Mirage

1978

Mirage

The Mirage is a range of car originally developed as a "world's minimum car," sporting Mitsubishi Motors' own styling and incorporating the company's wealth of technological prowess as a response to the global call for greater conservation of resources and better fuel economy after the first oil crisis in 1973. The model name was announced in time for the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1977. It was launched in March 1978 for sale exclusively through the newly established "Car Plaza" sales channel. The Mirage name derives from the French "mirage" meaning, alternately, mystical, romantic and mirage (as in desert mirage). In overseas markets it was sold under the Colt nameplate. The body design was developed around a stable trapezoidal shape and featured a low-drag slant nose and flush surface panels. The use of jumbo-size doors, narrow pillars and a large glazing area gave the Mirage a very bright and comfortable interior. As Mitsubishi Motors' first front-engine/ front-drive model, an "idle" transfer shaft and reverse rotation gear had to be fitted for the rear-drive engine to be positioned transversely. Using this as an auxiliary transmission saw the debut of the Super Shift transmission, which had a secondary shift level that allowed the driver to change between Power and Economy ranges to give high performance and low fuel consumption. The Mirage had independent suspension all round, using a new U-type multi-link arrangement at the rear. A 4-door hatchback model was added to the lineup in 1978, followed by 1.6 L and 3-speed AT models in 1979. Joining the lineup in 1982 were a 4-door sedan named Mirage II, Japan's first car powered by a 1.4 L turbo engine, and the Modulated Displacement (MD) engine that switched from 4- to 2-cylinder operation at low engine loads. This engine boasted a Japan 10-mode driving cycle consumption of 20 km/L.

Overall length 3790mm
Overall width 1585mm
Overall height 1350mm
Engines 1.2L / 1.4L