Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 sedan stood apart in 1990s lineup thanks to its potent turbo powerplant and advanced all-wheel drive system. Developed for domination, the VR-4 opened new possibilities for family sports sedans. Let’s examine this icon of Japanese sports sedans.
- 1 World Rally Inspired Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Development
- 2 Turbocharged Muscle Sedan
- 3 Capable AWD System
- 4 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Handling to Match AWD Traction
- 5 Functional Aggressive Styling
- 6 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Plush Cabin Treatments
- 7 Ongoing Evolution
- 8 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Lasting Legacy for JDM Fans
World Rally Inspired Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Development
Mitsubishi drew from its motorsport programs when developing the Galant VR-4, named for the brand’s signature twin-turbo “Variable valve timing and lift Electronic Control” technology. Rally racing honed the stout 4G63 engine and sophisticated AWD system.
Tarmac or gravel, the VR-4 channeled Mitsubishi’s hard-won engineering expertise into a road-legal package. Unlike rivals, the VR-4s technical abilities were proven at high-stakes competition worldwide before production. Racing successes became street credibility.
Turbocharged Muscle Sedan
At the VR-4’s core lay its high-output 2.0-liter twin-sequential turbocharged inline-4 producing up to 283 horsepower. This DOHC sixteen-valve iron block engine derived from Mitsubishi’s 4G63 rally legend.
Forged internals enabled big power from just 2.0 liters. Twin intercoolers prevented heat soak after repeated hard use. Throttle response sharpened for immediate acceleration off idle. The VR-4 engine poured out rally-ready grunt.
Capable AWD System
Central to taming the big turbo power was Mitsubishi’s sophisticated electronically-controlled full-time 4WD system. A center multi-mode differential split torque front-to-rear for hard launches without excessive wheelspin.
Strong limited slip differentials managed power side-to-side at each axle. The advanced AWD hardware enabled smooth, secure power delivery in all weather – critical for a turbo sedan.
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Handling to Match AWD Traction
Complementing the drivetrain, VR-4 suspensions received rally-tuned handling upgrades for high-speed stability and quick turn-in. Front strut tower braces stiffened the chassis while sport-tuned sway bars reduced body roll.
Lowered ride heights centered mass closer to pavement. VR-4 steering systems quickened response for competitive reflexes when corner-carving. Electronics like four-wheel ABS provided an additional advantage over rivals.
Functional Aggressive Styling
The VR-4 exterior adopted functional enhancements reflecting its rally-bred mission. Extended front air dams channeled cooling airflow. A pronounced rear wing stabilized high-speed handling. Side skirts and revised bumpers completed the aero transformation.
Dual hood scoops ducted air directly into the turbo and intercooler. These bespoke body revisions were no cosmetic gimmicks – each tweak served to improve VR-4 performance margins.
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Plush Cabin Treatments
While tuned for speed, the VR-4 remained refined inside. Leather upholstery kept passengers comfortable during long-distance cruising. Rich woodgrain trim added a touch of luxury. An 8-speaker stereo with cassette equalizer provided premium sound.
Generous legroom, climate control, and power accessories maintained comfort across long road trips. Mitsubishi balanced tuning with amenities for well-rounded capabilities befitting a sports sedan.
Mitsubishi continually evolved each subsequent Galant VR-4 generation to stay ahead. The wider second-gen chassis improved stability and allowed 5-speed gearboxes. Electronically controlled differentials and suspension built on rally learnings.
A potent 4G63 engine pumping out nearly 300 horsepower vaulted the nimble VR-4 into supersedan territory by the 1990s. Racing development continuously enhanced the breed.
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Lasting Legacy for JDM Fans
While the Galant ended domestic production in 2003, VR-4 models are revered in Japan for bringing supercar performance to family sedans when both economy and luxury were emphasized.
For a generation, the VR-4 fulfilled desires for practical sports sedans sharpened with rally dominance. Their advanced hardware proved Mitsubishi’s capabilities to build technology showcases on top of dependable commuters. The Galant VR-4 became a Japanese performance icon doing it all.