Forte

1978

Forte

Demand for small pickup trucks was high as they were commonly used for commuting, running children to and from school and recreational purposes, especially in North America in the 1970s. Mitsubishi Motors entered the pickup market with the Mitsubishi Forte launched in September 1978. Exports to North America went into full swing in October of the same year. Named from the Italian word for "strong", the one-ton pickup Forte was put through extensive durability testing in North America, Thailand and Saudi Arabia during development to ensure that it lived up to its name. The Forte's styling was based on that of the Galant Ʃ Eterna and featured a long nose, an airdam skirt (a first on a Japanese pickup) and twin round headlamps. Powered by a 1.6L engine and with its 1360 mm front track and 2780 mm wheelbase, the Forte delivered superior driving stability. Suspension was by double wishbone with coil at the front and by leaf spring with rigid axle at the rear. Disc brakes were fitted at the front. A four-wheel drive model was added in October 1980, using a part-time direct drive silent chain transfer case developed by the company using its many years of experience in producing the Mitsubishi Jeep. This arrangement solved the problem of gear noise and power loss making it suitable for on-road driving at high speeds. The four wheel drive Mitsubishi Forte was the trailblazer for the Pajero (Montero, Shogun), Delica 4WD and other 4x4 models in the Mitsubishi lineup.

Overall length 4690mm
Overall width 1650mm
Overall height 1560mm
Engines 1.6L