Turbo AWD! 79k Mile 1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

A decade before Subaru’s WRX fed a market hungry for an all-wheel-drive turbo with racing roots, Mitsubishi doled out this slick-looking Eclipse GSX. In fact car buyers from 1989 to 1993 found as many as three versions of the cars:  the Eclipse, the Plymouth Laser RS Turbo (FWD), and the Eagle Talon TSi AWD. This 1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX in White Marsh, Maryland may be one of the best out there, with fewer than 80,000 miles on the clock, shiny paint, and a nearly perfect interior. Lively bidding here on eBay has the No Reserve auction over $6800 with less than one day to go.

Webbed BBS-style wheels appeared on many factory sport models during this era. A single factory operating as Diamond Star Motors built all three variants of this popular platform in the US, with mostly subtle styling differences. Which is your favorite?

Minimal wear distinguishes the GSX from new. Sporty and fun, these Pentastar triplets sold well to men and women alike. I remember reviews of the car referencing the interesting shifter, more likely designed as an ergonomic shape appropriate for the driving position.

With impressive stock performance for its time, modified versions have run quarter-mile times in the 10s. The compact 2.0L turbo I4 made 190 HP during a model year when Chevy’s Camaro Z28 made 230. The AWD drive train yields a strong launch, and I talked with an owner who said his optimum launch came from snapping the clutch at 4000 RPM. Let’s hope the buyer of this white cream puff avoids such abuse. Thanks to edmunds.com for some details.

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Comments

  1. Jay

    When Mitsubishi used to build good looking cars!

    Like 3
  2. Howard A Member

    While I have no interest in these types of cars, I have to admit they are pretty cool. Probably as close to a race car as you going to get. Another “heater core” story. I delivered, or have been to a lot of dealers and repair shops for jobs. One place had one of these in the shop , the interior was COMPLETELY disassembled. I had to see what this was all about. I asked the mechanic what the deal was? He said, “heater core”,,,

    Like 4
    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      One of the first projects Jese and I built together was one of these. We installed a JDM engine from a Galant VR4 RS. I’ve driven some scary cars, it was by far the craziest. Dropping the clutch at 4k RPM resulted in 4 wheel burnouts. The build quality wasn’t great and the handling was terrible, but in a straight line, it was brilliant! I’ve thought about getting another, but it’s getting hard to find original examples.

      Like 6
      • Jimbosidecar

        I raced one in IMSA in the late 1980s. I thought the handling was pretty decent. Enough to score a win and some podiums in a 100+ car field. These were endurance races from 8-24 hour in length. The motor went the entire season without needing a rebuild. Remarkable. Pretty quick too.

        Like 4
  3. Christopher

    I reluctantly sold my GSX to someone that really wanted it. The buyer had to sell the car because he got too many tickets. I warmed it up with a tad more boost and it was a blast to drive. I wish I had more room in my garage as it would have a welcome home here.

    Like 3
  4. Tommy Kiefer

    Great looking little car. looking at the steering wheel and some of the other items in the interior I’m going to guess that car’s got another 30 to 50k miles on it..they did a really good job with the rollback and kept in great shape but I don’t believe it’s got under eighty thousand miles on it.

    Like 1
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It was a great blast from the past seeing this. I had a brand new 1991 electric blue Eclipse with the same 16V DOHC engine but non-turbo and no AWD. Even in that setup, it was a blast to drive and handled really well.

    The interior looked exactly the same as this one and was well designed.

    Like 1
  6. Tom Member

    I had one back in 1991. I would bang 2nd so hard it would turn on the wipers. Truth.

    Like 5
  7. Jim Heidler

    I always wanted one back in the 90s

    Like 1
  8. JC

    If this car were blue with a sunroof, I’d be heading to White Marsh to pick it up… had a ’91 GS Turbo in “Electric Blue” and black. If you punched it and didn’t have a good grip on the steering wheel she’d pull you hard to the right towards the ditch. I always felt the HP numbers were underrated because that car ran with the V-8’s of the day resulting in many thumbs up from the other drivers. Sold it after I got married and the first born had arrived. Had to get a “sensible car” and couldn’t afford two vehicles on the road at the time. Ugh.

    Like 4
  9. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Interference engine. If the cam belt (+ water pump, idlers, tensioner, etc…) has not been changed, it is a time bomb.

    I’d love to have this car. Timing is not good, however.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Yep. The timing belt broke on mine at just a little bit over 50K miles. I thought that I was screwed, but the engine came with a 60K warranty.

      The parts list alone was 3 pages long.

      Like 3
  10. Karl

    I had an TSI I believe that one was 200 HP pretty fun car I know I left my share I V8s sitting in their own tire smoke. The was quick and I would say a little bit to fast! I was on the interstate one day and put the pound pedal down and I quit at 140 mph because the front end was starting to get light! I liked it it always ran good and it was damned quick!

    Like 3
  11. alphasud Member

    Yes, these engines will bend valves if you are lucky all the way to breaking the camshafts and punching holes in the block when the belt(s) go. Have seen balance belts break, idler pulleys fail, all kinds of stuff. Balance shafts with spun bearings. A lot of people that built these engines to race them deleted the balance shafts. In the end they were some of the strongest runners on the drag strip. I need to ask my friend what et’s he was turning. I’m sure he was in the 12’s.

    Like 2
  12. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Finished out at $9,853.
    I was guessing $10K, so I was pretty close!

    If I’d been able to bid, I’d have laid in a $12K snipe in the last 15 seconds to try and snag it.
    Someday, maybe, when the economy returns, and I thin my own herd a bit….

  13. RM

    A co-worker of mine had one of the TSI AWD version of this years ago. He had did a lot of work to it, and was by far the hardest launching i have ever been in.

  14. TJ Smallwood

    As a young 27 year old, I owned a brand new 93 GSX AWD. That was an AWESOME car to drive and own. I drove it only a little around the dealership before I fell in love with the car and bought it. When I finally took it up onto the 55mph highway the first time, I just figured I’ll get it up to speed and when I got off the on-ramp, I was doing almost 90. I got pulled over doing 130 late one night. Trooper thought I stole it, but I was just seeing what it could do. That was NOT a pleasant ticket. Got married, needed something a little more sensible, so I sold it and yeah, I still miss it.

    Like 2
  15. jokacz

    I remember someone stuck a roll cage in one of these, turned up the boost a few pounds, and entered it in the Daytona 24 hour race. I think it finished tenth overall, embarrassing many factory entries. Of course, the next year it was declared illegal.

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