GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Mitsubishi 3000GT

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silver_3000gt.jpg

SPEX

Years Represented: 1992-1999 
Class: Sports Car / Gran Tourer
Type: 2-door coupe
 
Country: Japan 
Host: GT, GT2, GT4, and GT5
 
Price as Tested: $14,877 (GT2 used car lot)
                        $15,102 (GT4 used lot)
 
 
Length: 179.7" // Width: 72.4" // Height: 50.6"
Wheelbase: 97.2"
Overhang: @6 feet 10 inches
Track: 61.4" [F] 62.2" [R]
Ground Clearance: 5.7"
Weight; 3,769 lbs.
Body Construction: unit steel
 
Layout: Front Engine / All-wheel drive
Tires: 225/50R-17
F. Suspension: MacPherson struts / coils / electronic control / a. roll bar
R. Suspension: dble wishbones / coils / toe-control linx / elec. control / a. roll bar
Brakes: vented discs
Turning Circle (R/L) 38.7 feet
 
Engine: 3 liter DOHC V6
Aspiration: intercooled twin turbo
Fuel System: EFi
Valves / Cyl: 4
Compression: 8.0:1
Bore x Stroke: 3.59 x 2.99"
 
GT2 Tested HP:   298 @ 6,000 rpm
GT2 Tstd Torque:
330 @ 2,300 rpm
 
GT4 Testd BHP:   312 @ 6,000 rpm
GT4 Tstd Torque:
355 @ 2,500 rpm
 
Credits per HP: $49.92 (GT2) // $48.40 (GT4)
Lbs. per HP: 12.65 // 12.03
Hp per Litre: 100.3 // 105.x

