Here’s a brief overview of Mitsubishi’s automotive history, to help increase your appreciation for how far the automaker has come since its origin.
Mitsubishi Motors has come a long way ever since the first Mitsubishi vehicle rolled off the production line more than a century ago. Interestingly enough, the Mitsubishi company got its start in 1870 as a Japanese shipping firm. The automotive branch of the company originated in 1917, however, with the Mitsubishi Model A.
During the two world wars, Mitsubishi took a break from auto production to focus on producing military aircraft and ships. Though it did produce the PX33, a prototype sedan intended for military use. This model was the first Japanese-built passenger car with full-time four-wheel drive.
After this period, Mitsubishi shifted back into vehicle production mode. It introduced the Mizushima, a three-wheeled cargo vehicle that it produced from 1946-1962. In 1953, it introduced the Mitsubishi 500, a mass market family-friendly sedan designed to appeal to suburban families, a primary demographic of American consumers at that time.
In 1962, Mitsubishi branched into the racing segment. The Mitsubishi 500 won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places for the Class A category in the Macao Grand Prix. Two years later, the colt 1000 model nabbed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in the Japan Grand Prix. In 1967, the Colt 1000F ranked highest in its class in the Southern Cross Rally and 4th place overall.
Electric vehicle contribution
In the 1970s, the brand started researching and developing electric vehicle technology. This was in response to some early legislation that Congress passed in the late 60s, which recommended electric vehicles as a way to reduce emissions. This inspired the brand’s FTO-EV prototype, which achieved the Guinness World Record in 1999 for the first electric car to travel 2,000 kilometers in 24 hours. It also paved the way for the brand’s future electric models like the i-MiEV, which it introduced in 2010.
Today, Mitsubishi has established a reputation for its affordable lineup as well as its plug-in hybrid model, the Outlander PHEV. Whether you prefer the efficient, gas-powered Mirage or the adventurous Outlander Sport, these models continue to win the hearts of contemporary Americans.
Celebrate the brand’s rich automotive history when you stop by Mountaineer Mitsubishi to experience the newest Mitsubishi models for yourself.