VIDEO: The Plymouth Colt showed what Mitsubishi was capable of at its peak

It’s no secret that Mitsubishi hasn’t been at its best in recent years. Back when it was firing on all cylinders and spinning all its silent shafts, its lineup was actually described as “terrific” and full of “show stoppers,” according to Motorweek. The crew from Owings Mills aren’t known as the harshest critics, but I think we can all agree that when adjectives like “stylish,” “slicked-up,” and “handsome” are used to describe even Mitsubishi’s lowliest entry-level offerings like the Plymouth Colt, the company must have been doing something right. 

In fact, host John H. Davis voted Mitsubishi’s compacts the best all-around economy car for two years running prior to the release of the 1985 Plymouth Colt. Described as having an expensive look, the Colt has, somewhat unexpectedly, high-end options like a two-tone paint job, what looks like the most advanced manual-adjust seats on the market, and split rear seats (which Toyota’s top-of-the-line Cressida didn’t even have at the time). Motorweek describes the interior as looking like that of a concept car, and they’re not wrong.

For $6,500, you could get a base model with a 1.5-liter inline-four good for 68 horsepower. If you sprang $8,400 for the upscale Premier trim, then you got the 1.6-liter turbocharged mill good for 102 horsepower and an impressive, 122 lb-ft of torque. Mated with a 5-speed transmission, 0-60 times still languished in the 10-second range, but that was on-par with a Mercedes 190E of the era.

Sadly, we’d be shocked to learn a single one of these survived, whether in Plymouth Colt or its original Mitsubishi Mirage form. Given the positive review seen here, that seems like a real pity.



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5 Responses to VIDEO: The Plymouth Colt showed what Mitsubishi was capable of at its peak

  1. Ken Lim says:

    In Malaysia, this generation of Lancer/Mirage/Colt is rebadged as the first Malaysian made car during 1985, known as Proton Saga.

    It was launched in 1985 by Proton after a collaboration project between Malaysia’s first automotive company, Proton and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Japan. Two engine options were available at launch. A 1.3 litre 4G13 engine 8 valve and a 1.5 litre 4G15 8 valve engine. It is said that although it is a Malaysian car, 80% of its parts are still sourced and imported from Mitsubishi Japan.

    The Mitsubishi based Proton Saga itself lived a long life in Malaysia as it was on sale from 1985 to 2008. It was on the market for 23 years straight with various updates, revisions and special editions. Over a million of these Saga was manufactured by Proton and many of them are still alive, being driven around today.

    If anyone is interested to how the Proton Saga and its various forms looked like, here’s a link to an album about its history. Thank you.

  2. Howard Dreispan says:

    To think what Mitsubishi WAS, to now, what it IS, is such a disappointment! With it’s new co-owner’s, I have some faith that something good might come of it. Something sporty, something worth buying again!

  3. LoriAnn Daniels says:

    I loved my Colt and no car has ever compared since. It was a little tank during the winter months with studded snow tires. Fuel efficient and as long as I did regularly required maintenance it was not surprising it lasted 13 years and 206,000 plus miles. I cannot say that about any other vehicle I have owned.

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