GT4 Idle: 750 // Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000
 
Transmission: 5-speed manual (pre-1995) 
                    6-speed manual (1995 cars and later)
 
`````````````````GT2 `````````````````````````````GT4
0-60 mph: 5.28 seconds           5.466 seconds
0-100mph: 14.67 seconds        13.450 seconds
 
400 M:  13.972 @ 98 mph      14.024 @ 101 mph
1 KM:     
25.768 @ 129 mph     25.443 @ 132 mph
 
 
GT2 Test Track: 1:39.518
 
(GT2) '92 VR-4 Top Speed at Redline
1st: 39 mph
2nd: 71 mph
3rd: 111 mph
4th: 149 mph
5th: 173.19 mph @ 6,000 rpm
 
(GT4) '95 VR-4 Top Speed at Redline
1st: 34 mph
2nd: 61 mph
3rd: 95 mph
4th: 128 mph
5th: 160 mph
6th: 173.42 mph @ 5,750 rpms
 

  
 

blue_3000gt.jpg


-----------------------EXTERIOR--------------------------

Like the NSX, the RX-7, and the Skyline, the Mitsubishi 3000GT is such an important Japanese sports car in the Gran Turismo series. It's important for a couple reasons. Reason #1 being its versatility, and #2? It is Mitsubishi's flagship coupe, or at least it was.
 
In GT1, fully modified, it sat in a class shared by few others. I've never been a huge fan of the 3000GT and have only one record of racing a GTO (as it's called in the first game), but this is one of those cars that simply can't be ignored due to its popularity in Gran Turismo. So here goes nothing.
 
In real-life, the GTO / 3000GT started its life being based on the HSX Concept, shown in Tokyo in 1989. In my country, the 3000 GT has an American counterpart: the Dodge Stealth, which was never the seller Chrysler Motors thought it would be. The Stealth's Japanese "twin" seems to be more common.
 
This car (the 3000GT) may seem Japanese, and was sold worldwide as a Japanese vehicle, but few know it was actually assembled in Bremen, Germany!  Mitsubishi is a major industry encompassing trucks, ships, construction equipment, electronic appliances, and many other ventures than cars; perhaps it was just convenient to have the 3000GT built in Germany for some reason. Wouldn't it be more expensive, though? I'm confused.
 
Unless you're totally oblivious to this car's history, you'll know that originally in Japan, the 3000GT was or is known as the Mitsubishi GTO. As already mentioned, it is called "GTO" in GT1, and not called "3000GT" at all, even in NTSC versions of the game. Truth is, it's still called the GTO in Japan, but 3000 GT elsewhere. There are a couple stories circulating the 'net describing why there are two names for the same automobile.
 
 One is that Mitsubishi Motors wanted to name it the GTO, but since Ferrari already had a car named 'GTO' in the past, Mitsubishi didn't want to "disgrace" the honor of Ferrari's marque. This makes sense....Japanese are known for being polite and honorable; perhaps they didn't want to offend the traditions behind the 'real' GTO?  Or perhaps they realized the world's automotive market is only so big, and reusing the same name over and over tends to dishonor those who got the idea first? 
 
The other story going around is: Pontiac also has a car called the GTO, which they've been making on and off (mostly off) since the mid-'60s. They have rights to this name, and apparently got jealous. Pontiac were about to get all legal on Mitsubishi; hence, Mitsubishi had to rename their car outside the Japanese market. This is rather ironic since Pontiac just stopped making their newest version of the GTO due to poor sales.

There are an incredible 13 versions of the 3000GT in GT2, and a handful in the first game as well, but not so many in GT3. In GT4, there are just eight versions from different years & slightly different body styles and engine configurations. Finally, GT5 has eight GTOs, yet twelve 3000GTs.  As usual, I find this total selection from game to game overwhelming, since so far in GT2 I've only driven the '92 VR4 that's the focus of this review, as well as one of the LM cars. I've never driven a GTO from the first game or a 3000GT from GT3, but I have driven both the SL and VR-4 found in GT4's and 5's used lots.
 
Chances are I'll never drive all versions; there's just too many cars in Gran Turismo to explore. It probably doesn't matter anyways. In many cases, I think the only difference between a '95 SL and a '98 SL are the model years and a slight difference in weight, perhaps. Same goes with more powerful turbocharged models. But to simplify things, I can break it down like this.
 
...There are both used and new 3000GTs in GT1, 2, and 4. GT3 hasn't got a used car lot, so they're all "new" in this game. There are both naturally-aspirated or turbocharged versions of the GTO / 3000GT. In GT5, all of these are firmly found in the used car lot, and there are no Premium versions.

