QotW: How should Mitsubishi have celebrated 100 years of cars?

Today’s QotW comes on the heels of Mitsubishi’s centennial anniversary of building automobiles and their announcement to rebuild a Mitsubishi Model A. It’s not a pure reproduction, but will be built on an Outlander PHEV chassis and powertrain. This Kobe carriage will have some scoot. Interestingly, Mitsubishi is not tackling this feat alone — West Coast Customs has been tapped for the build.

If your eyebrow has been lifted, you are alone. JNC staffers are also scratching their heads. What do you think of Mitsubishi’s 100 year celebration plan? Are they on point or misguided? Should they have tapped their garage of rally monsters, turbo sports cars, or legendary SUVs?

How should Mitsubishi have celebrated their 100 years of JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What does your mom think of your JNC?” 

From last week’s comments, I get the sense that there are 2 types of moms out there. Moms that can appreciate the practicality and styling of a JNC; and others that would rather eat 2-day old leftover meatloaf than even glance at old J-tin. Many have the experience of the first type such as with Dave Patten and Robin, whose moms had an appreciation from the beginning; while others such as jivecom and Jayrdee will forever be explaining their pride and joy and combating the sound advice of buying something new and reliable.

This week’s winner is from Keith Measures, whose mom hails from another camp: JNC rival! We wish you luck in winning over your mom from the Datsun camp to the Toyota camp, but we won’t hold our breath.

My mother had a Datsun 260 when she was around my age. So of course with my celica she considers us sworn enemies.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

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18 Responses to QotW: How should Mitsubishi have celebrated 100 years of cars?

  1. robin said:

    I am one who reserves comment until we see the final product, but should we go on west coast customs portfolio I don’t think it will be a car built with much passion and insight, but simply what will get the most likes and attention in this ever evolving online world we have going on now.

    I am assuming, based on what we have seen west coast customs have built. To mark 100 years Mitsubishi should simply put together a documentary from the birth, including all rally wins and motorsport entries as well as in factory footage from years gone by. Make 100 kei cars and call it a Model A (or simply a Mitsubishi A) and have it in only the colours the first Model A’s came in and make the car very basic (sure it must meet safety requirements of today). With this 100 A’s you get a model of the original Model A and a few other cool memorabilia.

    But you see, car companies are not about passion these days (can’t think of any, i could be wrong) and all they care about are sales. So giving it to west coast customs might just get them sales from the youth who also refer to cool songs as “tune” and who describe a good evening out as “lit”.

    So west coast customs might just build a car that is lit and fit a sound system in it so we can all shout “tune”

  2. hovork said:

    As a MMC fan I would like to see early 70’s GTO with modern specs.
    Considering current crises I wish they announce their determination to bring back the company to it’s glorious years.

    • Kyle Soler said:

      Something taking the best bits of all of their sports cars would be sweet. it should be RWD based with a strong AWD/hybrid (lets face it it just has to happen) focus and it should either be designed to fit into the 370z bracket or GT86 price bracket.

  3. melvin said:

    Something that connects that past with the future. An internal combustion engine in a futuristic Jetsons-like flymobile.

    Oh wait, maybe a model A on PHEV base is a better idea… 🙂

  4. Punto8 said:

    Build the Mitsubishi/Dodge Raider again!

  5. banpei said:

    Mitsubishi should commence an Outlander AMG special, just like they did with the Debonair in the 80s. But Mercedes probably would never allow such a thing to happen (again)…

  6. Ant said:

    Announcing a modern-day FTO would have done it for me. I’d even happily trade the small-capacity V6 for modern hybridisation – it’d suit the high-tech ethos of the last model. As long as it was relatively compact and fun to drive, it’d be the right car.

    • Kyle Soler said:

      Only problem is that people (especially some car guys) will complain saying “but its wrong wheel drive (fwd)!”

  7. Yuri said:

    This pains me to say, because the only car I ever bought brand new was a Blue-by-you 2004 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII GSR.

    Instead of announcing a replica of one of their earliest cars, Mitsubishi should be taking a long hard look at what made them special in the past, and using that intel to announce a plan.

    The problem Mitsubishi has is that it’s trying to stay in the black by building vehicles that it sees other manufacturers being successful with, but not realizing that it doesn’t have the quality to compete with the companies building masses of Crossovers and SUV’s.

