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Owner Review

1992 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR (4WD) review

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Well what can I say about Mitsubishi’s (CC) Lancer GSR? It was launched in Australia in 1992, it had 141kW, 255Nm of torque, AWD, and a kerb weight of just over a 1000 kilograms. It was a rocket; 0-100km/h was dispatched in 7 seconds, which does not seem fast these days, but back then a Falcon or Commodore V8 took 8 to 9 seconds, so that was quick. The turbo was one of the best available, in that it was quite linear - it did not just come on strong and suddenly like late '80s turbos. The handling was as you’d expect: phenomenal, not just in the dry but also in the wet, although there was a slight trace of understeer. I used to love taking that car and having a blast up and down mountain roads on the weekend. The car was the total package as a performance car. Mitsubishi had its ("stuff" - Ed) so together then, the fact that this car won Motor Magazine’s Bang for Your Buck in 1994, beating much more fancied cars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and BMW m5, tells you something.

Its rival, the Subaru WRX, was launched 2 years later and went on to become, shall we say ‘legendary’, as Mitsubishi decided to stop importing the GSR after 1996. Why they did that is anybody's guess, leaving Subaru to the AWD performance market to itself. Compared to the GSR, the early WRXs were known for atrocious understeer and turbo lag.

I’m the first owner of this 1993 model GSR with 138,000kms, and it has provided very economical and reliable service. The only non-service items that have needed replacing are the two rear window regulators. My car would have been in showroom condition apart from one major fault with the vehicle, ie roof rust. Apparently this has affected the CC series of Lancers (I’m not aware of other models), as Mitsubishi decided to change the roof adhesive supplier. What the new adhesive did was attract moisture. The adhesive was applied to the 3 roof rails and the rail above the front and rear windscreens, after which the roof was attached to the car. The rust started to appear about 10 years after I bought the car, and it starts off with bubbling here and there, and eventually everywhere above the rails. Of course it is now out of warranty and Mitsubishi does not want anything to do with it. That’s the reason why I no longer take it for spirited drives up the mountain; I fear for the structural integrity of the roof, heaven forbid, if the car was to roll. I am wondering if it’s worth getting a new roof and rails, however this will cost a few thousand dollars. If the GSR was to become a “future collectible/classic”, then maybe I should. What do you think?

For now, I have recently purchased a 2016 Renault RS275 Cup Premium for my weekend mountain driving. Now that car is a revelation, and the subject of a future owner review.

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