Naturally-aspirated engines have issues with lowish torque,  combined with a lot of weight to push around. These slower cars are useful though, and can win plenty of races. They are also easier to pilot. Turbocharged versions (of course) have stronger engines, but tend to weigh several hundred pounds more than natural-aspirated cars in some cases.
 
Finally, there are some LM versions in some games that start off with a lot more power than dealer-bought cars. The LMs are supposed to be equivalent to full-racing cars you'd see in the Le Mans series of races, but aren't actually to be found in real-life.
 
The 3000 GT has been praised by many, and criticized by just as many. It has been called plenty of colorful names by folks on the 'net: "lardass" being one that comes to mind. Yeah, it's a heavyweight!  Seems odd, too...it's not a particularly large vehicle, is it? So where do the pounds come from? One might assume it's the all-wheel drive system. Now if this were true, how come the Lancer Evolution (a 4-door sedan) doesn't top the scales? Why is the 3000GT VR-4 heavier than a Galant VR-4?
 
Well to answer, some of those extra pounds are there because the car's chassis and body-shell are heavily reinforced for better stability and accident protection. Nowadays, a lot of sports cars are getting heavier (while motorcycles are losing weight) because it takes a lot of metal to make them stronger and safer. Also, the 3000GT--especially VR4 and other top models--packs some sophisticated systems that no doubt add pounds (more on this later). Just remember this: it's a good idea to get weight off these cars, unless you don't mind a bit of leaning, sliding, and sluggishness. 3000GTs are great sliders by the way, depending on which game we're talking about. More on this later. ...Man, I keep getting ahead of myself. Anyways, how about we visit our body-specialist.
 
In GT1, the '92 GTO can be trimmed all the way down to an amazingly light 2,436 pounds. Any of the three twin-turbo models falls to exaclty 2,713 pounds, which are the heaviest of the GTOs in this game. In GT2, (of course) we can get nowhere near this, even with a race-kit, but I found that this armadillo-like car starts to behave if you've got at least a Stage 2 weight reduction and an aftermarket suspension underneath. It is possible to win lofty races with a race-modified VR-4 twin-turbo, which weighs in at 3,218 pounds (yikes!). It is possible...I didn't say it is easy. Your best bet will be to drive an LM, of which there are two, and the lightest of these two weighs-in at 2,821.
 
 As I said, I never drove this car in GT3, but in GT4 you can remove 3 stages of poundage, resulting in a minimum of 3,128 lbs for the base '92 car. Anyways, as usual, GT1 is the odd game here, since it's possible to remove mega poundage, unlike in later games.
 
Besides weight, another drawback you'll face is the long body / short wheelbase syndrome that is shared by the 4th-generation Camaro. Lots of overhang (almost 7 feet of it). This makes these Mitsubishis want to swing-pivot at times in tighter corners, depending on which game you have and how much power you're using. Thankfully, the car's all-wheel drive system will often save!
 
I just finished the GT2 World Cup in a '92 3000GT. I got very lucky, there were no GT1 cars entered by the computer, so my main competition was from a Vector M12 LM and a super-lightweight Lotus Esprit. I won 3 of 5 races. At Trail Mountain, my Mitsu was just too heavy and maneuvered poorly thru those bumpy turns, even with heavy braking before them and my usual cornering tactics. I also lost at Midfield. Here, the Vector has those long straight sections to get ahead, and I simply never caught up to it.
 
I guess my point is: yes, the LM versions of the 3000GT exist in some games, but for those real drivers who want a challenge, it is very possible to take a showroom model (used or new) and eventually perform magic.
 
 

gold_3000gt.jpg


-------------------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN---------------------

Here's the best part, according to many GTO / 3000GT fans.
 
The intercooled twin-turbo 3 liter V6 engine in certain models  loves to run, and hefts those 3,700 pounds to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. Even lesser naturally-aspirated engines stomp major pavement, and this is only the beginning. The most humble of these cars (the non-turbocharged base and SL versions) will accept several turbo upgrades and intercoolers. But the real monsters...the MR, VR-4, and LM editions, get all 4 turbos, and will win any event, assuming there's no horsepower limit.
 
In GT1, Polyphony Digital went crazy with the power. Both the Skyline and the GTO twin-turbo MR could be pushed far into cheating country: 930 hp for the Mitsu, at least 913 for the Skyline GT-R. Many a neophyte has boasted his claim on the 'net, completely oblivious to any true driving challenge offered by Gran Turismo: (spelling errors included)
 
