Lore of the Mitsubishi GTO & 3000GT VR-4 centers around a massive amount of technology that Mitsubishi Motors Corp designed into the car. Taking cues from their High Speed eXperiment (HSX) prototype, MMC blessed the coupe with active aero, four-wheel-steering, electronically controlled suspension, active exhaust, all-wheel-drive… the list goes on and on. As a result…

Mitsubishi 3000GT

The JDM juggernaut weighed in at 3,781 pounds… 

That’s thicc by 90’s sports car standards… although it’s pretty modest compared to the Hellcats & Teslas of today. Still, the twin-turbo, twin-intercooled 6G72 V-6 could propel all four wheels (through a getrag 6-speed transmission) from 0-60 in just 4.8 seconds. That’s 0.3 seconds faster than a certain famous JDM movie car. And with its timeless styling, the love for Mitsubishi’s golden-era halo car only seems to grow stronger with age. The same can be said about the Eclipse. Mitsubishi had a great thing going. 

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

Jay Belknap’s 59k mile 1994 3000GT VR-4 is perfectly period-correct… 

And… it finds a way to reignite us all those happy feelings we had as car-consumed kids. 

“Simplify and add lightness” 

That was the mantra. So Jay began by putting the VR-4 on a diet. The car was lightened some 311lbs! This was by way of removing the rear seats, belts, CD changer, spare tire, cargo cover, storage trays, rear wiper/motor/tank, fog lights, wind deflector, heaps of brackets & hardware, active exhaust, and suspension computers. The list goes on. Certain necessities were replaced with substantially lighter variations, such as an Antigravity lithium battery & PST aluminum driveshaft. However, the active aero, ABS, 4-wheel-steering, power steering, and AC were retained for street manners & overall enjoyability.

mitsubishi 3000GT

This 3000GT’s original single-stage Caracas Red paint… 

Has been preserved & polished to a mirror-like shine. A Bomex fiberglass hood evacuates engine heat. And the nose of the 3000GT has a complimenting Bomex lip. Retro-spec provided the carbon fiber side-splitters/skirts and the carbon fiber cowl. Out back, an RE-Amemiya carbon fiber diffuser sits below the OEM active-aero wing. And a one-off carbon fiber roof panel replaces the heavy factory glass roof. For lighting, Jay uses 90’s McCullouch HID lamps. JDM GTO quarter-window panels emit a soft indiglo hue, and a Stopmotion Lighting LED system is integrated into the GTO taillamps. 

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

TE37 gunmetal

For wheels, brakes, and suspension 

This 3000GT VR-4 rolls on Tein coilovers. Body roll is controlled by Addco sway bars & 3S Solutions adjustable endlinks. Bushings have been freshened with Prothane poly on the front LCAs, and Innovative poly engine & transmission mounts. Pit Road M / Carbing strut bars stiffen the chassis from unwanted flex. 

Wheels are a square-setup of 19×9.5 +35 Rays TE-37 Ultras in Diamond Dark Gunmetal. Tires are Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in 275/35/19. 

This 3000GT is considerably leaner than stock… but not necessarily featherweight. Therefore, massive 380mm x 35mm ST60 Stoptech brakes sit up front, and matching 328mm x 28mm ST22 clamps can be found on the rear. Carbotech XP10 pads & Castrol SRF fluid make the most of that squeezing power. And thermal management includes Figment Technology carbon fiber brake air guides, and Girodisc titanium brake pad shields. 

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

3000GT turbo

3000GT twin turbo

This VR-4 engine bay appears to be fairly stock, however

The Pit Road M titanium spark plug cover signed by boss, Bruce Morishita, signals a bit more power may lurk underneath. A K&N panel filter rests inside the factory airbox. And the air is routed by 3SX inlet pipes to twin Dynamic Racing DR-750 turbos… then through twin Oohnoo/Bell intercoolers and a 3SX y-pipe. 

The 3.0L 6G72 engine breathes a little easier with Supertech valves, Brian Crower 266/272 cams, and revised OEM big bore lifters. Fuel is supplied by a Fuelab pump, and controlled by a Jester flashable OEM ECU. 

On the bottom end, vibration is kept in check with a Fluidampr crankshaft pulley. A Supercar-Engineering extended oil pan holds an extra 1.5 quarts of 0-50w ENEOS oil. And cooling comes from a massive 3SX performance 2” radiator. 

Spent energy routes though gutted OEM pre-cats, GZP downpipe, 3SX high-flow cat, and a Tanabe Super Medallion touring cat-back exhaust. Much of the exhaust is wrapped in Heatshield Products thermal insulation. All these right parts working in harmony puts horsepower in the 500s to all four wheels on pump fuel.

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

3000GT interior

The 3000GT cockpit has been tastefully upgraded with a few period-correct modifications… 

Open the doors to reveal 3S Solutions alcantara diamond-stitched door inserts, along with Figment Technologies carbon fiber sills & fuel lever release cover. Long discontinued Bride XAX-II seats replace the heavy OEM units, holding the driver securely in place while still allowing a bit of street-car-friendly legroom. The instrument cluster is a 20+ year-old Stack ST8130 display framed by an equally old one-off carbon fiber bezel. The Stack unit gives precise measurements of oil pressure, oil temp, water temp, fuel level, speed, rpm, and even has a built-in lap timing system.

To the right, a trio of GReddy 60mm boost, EGT, and A/F gauges are displayed in the dash. Below the mega-90’s digital climate control display, is an Alpine ilx-107 CarPlay unit. Steering wheel controls are retained by way of a PAC adapter. An Alpine powered 8-inch sub under the driver’s seat adds a little thump at a penalty of just 10lbs. Lastly, the centerpiece of the interior is an incredibly rare JDM GTO titanium shift knob. 

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

If not checked, our car-modding visions can take us way off balance… 

To a place where poor street manners cloud enjoyability. Or extreme horsepower kills comfort, confidence, & convenience. Sometimes our cars boast crazy power, but get peaky and/or require alternative types of fuel. And sometimes – they subsequently graduate themselves to track duty, drift missiles, or just garage ornaments. Or even worse… they spiral into a black hole where they never actually get finished at all. 

3000GT

Jay Belknap kept the course, and found a near-perfect balance for this Japanese classic.

And… he’s made it look effortless. Going forward, Jay’s only goal is to drive the 3000GT VR-4 cross-county to The SEMA Show in Las Vegas… and show a real, working “street car example” of what so many companies market to. Sure, wild builds are fun & polarizing. But clean & functional deserves an equal amount of love. We sure would love to see this 3000GT VR-4 at SEMA. Anyone listening??

Article by William Tabor

Photos by Nick Davis, Tre Rea, & William Tabor

lowered 3000GT VR

3000GT vr-4

Thanks to… 

Jacqueline Belknap 

Antigravity Batteries 

ENEOS 

Evasive Motorsports 

Fabworkz 

Killboy 

Stock or Modified Bodyworks 

StopTech 

Supercar Engineering

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

Mitsubishi 3000GT exhaust

Mitsubishi 3000GT big brakes

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