Introduced in 1994
as a front wheel drive
sports specialty car
, and as a little brother
to the incredible Mitsubishi GTO
in North America
). It's probably safe to say that, stock
, the FTO (at least the top models
, the GPX and GP Version R
) was one of the hottest front wheel drive sports car
s around, and would certainly give an Integra Type R
a run for its money
. It also looked very sporty and clean, bearing great similarities to its big brother GTO
and recent incarnation
s of its American
cousin, the Mitsubishi Eclipse
At the heart of the FTO is Mitsubishi's 4G93 engine (also found in the Lancer GSR), a 1.8-liter, SOHC straight-four producing a modest 123 horsepower -- but that's just the base model. The top trims (GR, GPX, GP Version R) use the straight-six, 2.0-liter DOHC 6A12, cranking out 167 (GR) or 197 horsepower (GPX & GP-R). Both engines use Mitsubishi's MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing with Lift Electronic Control) technology -- essentially, Mitsubishi's answer to Honda's popular VTEC, and lends the most power possible to the engine without the use of a forced air induction system (i.e., a supercharger or a turbocharger).
Another advanced feature of the FTO is the special INVECS-2 automatic transmission system. Depending on your driving, a computer will choose from a preset of shifting patterns in its database to match what you want from the car. If you're handing a winding downhill, INVECS-2 will drop a gear while you're slowing into a curve for lower rpm's out of the corner; if you're flooring the gas pedal, the system will let the car rev much higher than normal for maximum acceleration. INVECS-2 is the only transmission system to date that uses computer logic in its workings.
Despite the FTO's awesome performance, it was retired in 2000 along with the GTO. Furthermore, it was only released in Japan (something which I still don't understand completely).