“YO MAN, I CLEeNED UP AT DEEP FORSET IN MY 900 HP GTO!!!!!! NOW I GUNNA GET ALL GOLD!!!! MY DOPE CAR ISMAADE IT TO 430 KM ON DA TEST TRACK!1 MY GTO LAPPED THE DRONES IN AD 9 TIMES DUDE/ I O w N e D”

Well of course you did, stupid, your car had 900 fucking horsepower! In real-life they'd put a cap on your ass so you'd actually have to fucking drive for a win. Idiot.
 
GT2, therefore, disappointed many. At best, the most a 3000GT could accept was 716 quoted horsepower in a '99 VR-4, which weighed hundreds of pounds more than GT1 cars. Some gamers searched in vain for the 900 hp GTO when GT2 was released, which simply wasn't there anymore. Well never fear, cheaters, you still have the Estupido. GT3 and 4 cars gain more power....I know you can pack over 850 horses in the 4th game, but so can alot of other vehicles.
 
In reality, you'll never need this much power to win in any Gran Turismo game. GT1 players also have the payback of serious turbo-lag to worry about, since GTOs in the original Gran Turismo had virtually no engine compression below 4,000 rpms. Like I said earlier, I owned at the GT2 World Cup in a cheapass used '92 version, and you can too.
 
Now let's move on to the transmission, which is a 5 or a 6-speed, depending which year you've got.
 
Cars produced in the early '90s are given 5-speeds. They were produced in an era before 6-speeds were all the rage. Again, I've found I didn't really NEED an extra gear to win when driving one of these earlier models, but at times it would help; especially in those awkward corners where one gear seems too tall, and the next one down too short--so you compromise by going below the torque band for a moment. Later versions from the late-'90s get a 6-speed, so that takes care of that.
 
An aftermarket limited-slip differential only becomes necessary for highly-powered cars. It helps cure a lot of twitchyness, and reduces the spin factor you'll inevitably face as you slide around in some hairier corners; but in some games, LSD also adds massive amounts of understeer, so beware. 3000GTs from GT3, 4, and 5 can also be equipped with VCDs (Variable Center Differentials) or VTDs (Variable Torque Differentials). These are supposed to improve cornering possibilities, but I've not been able to see much difference...there's still tons of understeer when driving on pavement no matter how the VCD is dialed.
 
Finally, there's the yaw control. Oddly, many 3000GTs can't be equipped with one, even though it's almost exclusively available to Mitsubishi products in our game. Hmmm....
 

3000gt_lm.jpeg
the infamous 3000GT LM


----------------CHASSIS / HANDLING------------------

I mentioned something about sophistication which adds weight earlier. Actually I mentioned alot of things early in this review, and I kept getting ahead of myself. Now, it's time to finally elaborate.
 
The Mitsubishi 3000GT went into production in 1990. Right off the bat, it was heavy and loaded with a lot of features: 4-wheel steering, all-wheel drive, electronic suspension controls, and devices which helped the car maintain ideal downforce as its speed rose. Perhaps all this stuff helps the 3000 GT handle great in real-life, but in our game it just means extra weight. It also doesn't cure any of the issues you'll shortly face.
 
Perhaps this is why some people (in real life and the game) look down on this car. All those gadgets arguably help it steer and maneuver better, but at what point does the driver's influence end, and the gadget's take over? The 3000 GT therefore isn't regarded by some serious motorsporters to be a serious sports car; not the way it is exalted in the game, anyways.
 
GT2:
Even on a stock suspension, this car (base model, SL, MR, or VR4) handles its enormous weight gracefully, assuming the engine isn't modified yet. The 3000GTs in GT2 understeer, suffer from throttle-induced oversteer under pressure, yet are pretty darn controllable; considering they weigh about the same as some poor-handling Jaguars, Astons, or GT2's heaviest muscle cars. The 3000GT's all-wheel drive grip makes it easy to drive and win with, and these cars can be pushed to perform rally-like drifts in hairpins and J-turns with a smile. It's possible to upset a 3000 GT, but it's not something that it will just offer...you'll have to PUSH it to make it spin....at least when it's low-powered.

In any event, this excellent handling starts to fall apart once the car is seriously powered. Lots of understeer and some problems with front-end grabbing in those sharper, slower corners will show up. Those long front & rear overhangs create problems with weight-transference as the car enter corners, making it somewhat prone to spins as well. Those daring rally-like moves we felt so free to explore while 3000 GT was low-powered get exaggerated in a Stage 4 full-throttle vehicle. You'll need the limited-slip differential, brake controller, maybe even traction controls--and you'll need to know how to USE them in this heavy machine, all to assist cornering lines in GT2.