    Mitsubishi was at its most successful when it was a little bit crazy. Everyone knew the build quality was horrible, but the cars that it was building were crazy enough to appeal to dedicated fan base who wanted something just a little more extreme.

    Mitsubishi has never really appealed to a normal mainstream audience. It’s always done well with people who were either enthusiasts or broke. And now by chopping away its enthusiast offerings, it only appeals to the broke crowd, who at this point can get a much better car by going Korean.

    I’ve never seen a company make so many bad decisions and misunderstand a market as badly as Mitsubishi. Over the past decades, we’ve seen their enthusiast offerings either become too compromised by attempting to appeal to everyone, therefore appealing to no one (Eclipse) or be made into a world-beating performance car before being left to wither on the vine by not ever updating it, while it’s major competitor beat its face into the dirt through constant improvements and updates (Evolution vs STI.) Even when Mitsubishi had a great idea, they’d screw it up through some grave mistake (Offering the Lancer Ralliart with only a CVT.)

    To even be salvageable at this point, Mitsubishi has to bring back some of the crazy. It’s obvious that they’re going all-in on SUV’s (because that worked so well for Isuzu) so we probably won’t be seeing any LanEvo’s, 3000GT’s or especially not any real Eclipses, since that nameplate is tied up in a soft-roader now.

    So if Mitsubishi is going to build something outstanding, they need to bring out something that dominates in what an SUV should be. Something like a Ford Raptor competitor, but can carry a family at high speed through that type of terrain. Hmm, if only Mitsubishi had a history of some crazy high speed offroad SUV that it could draw upon… What I’m saying is that Mitsubishi should have announced a Raptor destroyer, a true desirable halo vehicle that is awesome enough for people to take notice and buy a Mitsubishi by choice rather than budget… the new Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution.

    • Ant said:

      While I agree with the sentiment, the reality is that Mitsubishi’s current strategy is actually working for them.

      Bar last year’s fuel economy scandal which tipped the company into a loss, Mitsubishi Motors has actually had rising sales and been in profit in recent years. This year should be even more profitable given Nissan’s cost-saving program.

      The sad truth is that the reason Mitsubishi no longer produces the crazy stuff is that it *doesn’t* work from an economic perspective, at least not in the current climate. People are buying crossovers/SUVs in greater numbers year-on-year, so it makes perfect business sense to concentrate on that – even if the products themselves maybe aren’t up to scratch. Better having average products people buy than average ones people won’t…

      All that said, I fully support the Pajero Evolution suggestion!

      • I have to agree. Mitsubishi was the japanese vesrion of SAAB, and while Saab stayed true to it’s roots and tried to succeed in a niche-market it failed gloriously, while Mitsubishi went the Mainstream route and it seems to work out…

        however i miss the Rallye-part at Mitsubishi at the moment.

  8. Keith Measures said:

    Awesome! Did not expect my quick offhand comment to actually win haha. Here have some old photos of my mum autocrossing here Z. Excuse the quality as its a screen capture of an instagram post which is in itself a picture of a picture

    http://i.imgur.com/S31Sd8L.jpg

    thanks again JNC!

    • robin said:

      woah awesome picture… it would be even cooler if you still have the Z today. Please say you do.

      Car Moms are the best Moms, especially when they into Japanese cars.

      • Keith Measures said:

        eeeh sadly its not the case. Wish it was and I think she does too but alas she sold it in the lates 80s. Probably because they needed a family car or some lame reason haha

  9. Noel said:

    Mitsubishi could make a comeback to rebuilt the Lancer and the Eclipse also? Mitsubishi could make a comeback built back the rally car also and we need to have faith in Mitsubishi

  10. jivecom said:

    Is it too much to ask for a car that will sell well enough to keep Mitsu from the brink?

  11. cesariojpn said:

    Maybe do a modern remake of the Guerrilla Group 8 intro with their current lineup.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umctWSKaL_s

    Okay, so the Pajero is still kicking around, so we’ll use the latest model for that one, or maybe the Outlander. The Debonair would have to be the “rebadged” Nissan Cima………I mean Mitsubishi Dignity. No Gullwing Sports Cars to be had, so guess we’ll slot to the Lancer (Still will be in production till August 17). Other than that…….

  12. nlpnt said:

    Take the last Lancer Evo powertrain, sans AWD, and drop it into the Mirage. Just a raw, tire-spinning, torque-steering, cheap unrefined pocket rocket.

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