Unlike today’s other off-road truck post, this one certainly doesn’t have a bland name. The Mitsubishi Fuso SuperGreat FX 6×6 is an off-road military tow truck, depicted here in Technic Japanese Self Defence Force form.
All six wheels are driven by a Medium Motor, the steering is powered by a combination of a Medium and a Micro Motor, whilst the crane rotation, elevation, extension, and outriggers are all controlled manually.
Mitsubishi Motors make precisely nothing that we would ever want to buy, drive, or ride in.
That Mitsubishi’s recent emissions fraud in Japan meant their share price dropped low enough for the Renault-Nissan Alliance to buy them (and then confirm they were pulling the brand out of Europe altogether) only makes us pleased, because there’s less chance of us having to look at the back of one of these.
Which makes it all the sadder that Mitsubishi Motors used to make some rather excellent cars, such as the mid ’90s Galant, the weird FTO, and this, the Lancer Evolution.
With all four wheels driven by a two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, the Lancer Evo and its Subaru Impreza WRX rival were way ahead of the European and American competition in the ’90s, as demonstrated by Japan’s utter dominance of the World Rally Championship at the time.
Both Subaru and Mitsubishi developed their cars every year or so too, with the latter handily applying roman numerals to the nameplate so it was easy to see who had the latest version.
This particular Lancer is a ‘V’, which appeared for just one year exactly halfway through the Evo’s development. Previous bloggee Fuku Saku has captured the Evo V brilliantly, using some properly clever techniques to recreate the late ’90s performance car icon.
There’s loads more of Fuku’s build to see at his ‘Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V’ album on Flickr; click the link above to make the jump, and remember a time when Mitsubishi made more than just air-conditioning units. And this.
We’re not sure where the term ‘ricer’ came from in America, but today it’s defined as ‘Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements’, which means it seems to have transcended any xenophobic origins and can be used to describe any car modified in a ‘ricey’ way.
What we do know is that three favourites recipients of the term, at least according to the internet, are the Toyota Supra (specifically the Mk4 variant), the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and the Honda Civic, each of which has been recreated brilliantly in lightly-riced form by TLCB regular SP_LINEUP.
Each includes opening doors and hood, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and some can be bought from SP in kit form too. Click the link above to visit SP’s photostream to see more of each build and the rest of his extensive back-catalogue.
The Second World War, for all the death and destruction it wrought, did provide the catalyst for some amazing technological advances. Sticking some floats underneath a Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter probably isn’t in the top three though, but the result is still rather cool. The Nakajima A6M2-N ‘Rufe’, developed from the infamous Zero, turned the land-based fighter/bomber into an amphibious floatplane. Just over 300 were produced between 1942 and the end of the war, with last being operated by the French following its capture in Indo-China. This ingeniously constructed small scale version comes from John C. Lamarck of Flickr, who has captured the Rufe’s unique asthenic brilliantly in miniature. See more at John’s photostream via the link.
This is the Mitsubishi Pajero. Or not, depending on where you live. Mitsubishi’s toughest 4×4 was originally named after the pampas cat (Leopardus Pajeros), but the word means something entirely different in many Spanish-speaking countries…
TLCB Towers are not situated in a Spanish-speaking country, but nevertheless the big 4×4 is called something different here too. The Shogun, as it’s known in our market, was one of the founders of the modern SUV craze, but has long since been left behind by more car-like rivals. In fact we can’t remember the last time we saw a new-ish Shogun on the road.
We do still occasionally see early ones though, as they keep going forever. This lovely 6-wide mini-figure scale model of a late ’80s Shogun comes from previous bloggee Pixel Fox, adding to his already impressive line-up of Lego 4x4s. Take a look via the link above.
This little red box is a 1980s 3-door Mitsubishi Pajero, and we want one. Launched long before the SUV/crossover craze arrived, the humble Pajero came from a time when Japanese off-roaders ruled, and they really could go off-road. This made them horrible to drive on-road of course, but back in the ’80s if you bought a Pajero there was probably a good chance that you did actually want to take it away from the black stuff.
This brilliant Technic recreation of one of the finest ’80s 4x4s comes from Kevin Moo of Eurobricks, and not only does it look absolutely spot-on it’s packing some neat functionality too, with remote control drive and steering, LED head and tail lights, working suspension, and an opening hood, doors and tailgate. There’s lots more to see of Kevin’s remote controlled Mitsubishi Pajero model at the Eurobricks discussion forum – Click the link above to make a jump to 1982.
But it was made by a car manufacturer, and very probably their most famous product too. This is of course a Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter from the Second World War, and it’s been neatly recreated in Lego form by James C of MOCpages. James’ updated build includes a mini-figure pilot, working landing gear, and custom decals, and there’s more to see on MOCpages via the link above.
Mitsubishi passenger cars haven’t appeared here at The Lego Car Blog all that often. In fact Mistubishi’s World War 2 fighter plane – the A6M Zero – has made more appearances. This is probably because the Japanese manufacturer’s current product range is a bit… shit, and thus it’s a bit of a bleak place from which to draw inspiration.
Mitsubishi’s woes are larger than a tiny market share cobbled together from a bland line-up of nothingness though. World news has been full of the Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ scandal, where some crafty engineers (and morally bankrupt management) signed off a ‘cheat’ that means cars are producing up to forty times their stated pollution level, but what you may not know is that Mitsubishi Motors are currently the subject of a criminal investigation in Japan for undertaking similar practices.