GT4:
The variety of behaviors we can experience from 3000GTs in this game is more mercurical, and depends on which tires (and also which tire combinations) are being used. This is true even for lower-powered SL models. With normal tires of any kind (N1, N2, or N3), understeer and 4-wheel slides dominate to the point of annoyance -- you'll find yourself quickly aware of how heavy this car is.
 
Upgrade to sport tires and a better suspension, and some of that previous understeer vanishes--but just enough remains that you don't wanna get too comfortable. So get comfortable with that understeer; it aint going away!
 
It's a little-known fact to most newbies awed by the available power to be had in this car that the engine of a 3000GT is mounted laterally instead of longitudinally. This means the block sits in its bay sideways, as if it's a front-drive layout; and perhaps this is why the understeer in GT4 is so much more severe. Lancers and Lancer Evos also have this lateral-engine placement, the difference is they have smaller 4-cylinder motors, which means less frontal weight.
 
I've been in the habit of mixing tire combinations front to rear in various vehicles (other than the 3000 GT) to try and induce drifts. Sometimes; this also helps to try and get understeering cars to behave better. Not recommended here with our 3000 GT. With softer tires up front, the front-end now GRABS under braking, while the rear trail-brakes into a vague slide that can look cool, but in reality costs a lot of time.
 
So that's just a bit of advice from me to you. Don't mix tires with this car. It may work to mix tires on an early Evo or a few muscle cars that understeer like yachts, but will only hurt a 3000 GT.
 
 
Fast as it is, the VR-4 is more sports car than dragster. With so much rubber on the road and all-wheel drive, the 3000GT VR-4 digs out of corners regardless of road conditions. A little sand at the apex? No problem. Some runoff flowing across the road? Got it handled. The VR-4 gets a grip on the pavement and won't let go. No doubt the 4-wheel steering has some effect, though from the driver's seat it's impossible to know. Operation is totally transparent. The VR-4 always goes where it's pointed and the rack-and-pinion steering provides right-now response.
 
GT5
The words above are taken from the 3000GT, as reviewed in real-life by www.nctd.com . Despite these glowing words, those looking for some sort of improvments in this game, from GT4 to GT5, might as well keep on looking!  Yes, the car has lots of traction, and does have less chance of losing traction out of turns (in comparision to rear-drives), but that's about the only advantage you will usually experience in this particular game.
 
Only during some easy racing will the 3000GT now dominate without question. This means: Sunday Cup, Clubman Cup, Japanese 90's Challenge, all of which most drivers will EASILY be able to blow away, and maybe even pretend they're back in those early Gran Turismo days where the GTO cake-walked everything in its path. Once we need to take on some Professional-level races, things start to change.
 
Supercar Festival is the first set of races in which the 3000GT's actual power can be used, far beyond stock. Don't bother with an SL or SR, you will need an MR or VR-4. In some cases, it's a lost cause: no matter how much power gets stacked on, in those turns everything can go awry, tuning be damned.
 
I recently drove a Corvette CR5, and then an '88 Supra Turbo A. Both of these could take on the Supercar races. The Supra needed more tuning to do so, yet it could do the job overall.
 
...Even at High Speed Ring, my '96 3000GT VR-4, which was lightened to 3,500 pounds, suffered problems. Mostly (of course) understeer. Now, I'll just say up front that 3,500 pounds may sound like too much, but I've done the Supercar races also in a '96 Camaro Z28 which weighed 3,500. So weight is not a factor here.
 
Understeer.  *sigh*  Again, that ugly word. The 3000GT was driveable at High Speed Ring, but this only becomes possible with really safe racing lines, in and out of turns. Once you've commited to a racing-line, by goodness, you're stuck with it!  In previous GT games (GT2, especially) the car could be slid into turns, yet safely make its way out of them as the all-wheel drive traction took over. This was lots of fun, but also predictable.
 
The car in GT5 will slide, don't get me wrong, but kicking in that throttle will only guarantee understeer on-exit. Sliding into turns also guarantees overheating front tires, which means if you need to tighten up your cornering on-the-fly, you're out of luck.  If the driver keeps the throttle tamed, understeer may not show up necessarily, but the front-end will try its best to straighten out. You're a train on a set of tracks here, yet those rails feel kinda like they've been greased!
 
