History /

NEARLY A CENTURY OF AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY /

MITSUBISHI'S AUTOMOTIVE ORIGINS DATE BACK TO 1917, WHEN THE MITSUBISHI SHIPBUILDING CO., LTD. INTRODUCED THE MITSUBISHI MODEL A.

1917


The Mitsubishi Model-A takes its place in Japanese history as a pioneer of the first mass-production passenger car.

1936


PX33 is introduced as Japan's first 4-wheel drive production car. This was the origin of Mitsubishi 4WD technology.

1962


Mitsubishi Motor's inaugural international motorsports event, the Macau Grand Prix (under 750cc class). Mitsubishi 500 sets a new course record and wins its class.

1970


Mitsubishi begins building a reputation in America with the launch of the Colt under the Dodge nameplate.

1970


Mitsubishi enters the Colt F2000 Formula racecar and wins in a highly competitive Japanese open-wheel grand Prix. Mitsubishi applies aircraft technology to equip the Colt F2000 with a side radiator and wedge line.

1972


Mitsubishi enters the Colt F2000 Formula racecar and wins in a highly competitive Japanese open-wheel grand Prix. Mitsubishi applies aircraft technology to equip the Colt F2000 with a side radiator and wedge line.

1974


Looking for the ultimate test of durability, Mitsubishi enters the Lancer 1600GSR in the East African Safari Rally and dominates the competition with a first-second-third place sweep.

1976


Mitsubishi develops breakthrough Silent Shaft engine technology, leading to a patented method to reduce vibration in large-displacement four-cylinder engines. The technology allows four-cylinder engines to operate comparably with six-cylinder engines in terms of smoothness. Mitsubishi then licenses the technology to Porsche, Saab and Fiat.

1980


Mitsubishi is the first to engineer a turbocharged diesel engine for passenger cars in Japan.

1982


The Mitsubishi Motors marquee is introduced in America with three subsequent models: the Tredia, Cordia and Starion, and begins the development of Japanese turbocharged technology.

1985


With his third appearance in the toughest race in the world, Patrick Zaniroli makes endurance race history by winning the Dakkar Rally with the Mitsubishi Montero/Pajero, the first of many rally wins to come.

1987


Galant VR-4 becomes the first vehicle to feature Active Controlled Suspension (ECS). This revolutionary system enables a comfortable ride and handling stability by automatically adjusting the vehicle height and damping force.

1989


Motor Trend magazine names the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Import Car of the year.

1990


Mitsubishi is first in the world to design a Traction Control System.

1990


The breakthrough 3000GT uses active aerodynamics to increase downforce at higher speeds, the first Japanese production vehicle to utilize this technology. Also equipped with innovative features such as six-cylinder twin-turbo engine, Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) and all-wheel steering.

1990


Mitsubishi Motors launches the Eclipse in America with the turbocharged 4G63 engine and all-wheel drive technology. Makes Car and Driver's '10 Best List' from 1989 through 1992.

1991


Second-generation Montero features technological advances, Multimode ABS and Active Trac 4WD, which enable the driver to switch between rear-wheel drive and full-time four-wheel drive while driving at up to 60mph.

1991


Motor Trend magazine names the 3000GT VR-4 Import Car of the Year.

1992


Japan Car Research and Journalist Conference names Mitsubishi Motor's Intelligent & Innovative Electronic Control System (INVECS) Adaptive Shift Control Technology of the Year. INVECS learns and adapts to drivers' driving habits.

1992


Mitsubishi makes a major commitment to international motorsports completion by debuting the Lancer Evolution 1 in the World Rally Championship.

1992


The company introduces next-generation engine with Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (MIVEC), allowing maximum engine performance while maintaining fuel efficiency.

1994


Japan Car Research and Journalist Conference honors Sportronic® + INVECS adaptive shift control as Technology of the Year.

1995


Company leads the development of environmentally friendly engineering by launching the world's first Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine. Unlike ordinary engines, GDI enables fuel to be injected directly into the cylinder for lean-burn combustion.

1996


With a Dakar Rally-tested Active TracTM 4WD system, Montero Sport quickly establishes itself as a highly capable off-road midsize SUV in the U.S. and around the world.