In fact it’s been found that Mitsubishi have been falsifying the fuel economy figures of their domestic-market vehicles for twenty five years, with over 620,000 cars affected.
All of this has resulted in a company that’s now in a precarious position, but luckily for fans of the brand (and their thousands of employees), the Renault-Nissan Alliance has stepped in. No doubt helped Mitsubishi Motor’s falling share price, the French-Japanese partnership recently completed a $2.2Billion purchase of a controlling stake in the company, and simultaneously turned Renault-Nissan into the fourth largest automotive group in the world.
With both Nissan and Renault now on a roll after years in the automotive doldrums it can only be a good thing for Mitsubishi’s products, which will be able to share the platforms, engines and electrics of their parent brands. That’ll make things interesting for the bright spot in Mitsubishi’s current range, their highly successful L200 ‘Triton’ pick-up truck. With Nissan’s own Navara spawning a new pick-up for Renault (and one for Mercedes-Benz soon too), should the L200 end up platform-sharing as well there’ll be four pick-ups all spun from the same design.
Until then though, the current L200 remains a stand-alone* product (and quite a good one too), and TLCB favourite paave has recreated the popular pick-up superbly in Technic form. With remote control drive and steering, accurate independent front and leaf spring rear suspension, and opening (and locking) doors, hood and tailgate, paave’s double-cab Triton is packed with features too. Head over to MOCpages for all the images, plus a video of the model in action.
*Er… sort of. This is complicated. Nissan make the Navara, and are in partnership with Renault. Renault will re-badge the Navara themselves to create the Renault Alaskan next year. This platform has also been shared with Mercedes-Benz, who will make their first commercial pick-up truck, the X-Class, next year too.
Mitsubishi, now owned by Renault-Nissan, make their own truck, the L200 pictured here. This will likely also become a Navara clone when the current generation is replaced, but for now it’s a separate entity. Except the L200 platform has been sold to Fiat so that they can re-badge it to create their own pick-up, called the Fullback, which launched last month…
…but probably the most popular plane to appear here at The Lego Car Blog. Lego builders love the Mitsubishi Zero, and they keep finding new ways to recreate Japan’s most famous fighter. This version comes from MOCpages’ James C, and he’s captured the Zero’s iconic shape beautifully. There’s more to see at his MOCpage – click the link above to fly over.
If there’s one defining characteristic of Japanese cars from the 1990s it’s Black Plastic. Lots of Black Plastic. Despite this affliction the ’90s were something of a golden age for Japanese manufacturers, when Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru all ruled the WRC, Mazda won at Le Mans, and Honda were Formula 1 World Champions.
However, unlike today’s other ’90s Japanese post, this car isn’t one of the era’s highlights. The Mitsubishi Shogun / Pajero was quite a successful 4×4 (long before the term ‘SUV’ came into being), but it came from a time when all 4x4s were, frankly, a bit crap. This one is the three-door Pajero, which makes it particularly pointless. Oddly though, with the rise of the increasingly unnecessary small-SUV, it’d probably be quite popular these days.
This excellent Model Team replica of the Mitsubishi Pajero has been built by TLCB regular Senator Chinchilla, and he’s absolutely nailed the ’90s Black Plastic. There’s more to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the trip.
Ah the Eagle Talon. A car we know nothing about, seeing as it wasn’t available in our home nation. Or continent. Still, a re-badged Mitsubishi Eclipse sold by a company created by Chrysler that no-one had ever heard of would surely do well? Eagle folded (get it!) in 1999, eleven years after it launched, and the world kept turning, but this Model Team recreation of their (actually not bad) Talon sports coupe is rather nice. Serial bloggee Senator Chinchilla is the builder, and you can see more here.
The Lego Car Blog has featured numerous Mitsubishi A6M Zeros over the years, and Flick’s Daniel Siskind has been refining his mini-figure scale version of the famous fighter aircraft for almost as long. This is his latest version, and it’s pretty much perfect. See more at his photostream via the link above.
Good things come in fives. We tried to think of some examples to prove this but we got stuck after Oceans, Fingers and Toes, so we’ll move straight onto this; Senator Chinchilla‘s lovely Model Team replica of Mitsubishi’s Evolution V. The fifth in Mitsubishi’s now-discontinued line of four-wheel-drive rally weaponry, the Evo V was the performance car to have in the mid 1990s. Unless you were a Subaru fan of course. You can see more of this ace example on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.
Mitsubishi might be best known for the Lancer Evolution (although we’re not sure if anyone’s actually buying them anymore), but it wasn’t a car that put the Japanese company on the map. It was this, the deadly A6M Zero fighter. This lovely recreation of the classic warplane has been built by Flickr’s LegoUli and you can see more at his photostream by clicking here.
The Elves love the Fast and Furious movie franchise. There’s very little plot but lots of explosions, and that’s pretty much all they need from television. Flickr’s Mad Physicist, a regular here, has built one of the most famous cars from the movies, a highly modified* lime-green Mitsubishi Eclipse. There’s lots more to see on Flickr – click the link above to hit the NO2 button.
*If our memory serves us correctly these mods included a 17 speed gearbox, a Nitrous Oxide System that defied basic chemistry, and magic.