Once we start messing with tuning, we can tackle this to some extent. A variable-torque device is a good place to start. Have a look at the car's stock torque split: 35 up front, with 65% of torque delivery to the rear. This seems like the rear still has a chance to over-ride what's happening up front, yet during really hard driving, this is never the case. Even with soft sport tires. Switching all the way to 10/90 (10% front, 90% rear) finally resulted in a car that could be pushed from the rear, yet understeer was still something to always be aware of, even at High Speed Ring, and even at Daytona's Superspeedway course.
 
Tuning further with full-suspenion tuning helped, especially as toe could be manipulated. Yet at super-tight Nürburgring GP/F, there was simply no hope for the 3000GT, no matter which line-up of cars was raced against. It understeers into turns, period. This will be 100% of your handling concerns at this track, period. To make this understeer go away, we must drive slower. Which kills this car in its tracks. Corvettes can survive at this track in this race. So can Supras and Camaros. Not the 3000GT, which I finally declared a "lemon" for the first time in the entire GT series.  
 
In any event, there's a bit of controversy associated with this car, despite some of the hype and / or bad things you may have read or heard. Whether or not you agree with the lovers or the haters, the fact remains that the Mitsubishi 3000GT / GTO has got the goods to win, but its extreme clumsiness often gets in the way.
 
 


PROS---------------------------------------------------------

1). Excellent acceleration and speed despite those 3,600+ pounds.
 
2). Excellent traction all the time, any time. Limited slip differentials, VCDs, and other expensive parts only become necessary in high-powered cars, and even then they're not really needed by experienced GT drivers in every situation.
 
3). Lots of turbo options! Any 3000 GT or GTO can and will accept all 4 turbos + intercoolers for the right price (GT5 is the exception). Even the most expensive of these kits is worth the money.
 
4). The transmissions (any of them) are useful somewhere. They get the job done and don't interfere. Drivetrain parts aren't immediate necessary buys to win most intermediate races. Racing tranny only a necessity in the highest paced races.
 
5). Yes it handles like a water buffalo at first, but these cars are also manageable with delicate throttle control.
 
6). One of the more affordable sports cars on the Gran Turismo market.
 
7). Race-kit compatible in GT1 or 2.
 

CONS--------------------------------------------------------

1). God, what a heavy automobile!  In GT1, only the Aston Martin tops it, I think. In GT2, 3, and 4, final weight on an MR or VR-4 won't clear 3,000 lbs! This is a sports car?
 
2). All the gadgetry associated with this weight won't necessarily cure the dilemmas once the car is in some tough racing situations.
 
3). GT1 & some GT4 versions suffer from incredible turbo-lag, but that's the price you pay for artificial power as you boost it more and more.
 
4). Some (myself included) will find this car drives too well during races in which it's not being challenged, which can get boring. Other than the early understeer, there's little to complain about.
 
...So for lazy folks who just want to win win win easier events without much drama, this is a good one for you. Still, all this changes once you're REALLY racing some hard-core advanced series. Assuming you're not racing a lighter LM car, reflexes will surely be tested...
 
5). Oh yeah. UNDERSTEER. If you have no concept, you're about to learn. And....
 
6). ....sliding. Mostly due to weight getting tranferred around. Again, massive sliding usually only happens when we're really pushing this car.
 
7). In GT1, the GTO gets massive power advantages not shared by other cars (like the Corvette) that should also have them. The GTO is therefore one of the classic cheat cars. I classify this as a "Con", but many cheaters will of course see it as a "Pro".
 
8). Earlier used versions made before 1995 only have 5-speeds. This includes VR-4s.
 
9). 3000GTs with naturally-aspirated engines tend to feel gutless. Low torque...lowish power when burdened with all that weight.
 
10). Yaw control is available on many Mitsubishis found in GT games, including the ghetto Galant. Why is it excluded for Mitsubishi's all-powerful God?
 
 

 

Originally Published: June 30, 2005

GT4 content added: dangit. Probably sometime in 2008. Or 2009. Dangit. 
 
GT5 content added: June 4th, 2012 
 

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