I don’t wanna see any Mitsu hate in this post. I know America in particular are not a fan, and maybe Mitsu deserve it. But they’ve made some damn cool cars and this is a place of celebration and mourning. And so help me if I hear “DSM”...
I didn’t actually realize the Lancer was dead. I knew it had gone a long time without a replacement, I thought it still lingered. I hoped there would be another generation.
But alas, it was killed last year in all except a few Asian markets.
I have a history with the Lancer. I’ve never owned a Mitsubishi, but a childhood friend had one as his second car (his first being an 80s Colt). It was a CE Lancer with a 1.8L. Was a beaten up riced thing, but it did the job for years. He put in the cupholders and power windows from the fancy MR model from the wreckers. Eventually it went to his fiance. She reupholstered the seats and painted the dash, it sort of became an outlet for her and a car for the family to use.
Later he got an Evo 6 TME, it was used as a car for his wedding (with my Z32). After he got sick of daily driving it, he got a Colt Ralliart with that weirdly high seating position and a buzzy, peaky 1.5L 4G15 turbo. We took it on a 3000km road trip up the coast. It got crashed. He got another. He still has both the Lancers and the Colt.
During the Lancer phase I was dating a girl, her first car was a Mirage, the hatch based on the CE Lancer coupe. The same car up to the rear of the doors. We did some work, fixed some things, and when she crashed it we replaced bonnet, bumper and fenders from the wreckers.
Another girl I dated got another CE coupe as her first car. That also got crashed and repaired from the wreckers, now she has an MR Lancer.
That’s the history. I like these cars. The CE was cheap, but to me it felt well made. It had a plastic dash, but plastic is cheap and solid. The cars weighed nothing (something like 900kg for the Mirage), which made them efficient and fun despite the gutlessness of that damned 4G15. It was truly cheap and cheerful. The idea of using the same foundation for hatch/coupe/sedan/Evo meant parts sharing was incredible - useful for me and all the crashed Lancers I’ve seen. Putting fresh junk yard parts from a Lancer/Mirage onto a Lancer/Mirage for like $80, that’s the dream.
Lancer also means a lot to me. Girls I’ve dated, growing up, etc. I was around these cars every day for near-as-makes-no-difference a decade.
And Mitubishi wasn’t just Lancers. The 3000GT, despite what Mr Regular might think, is a cool car and was very much a leader of that rad 90s period. The Starion is sick. The FTO was weird. The Eclipse had its moments. I don’t think we ever got the Eclipse in Australia. And the Magna was a big deal for us for a long time.
Pour one out, Oppo. For the Lancer and the company that birthed it.