Notable nameplates: Iconic Mitsubishi cars on display at the 60th Anniversary Expo

mmpc expo 4

Mitsubishi fans from across the country are flocking to the 60th Anniversary Expo of the three-diamond brand to see a showcase of its past, present, and future offerings.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What heritage models can one find at Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation’s (MMPC) 60th-anniversary expo?

    MMPC's automobile expo showcases heritage models like the Lancer, Pajero, and L200.
  • What is the schedule of MMPC's 60th-anniversary expo?

    MMPC’s 60th-anniversary expo will run until Sunday, August 13.
  • And while most are stoked to see what the brand’s current and future roster will look like, some select visitors are happy to reminisce memories made with Mitsubishi’s notable nameplates that were once staples in their respective categories.

    Mitsubishi Lancer

    On display at the Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Inc. (MMPC) 60th Anniversary Expo is the second-generation Mitsubishi Lancer.

    lancer

    It was introduced in the country back in 1980 and became known as the “box type” Mitsubishi Lancer, well, for obvious reasons. Despite its now-dated look, the second-gen Lancer boasted quite a revolutionary design back in its time.

    Furthermore, it offered decent comfort and power thanks to its four-link suspension setup and rally-proven Saturn engine, which made it a hit not only for Filipino families but also for tuners in the 80s.

    To note, the second-generation Mitsubishi Lancer became the default choice for brand-new car buyers of the said decade since it is the only car available to buy at the time.

    The second-gen Mitsubishi Lancer is also the last rear-wheel drive model coming from the Lancer family, which is why it is considered a coveted piece by collectors and restorers alike.

    The Mitsubishi Lancer came to spawn many other models and several other generations that were also popular in the Philippines. And Filipinos being Filipinos, who affectionately call people and things they love by nicknames, developed monikers for the later Lancer generations based on the shape of their lights.

    Some of them included the “singkit,” named after its thin and chinky lights; the “itlog,” for its egg-shaped lighting setup; and the “pizza pie,” for its taillights shaped like a slice of pizza.

    Mitsubishi Pajero

    Competing with the likes of the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Nissan Patrol was the Mitsubishi Pajero. The nameplate is one of the trifecta of Safari-inspired Japan-branded sport utility vehicles that became the pillars of today’s segment.

    pajero

    Like the aforementioned Mitsubishi Lancer, it was also produced in the Philippines in the early 1980s.

    Its large and boxy-shaped exterior was the epitome of off-roading back in the day and was the top choice of car buyers who want a luxurious yet rugged vehicle to take on the streets of the metro or the unpaved roads of the Philippine provinces.

    Notable features found on the 1980s Mitsubishi Pajero were a turbocharged diesel engine, a front double wishbone suspension setup, as well as power steering, and suspension seats.

    For those wondering, there are still dedicated owners maintaining the Mitsubishi Pajero nameplate to this day.

    Mitsubishi L200

    The Mitsubishi L200 is the predecessor of today’s Strada, which will soon be called the Triton.

    Providing Filipino families and business owners with a reliable people or commodity hauler, the Mitsubishi L200 wowed local motorists with its available four-wheel drivetrain arrangement and reliable suspension setup that allowed it to handle heavy loads.

    Further, its plush interior and other innovative amenities made it the ideal pickup truck for both city driving and off-road adventures.

    The Mitsubishi L200 was produced locally sometime in the early 1990s.

    Mitsubishi Adventure

    Although no Mitsubishi Adventure model is on display at MMPC’s 60th Anniversary Expo, it still stands as one of the most popular nameplates produced by the carmaker.

    In 1996, MMPC started the production of its ninth model, which became a sought-after family car and was later a mainstay of the Filipino transport sector. Its reliable diesel engine served as a dependable mill that was more than capable of ferrying up to 10 passengers. The 2.5-liter powerplant was mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.

    Based on an old press release, Mitsubishi sold the Adventure — a multi-purpose vehicle — back then from P470,000 to P535,000, which is just a little over the average sticker price for today’s subcompact hatchbacks.

    xpander

    Its predecessor, the Xpander is on display at the ongoing four-day event.

    Mitsubishi Galant

    Also in attendance is the Mitsubishi Galant, which was known as the “pating” (for its shark-like proportions) in the Philippines.

    It was an important model for the Philippine market as the Mitsubishi Galant and the Lancer were like the Toyota Camry and the Vios.

    That said, the locally-available Mitsubishi Galant had plenty of luxurious features like leather seats, a leather steering wheel, an armrest, power controls, and so on.

    The Mitsubishi Galant also was the first three-diamond-branded car to have featured the brand’s active electronically controlled suspension system or Dynamic ECS and was the second Mitsubishi to have received AMG treatment.

    It is also important to note that the VR-4 variant of the Mitsubishi Galant was the basis for Mitsubishi’s rally cars. Speaking of which…

    Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

    Mitsubishi found a niche in motorsport that it can dominate, and dominate it did.

    Rallying offered a tough and dangerous landscape but the excitement of watching people drifting through mud, snow, and dirt was what got some motorsport fans excited.

    lancer evo iii

    Some of the most notable cars in rallying were the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo series. On display at MMPC’s 60th Anniversary Expo are the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III (based on the fourth-generation “itlog” Lancer), Lancer Evo XI Tommi Mäkinen Edition (based on the fifth-generation “pizza pie” Lancer), and the Lancer Evo IX (based on the seventh-generation Lancer).

    Things offered by these machines included a tuned engine, improved suspension, better cooling systems, larger-than-life fog lamps, and a boatload of performance features in exchange for typical commuter amenities.

    Final thoughts

    Those looking to take a trip down memory lane are more than welcome to visit MMPC’s 60th Anniversary Expo, which will last until Sunday, August 13.

    Photos from Juan Paulo Papa

    Also read: 

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