In 2017, Mitsubishi is celebrating 100 years of business! It all began back in 1917 when the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding CO., LTD. introduced the Mitsubishi Model-A vehicle. Take a look at the detailed timeline of accomplishments from Mitsubishi.
1917 – The Mitsubishi Model-A was designed to be a luxury vehicle for government officials. It became the first mass-production car in Japanese history.
1962 – The company won its first entry into the Macau Grand Prix. Mitsubishi set a track record with the 500 Super Deluxe. This car was also the first vehicle to be aerodynamically tested in a wind tunnel in Japan.
- Mitsubishi begins research and development on electric vehicle technology. This set the stage for Mitsubishi Motors to be the first automaker to mass market an electric vehicle.
- The new Galant GTO launches in Japan, eventually leading to the Lancer Evolution.
- Mitsubishi sells its first car in America, and re-badged it as the Dodge Colt.
- The Colt F2000 wins Mitsubishi Motors’ 6th Grand Prix title.
1973 – This was the debut year for the Lancer 1600GSR. This vehicle won the Australian Southern Cross Rally and obtained Mitsubishi’s 4th rally title overall.
1976 – Silent Shaft Technology is invented and Mitsubishi licensed the patents to Porsche, Saab, and Fiat.
1980 – Mitsubishi engineered the world’s first energy saving Turbo Diesel engine, with Silent Shaft Technology.
1982 – Mitsubishi makes its debut in America. This year they launched the Tredia, Cordia, and Starion models.
1983 – The Montero makes history by winning the triple crown in its first appearance at the Paris-Dakar Rally. Did you know that this is considered to be the world’s toughest race?
1987 – The Galant VR-4 is the first vehicle to feature an Active Electronically Controlled Suspension, and it received Mitsubishi’s first Car of the Year award in Japan!
1989 – The Galant VR-4 is named Motor Trend Magazine’s Import Car of the Year.
- Mitsubishi designed the world’s first electronically-controlled Traction Control System this year! This later became legally required safety feature in many countries.
- The 3000GT is launched with groundbreaking technology, including high-performance full-time AWD suspension and active aerodynamics. Motor Trend names it the Import Car of the Year for 1991.
1991 – The Eclipse makes its debut in America and makes Car and Driver’s 10 Best List from 1989-1992!
- Mitsubishi is awarded the Technology of the Year award for its INVEC System, which adapts to a person’s driving habits.
- The Lancer Evolution is launched.
- MIVEC Technology is introduced, maximizing fuel efficiency while maintaining engine performance.
1996 – Mitsubishi launched the world’s first Gasoline Direct Injection engine.
- Tommi Makinen wins a record consecutive WRC Driver’s Championships (1996 – 1999). Mitsubishi claims the WRC Manufacturer’s Championship in 1998, all with multiple generations of the Lancer Evolution.
- Mitsubishi’s banner year in racing includes the Montero’s domination of the Dakar Rally with a top 4 sweep, a FIA World Class Cup Cross Country Rally win and the Lancer Evolution’s victory in the WRC.
1999 – The FTO-EV prototype earns a Guinness World Record by being the first electric car to travel 2,000 kilometers in 24 hours. The previous record was only 300km!
2003 – The Lancer Evolution, equipped with all-wheel-control arrives in the US, and Automobile Magazine awards it the 2003 Automobile of the Year.
- The 4th generation Eclipse, is awarded the 2005 Industry Design Excellence Award.
- The Outlander is launched and it marks the world’s first compact SUV to offer an environmentally friendly PZEV V6 engine.
- Another record is set for Mitsubishi! The company has 7 straight Dakar Rally wins, and they now have 12 championships overall.
- The Lancer Evolution X is launched with Super All Wheel Control. This is considered to be one of the most advanced AWD systems in the entire world! It wins Car of the Year in Japan.
2008 – Mitsubishi announces Drive@Earth, which is their pledge to create vehicles that can exist in harmony with people, society, and the environment. This effort encompasses EV, PHEV, and other emission-reducing technologies with corporate initiatives designed to preserve and sustain the global environment.
2009 – The production version of the 2010 Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle is launched to multiple markets worldwide after more than 40 years of development and awards.
2010 – The PX-MiEV concept car is revealed. It’s powered by Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid system. It employs serial and parallel hybrid technologies to maximize on-road performance and minimize emissions and fuel consumption.
- The launch of the i-MiEV marked the launch of EV technology in the US. It ranks #1 on the EPA’s list of Fuel Economy Leaders, and was named the Greenest Vehicle of 2012 by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
- Mitsubishi celebrates 30 years of business in the US.
2013 – Mitsubishi released the Outlander PHEV, which was the world’s first Plug-in Hybrid SUV. It won the RJC Technology of the Year Award and Car of the Year’s Innovation Award in Japan.
2014 – The MiEV Evolution 3 won 1st and 2nd place in Pikes Peak International Hill Climb’s EV prototype division. This beat the previous record by more than 30 seconds.
2015 – Mitsubishi tests its EV and Twin Motor 4WD technologies in the Baja Portalegre 500. This set the fastest time in 3 out of 5 segments, all using the Outlander PHEV.
2017 – Today, Mitsubishi is looking to further the next generation of EV and connected car technology. The eX SUV Concept is expected to lead the way with Tesla-rivaling range, automated driving capability and a whole new look. Stay tuned for more updates from Mitsubishi!