1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4

The Galant VR-4 was a sports sedan product in Japan starting in 1989. It was used with much success in World Rally from 1989 to 1992. I first laid hands on one of these cars in 1989 when the first VR-4 from the Mitsubishi factory in rally prep form arrived in the U.S. to run the Olympius Rally. I was lucky enough to be crew chief and watch this car take a full on pounding for three days. I was so impressed with this car (and our 10th place over-all finish) that I swore to myself I'd someday own one.

In 1991, 2000 VR-4's were produced for the U.S. and another 1000 in 1992. At the time I owned the Galant GS that I bought in 1989. It wasn't until a few years later that I traded in the GS for a used VR-4. Good trade. These cars are one of the greatest sleeper cars every made. Would you look twice at this car? With it's AWD package, rain slick roads or gravel just aren't a concern anymore. Huge (for its day) 10.4 inch brakes front and rear with ABS bring this heavy sedan to a halt with authority. The leather interior is plush and ready for 16 hour days without putting your backside to sleep. On our running of the Rally of the Lost Patrol, we had no problems with traction, power, or stopping abilities driving above the Arctic Circle in February.

The Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 was the range-topping version of Mitsubishi Motors' Galant model. Originally introduced to comply with the new Group A regulations of the World Rally Championship, it was eventually superseded as Mitsubishi's competition vehicle by the Lancer Evolution.

Group A regulations dictated a turbocharged engine of 2.0L displacement and a four-wheel drive transmission. In order to satisfy the mandatory minimum sales requirements of 5,000 units, Mitsubishi made it available in New Zealand, Australia, Japan & other Asian Pacific Rim territories, with 3,000 reaching the United States in 1991 and '92. In road-going trim the four-door sedan produced 195hp to 235hp depending on market, giving the car a top speed of over 130 mph and allowing it to accelerate from 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, with a quarter mile elapsed time of 15.3 seconds. This car also featured power-assisted speed-sensitive four-wheel steering: the rear wheels steered in the same phase as the front wheels above 30 mph, up to 1.5 degrees. The sixth generation Galant was also the first to see the introduction of the VR-4 variant, which was the basis for Mitsubishi's participation in the 1988 to 1992 World Rally Championships. The Galant's 4G63 two litre DOHC turbocharged engine and 4WD transmission was later adopted for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution with little modification, and would remain in production for fifteen years.

1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Specifications
Sixth generation (E38A/E39A)

Basics

  • Vehicle Type: front engine, 4 wheel drive, 5 passenger, 4 door sedan
  • Base Price: $21,000
  • Standard Accessories: power steering, windows, and locks, A/C, cruise control, tilt steering, rear defroster
  • Available Options: Power sunroof, compact disc player, graphic equalizer

    Performance Numbers

  • 0-30mph: 2.1sec (Car and Driver)
  • 0-60mph: 6.8sec (Manufacturer), 7.0sec (Car and Driver)
  • 0-100mph: 21.9sec (Car and Driver)
  • Standing 1/4 mile: 15.2sec @ 89 mph (Manufacturer), 15.6sec @ 88mph (Car and Driver)
  • Top Speed: 130mph (Manufacturer), 132 (Car and Driver)
  • Skidpad: 0.78g (Car and Driver)
  • Braking 70-0mph: 183ft (Car and Driver)
  • Slalom: 60.8mph (Car and Driver)

    Engine

  • Type: turbocharged and intercooled 4-in-line, iron block and aluminum head, liquid cooled
  • Bore x Stroke: 3.35in x 3.46in (85.0mm x 88.0mm)
  • Displacement: 122 cubic inch, 1997cc
  • Compression Ratio: 7.8:1
  • Engine Control system: Mitsubishi electronic with port fuel injection
  • Emissions Controls: 3 way catalytic converter, feedback fuel-air-ratio control (oxygen sensor), EGR
  • Turbocharger: Mitsubishi TD05H w/6cm turbine housing
  • Wastegate: Integral
  • Maximum boost pressure: 11.1 psig
  • Valve Gear: belt driven double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters
  • Power (SAE Net):195bhp @ 6000rpm
  • Torque (SAE Net): 203lb-ft @ 3000rpm
  • Redline: 7000rpm
  • Horsepower/liter: 97.6
  • Recommended fuel: Unleaded premium

    Drivetrain

  • Transmission: 5 speed
  • Primary reduction ratio: 1.275:1
  • Secondary reduction ratio (front diff): 3.866:1
  • Transfer ratio: 1.090:1
  • Rear axle ratio: 3.545:1
  • True final drive ratio: 4.927:1 (multiply primary x secondary for front, multiply primary x transfer x rear axle for rear)
  • 1st gear 2.846 34mph @ 7000rpm
  • 2nd gear 1.684 58mph @ 7000rpm
  • 3rd gear 1.115 88mph @ 7000rpm
  • 4th gear 0.833 117mph @ 7000rpm
  • 5th gear 0.666 130mph @ 6200rpm
  • Reverse gear 3.166

    Dimensions and Capacities

  • Wheelbase: 102.4in/2600mm
  • Track, F/R: 57.5/57.1in, 1460/1450mm
  • Length: 183.9in/4670mm
  • Width: 66.7in/1695mm
  • Height: 55.5in/1410mm
  • Frontal Area: 20.8 sq ft
  • Coefficient of drag: 0.34
  • Ground Clearance: 6.1in/155mm
  • Curb Weight: 3250lb
  • Weight Distribution, F/R: 58/42%
  • Power/weight ratio: 16.7lb/hp
  • Fuel capacity: 15.9gal
  • Oil capacity: 4.0qt
  • Water capacity: 7.4qt

    Chassis/Body

  • Type: unit construction with 2 rubber isolated subframes
  • Body material: welded steel stampings

    Interior

  • SAE volume, front seat: 52 cu ft
  • SAE volume, rear seat: 43 cu ft
  • SAE volume, luggage space: 11 cu ft
  • Front seats: bucket
  • Seat adjustments: fore and aft, seatback angle, height, lumbar support
  • Sound System: Mitsubishi AM/FM stereo radio/cassette/CD, 6 speakers

    Suspension

  • F: independent MacPherson strut located by a control arm, coil springs, anti-roll bar
  • R: independent, 1 articulated trailing arm and 2 lateral links per side, coil springs, anti-roll bar

    Steering

  • Type: 4 wheel rack and pinion, power assisted
  • Ratio: 17.8:1
  • Turns lock to lock: 2.5
  • Turning circle curb to curb: 34.8ft

    Brakes

  • F: 10.4 x 0.9in vented disc
  • R: 10.4 x 0.4in solid disc
  • Power assist: vacuum with anti-lock control

    Wheels and tires

  • Wheel Size: 15 x 6.0in
  • Wheel type: cast aluminum
  • Tires: Bridgestone Potenza RE88, 195/60HR-15

    Projected Fuel economy

  • EPA City Driving: 19mpg
  • EPA highway driving: 25mpg
  • Estimated range, city/highway, miles: 302/398