When your friends showing off that his brand new Mercedes can park itself you'll think "Whoa, that's neat!". Well, for Hardcore Mitsubishi fans, that's not that neat, since a Mitsubishi has done that quite a while ago.
(Welcome to Aya's version of Long Lost Concept Cars. I wrote this thing simply because i miss this feature. Seriously, where did it gone?)
The HSR is a Mitsubishi's vision of cars of the future. The HSR itself stands for Highly Sophisticated-transport Research, and there are six of them, released every two years at Tokyo Motor Show from 1987-1997. Each car has different styling, different engine, and different special features that makes it different from any other car you'll see on the road back then.
My personal favourite is this, the HSR-II, thanks to the guys at gran turismo that decide to include one of this in Gran Turismo series, from GT4 to this day. Shame they never upgrade the car to a premium model..
Anyway, back to the car. The HSR-II is designed by Mitsubishi as their "future version" of supercar. In their minds, a 21st century of Supercar should have a massive array of computer-controlled gizmo like active aero and active suspension in order to make a lap fast. And i think it's quite true, seeing some current crop of supercars has ton of gizmo like the one on HSR-II. Don't believe me? Let's go a bit more in-depth with the car..
What was it? A high-performance mid-engined supercar with a lots of tech stuff inside.
It looks good, although a bit 90's. And has lots of tech that so far ahead of it's time. This includes:
-4 Wheel Drive
-4 Wheel Steering
-4 Independent Active suspension
-ABS and ESP
-OSCII, a series of 7 computers that manages the Active Suspension, radar-guided cruise control, course tracking (FOR TRACKDAY BRO!), Automatic parking, and the Aerodynamic bits.
-And of course, the Aerodynamic bits and bobs itself, called Active Aero Control
The Active Aero Control in this car consist of 2 flaps in the rear, 2 retractable front canards, and 2 chin spoilers, designed to give you a maximum downforce when cornering. In the straight line, those aero bits and bobs is disabled to give the lowest coefficient of drag possible. This car can provide drag as low as 0.20 cd, and as high as 0.40 depends on the driving situation. The Active Aero Control is also acts as an air brake to help reducing the braking distance. All in 1989.
What were the specs? It has a 3 litre twin turbo V6, producing 362hp @ 8000rpm and 341lb-ft of torque @ 5000rpm, all goes to 4 wheels using a very jalop 5-speed manual gearbox, at least according to gran turismo. It's also weigh 2400lbs, or about the same as Miata, and has top speed of 186mph. 0-60? Mitsubishi doesn't give any info about that, but in Gran Turismo is somewhere arround high 3-to low 4 seconds. It also has a Gran Turismo Ring time of 6:42, quite amazing even for today standards.
What else made it special? The flaps man! That's the best thing on this car. The second best thing on this car is the interior, that looks like it comes from a movie set or something. And the third is the way the doors open.
Why the roof should be opened like that? It's awesome! I assume it's there for easier access or something like that.
Did it actually run? yes, in Gran Turismo at least. And i believe it runs on real life too.
Was it ever planned for production? I'm not sure. I think it's only planned as a concept car, altough some say the engine and the electronics is the same as the Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT, but i'm not quite sure about that.
Should it have been produced? Hell yeah! NSX needs a japanese friend man, although it's a bit wacky and over the top. But if you lose that opening roof and simplified the interior a bit, it looks like it's ready for production.
Still, it remains an interesting footnote in Mitsubishi's history, and a fascinating example of what could have been. The world needs more mid-engined, four-wheel drive supercars with Active Aero, right?
Also, dat flaps man.