then the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR is probably the way to go, as this turbocharged beast is a one of a kind example of what Mitsubishi can do when they design a car. The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR is a blend of performance and unique styling that has made the Lancer brand a stand out in the automotive community, and there were many unique features that were added to the GSR which gave it a good blend of performance and functionality that is unmatched by many cars. (Motor Trend)

4 1988 Mitsubishi Starion Turbo

Via: Bing

During the late '80s, the Mitsubishi brand was trying to make a name for itself domestically, and one of the vehicles that were responsible for this was the 1988 Mitsubishi Starion Turbo. This unique sports car is often a forgotten relic of the '80s, but with one of a kind performance and a luxurious interior, this was one of the best sports cars to come out of this decade. The 1988 Mitsubishi Starion Turbo will be remembered for its unique exterior styling, coupled with the digital gauge cluster that we all fondly remember. (Motor Trend)

3 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart

Via: Bing

Perhaps one of the rarest cars to come out of a Mitsubishi factory in the last decade, the Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart is a rarity in a family sedan. This big sport-infused model was brought to the market to try and bring some life back into the Galant lineup and help the sedan to compete with the likes of the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, but many consumers never even knew that this sedan existed due to a lack of advertising and very minuscule press coverage from the automotive community. (Motor Trend)

2 Mitsubishi Galant GTO

Via: Bing

Another even rarer model was the Mitsubishi Galant GTO, which took aspects of the legendary Mitsubishi GTO sports car and added them into the Galant lineup. While this model was pretty unique in many aspects the most notable was the performance and the exterior styling cues, which gave the car a whole new look. Finding a Mitsubishi Galant GTO can be a challenge because there were not a lot of these vehicles that sold, so naturally, you will be in for a treat if you manage to find one of these. (Motor Week)

1 Mitsubishi Street Raider

via Top Speed

Although the Mitsubishi Street Raider was never a production vehicle, the actual Mitsubishi Raider pickup truck was, and the model was very close to the concept in every aspect. Perhaps most notable was the addition of the same V8 engine that you’d find in the Dodge Dakota pickup truck, coupled with a newly revamped interior that was designed for maximum driver comfort. Unfortunately, the Raider was released during the economic downturn and thus the truck didn’t last very long so finding one can be tough. (Motor Week)

Sources: Motor Trend, Motor Week

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