The Mitsubishi Galant AMG Was An Ultra-Rare, 8,000rpm Slice Of JDM History

Yes, that AMG. Before Mercedes brought it under its wing, the tuners from Affalterbach had a crack at a Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi Galant AMG, front 3/4
Mitsubishi Galant AMG, front 3/4

It’s impossible to think of anything other than fire-breathing, tyre-shredding Mercedes when thinking of AMG, right? Well, if we briefly and conveniently brush its recent hybrid efforts under the carpet for a second.

Founded in 1967 as an independent tuner focusing mostly on building race car engines, it was the brainchild of two former Mercedes engineers – Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. Unsurprisingly, it focused almost exclusively on Mercedes cars and perhaps most famously from this period the ‘Red Pig’ 1971 Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8.

It wasn’t too long before it started producing upgrades and accessories for the Stuttgart giant’s road cars either, leading to it building its first proper road-going engine in 1984 for the W124 3.0 CE ‘Hammer’.

Mercedes-AMG 300 SEL 6.8 and AMG Hammer
Mercedes-AMG 300 SEL 6.8 and AMG Hammer

In 1993, Mercedes clocked on to the fact that instead of letting AMG make all of this money on brutal monsters on its own, it should simply buy it. As they say, the rest is history.

However, in the years before they were put on the Mercedes payroll, the minds at AMG did broaden their horizons beyond the manufacturers’ cars for a brief period. More exacting, it had a crack at making some spicier Mitsubishis.

The first was the Mitsubishi Debonair AMG, a car that wasn’t worth considering much. It had a new body kit, some AMG-branded bits, and absolutely no mechanical changes. Yes, that meant an executive-sized, 3.0-litre V6 powered AMG with… 148bhp.

Mitsubishi Debonair AMG, front 3/4
Mitsubishi Debonair AMG, front 3/4

Much more interesting was the car that followed it, and the one you may have actually heard of – the Mitsubishi Galant AMG.

A JDM-only model, it’s tricky to find out exactly why AMG decided to work over the Mitsubishi Galant, but the fact is it did. Perhaps more confusingly it didn’t use the all-wheel-drive, turbocharged VR4 as a base.

Rather, the second-run, front-driven Galant GTi was chosen for treatment. As standard, its 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated four-pot would offer 141bhp. Not bad for 1989.

Unlike the Debonair, though, AMG went to town on the Galant’s 4G63. That included new pistons, titanium valve springs, a new exhaust manifold and upgraded camshafts that would allow for a screaming 8,000rpm redline.

Mitsubishi Galant AMG, rear 3/4
Mitsubishi Galant AMG, rear 3/4

The result was 168bhp which again, for a naturally aspirated four-pot in 1989, was no small feat. Mind you, it was down on the turbocharged factory VR4 with its 187bhp.

Naturally, it got some AMG styling too. A ‘Type I’ or ‘Type II’ was available, the former looking racier than the latter with an extended rear wing and AMG-branded bumper – and it’s the one you’re more likely to see. The interior was also treated to AMG branding for the sills, mats and steering wheel long before AMG-Line was a thing, and you could option leather seats, too.

It’s suggested that 500 examples were built, but with the car sold only in Japan, it’s hard to know for sure how many are left in existence. It’s incredibly rare they come up for sale in their homeland, let alone elsewhere, so putting a value on its head is nigh-on impossible.

Mitsubishi Galant AMG, interior
Mitsubishi Galant AMG, interior

The most recent example we can find was auctioned in Hong Kong in 2021, selling for around £9,000. Should another come up anytime soon, we’d expect that to increase somewhat.

It wasn’t the only time AMG turned its attention to a Japanese brand, with a very brief flirtation with some South African-exclusive Hondas. But that’s one for another day.

Comments

Anonymous

Wow

12/27/2017 - 10:20 |
2 | 0

I made it in my forgotten japanese cars posts xD they even made a debonaire amg! but I think they were fwd, still awesome though and lightweight

12/29/2017 - 08:38 |
2 | 0
Anonymous

Wow

12/27/2017 - 10:24 |
4 | 2
Anonymous

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

dude theres one on mudah

12/27/2017 - 10:45 |
2 | 0
Anonymous

Good thing you posted it, because now I want it so badly that I will sell everything I have to get this. My heart is beating so quickly and is so warm now for this…..

12/27/2017 - 10:30 |
4 | 0
BV86_OFISHAL (AUDM Fanboy)

12k RPM Subie or this?

12/27/2017 - 10:32 |
8 | 2

I would have both

12/27/2017 - 10:38 |
6 | 0
CS55

This one isn’t the best looking one I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen Galant AMG’s that look waaaaaaaaaaay better. The proper black paint, aftermarket wheels, and a nice exaust as well…

12/27/2017 - 11:00 |
68 | 0
Anonymous

Its sad because people will think you’re a badger

12/27/2017 - 11:12 |
6 | 0
Anonymous

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

12/28/2017 - 02:54 |
4 | 0
Anonymous

Here in the Philippines… There are some amg’s left… Riced or even abandoned because galants is popular here back in the 90’s and 80’s

12/27/2017 - 11:21 |
2 | 0
Anonymous

my mind has been blown

12/27/2017 - 11:23 |
2 | 0
Meterora The Fox

Eyy it’s pacific coast auto

12/27/2017 - 11:47 |
0 | 0

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