1996


Tommi Makinen wins a record four consecutive WRC Driver's Championships from 1996 to 1999, while Mitsubishi claims the WRC Manufacturer's Championship in 1998.

1998


Mitsubishi's banner year in racing includes Montero's domination of the Dakar Rally as it sweeps the top four positions, Lancer Evolution's victory in the WRC and Montero's win in the FIA World Class Cup Cross-Country Rally.

1999


A world record: First electric car to cover 2,000 kilometers in 24 hours.

1999


A world record: First electric car to cover 2,000 kilometers in 24 hours.

2003


Mitsubishi introduces the Lancer Evolution in America and Automobile magazine promptly honors it as 2003 Automobile of the Year.

2005


The 4th generation Eclipse's beautiful design follows the design cues of Eclipse Concept E, which earns a 2005 Industry Design Excellence Award.

2006


The 2nd generation Outlander is the first compact SUV to offer an environmentally friendly PZEV V6 engine, a lightweight aluminum roof, magnesium paddle shifters and a 30 GB HDD navigation system with digital music server.

2007


Mitsubishi is first to score seven straight Dakar rally wins. This marks the 12th Championship win.

2008


The 2nd generation Lancer Evolution hits the streets across America, introducing a host of engineering breakthroughs that include Super All-Wheel Control and the TC-SST transmission.

2008


Mitsubishi Motors proudly announces Drive@Earth, our pledge to create vehicles that can exist in complete harmony with people, society and the environment.

2009


The Fuse Hands-free Link System® is unveiled in the redesigned 2010 Outlander. This revolutionary technology combines a Bluetooth® 2.0 handsfree phone interface with advanced voice control, allowing drivers to control their music, phone and phone book through voice command.

2009


Mitsubishi introduces the all-new Lancer Sportback, a fast, fun and versatile five-door with the same DNA as the race-inspired Lancer Evolution. Critics and drivers praise the sports car that's into whatever you're into.

2010


The PX-MiEV concept vehicle is revealed to the public. Powered by Mitsubishi's all-new plug-in hybrid system, PX-MiEV employs both serial and parallel hybrid technologies to maximize on-road performance while remaining at harmony with the earth.

2010


After intense speculation by the automotive press and years of development by Mitsubishi engineers, the production version of the 2010 Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle (i-MiEV) was made available for retail sale in Japan.

2011


In December, the remarkable all-electric i-MiEV begins to roll out in the United States. Leading the way in EV technology, the i-MiEV offers an astounding industry leading EPA rated 112MPGe, making it one of the most affordable and efficient mass produced electric vehicles available in the U.S. Another win-win situation.

2012


#1 on the EPA's list of Fuel Economy Leaders: The 2012 Model Year the all-electric i-MiEV is also named the 'Greenest Vehicle of 2012' by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

2012


The Mitsubishi Motors brand celebrates its 30th anniversary in the U.S.

2012


The popular Outlander Sport begins production in the U.S. for the first time in July at our manufacturing plant in Normal, IL.

2012


Mitsubishi Motors' inaugural two-car EV campaign at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb sees an advanced i-MiEV Evolution racing prototype driven by Hiroshi Masuoka place second in the Electric Vehicle (EV) division. An essentially stock version of the 100 percent electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV driven by Beccy Gordon comes in sixth place.

2013


Mitsubishi Motors returns to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2013 with a pair of all-new MiEV Evolution II race cars, placing second and third in class in the EV Division in the talented hands of two-time Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka and six-time PPIHC motorcycle champion Greg Tracy.

2014


Mitsubishi Motors redesigns the Outlander for the 2014 model year with all-new exterior styling and interior enhancements, technologically-advanced safety features and a lightweight, aerodynamically-enhanced body.

2014


The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 5-door sub-compact debut marks the return of the company's lovable and popular small vehicle offering, and does so as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline-powered vehicle available in America at the time.

2014


A pair of MiEV Evolution III all-electric prototype racecars place first and second within the Electric Vehicle division in the 92nd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) in the skillful hands of Greg Tracy and Hiroshi Masuoka. Tracy's first-place finish is a mere 2.4 seconds behind overall 2014 race winner in a gasoline-powered Le Mans sports car prototype, proving that electric-powered vehicles are a dominant force in this challenging one-of-a-kind motorsport competition.