When we think of performance Mitsubishis, we almost always think of Lancer Evolutions. Well, there is another Mitsubishi that has a 280bhp turbocharged engine and which also uses a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system similar to that employed by the Evo. The Galant VR-4 is a big car in comparison to an early Evo, but the powerful V6 engine and excellent handling and traction provided by the sophisticated underpinnings mean that the VR-4 isn’t far behind. What’s more, the VR-4 not only provides near-supercar levels of performance and grip but, unlike many of the rally-inspired slingshots, it’s also capable of very civilised high-speed cruising. With the estate version, it’s also extremely capacious.
Built by Ralliart Japan between 1996 and 2002, the Galant and Legnum (estate) VR-4 was based on the Galant V6. Additional power came from a pair of small, efficient turbos, one for each cylinder bank of the 2.5-litre engine. This brought , which made driving the VR-4 an altogether more exciting proposition. The engine itself was made more robust with an improved oil system and lowered compression ratio. The intention was to add plenty of power without losing the engine’s silky smoothness, and careful matching of the turbo characteristics to the motor largely ensured this.
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