As Mitsubishi descends on the UK, it leaves a legacy of interesting cars. Some were successful role models, including the Shogun and the FTO. For a long time, the British distributor refused to import the FTO until, faced with a deluge of unofficial examples, it gave in, albeit in the last year of production of the car.
This reluctance is difficult to understand. After all, the FTO looked fair; it was light, at just 1,200 kg; decently quick, at least with the most powerful engine, the 197 hp 2.0-liter MIVEC V6; and was available with a Tiptronic type automatic gearbox. This intelligent transmission learns your driving style in manual mode and applies it in automatic mode. About 70% of surviving FTOs are equipped with them.
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The compact front-wheel drive 2 + 2 FTO was released in 1994 and immediately won the Japanese Car of the Year title. Three engines were offered: a 123bhp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (hobbyists call it the “ FTO to slow down ”), a beefier 168bhp 2.0 V6, and this 2.0 MIVEC V6. liters of 197 hp (this means Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control System). All of them came with a five-speed manual or that intelligent four-speed automatic, called INVECS-II. From launch to the 1997 facelift, 1.8-liter models carried the GS badge, the 2.0 V6s GR and the more powerful 2.0 V6 MIVECs GPX or plain GP. GPX and GP models were offered with an optional viscous limited-slip differential.
FTO is short for Fresh Touring Origination, but don’t get confused because right-hand drive enthusiasts, including in the UK, thought it was far from stale and started importing the car in droves . About 90% of FTOs exported to the UK were V6s. A popular rarity from this period is the GPX Limited, produced to celebrate the 1994 success of the FTO’s Japan COTY.
With the 1997 facelift, a larger one-piece grille came along, while the previously paired fog lights and turn signals became four single units. A new, slightly more powerful 177 hp V6 model, bearing the GX badge, was launched and raced alongside the 168 hp GR, while the 2.0 V6 MIVEC GPX was joined by the harder-edged GP Version R. , with reinforced anti-roll bars, limited slip differential mechanics and a unique rear spoiler. The optional automatic transmission available with the more powerful 2.0 V6 and 2.0 MIVEC engines also gained fifth gear.
By the time Mitsubishi started importing the FTO towards the end of its life, around 20,000 gray imported versions were already on UK roads, and these are the cars you will likely see advertised today. Check that the one you are interested in has been SVA tested and has its speedo converted to mph, its headlights adjusted, and a rear fog light installed. Make sure you know exactly which version it is, because, for example, many 168 hp V6 cars are passed off as MIVEC models. Finally, get it up a ramp and search, as Rust is the number one killer in FTO.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-17 05:01:23