Mitsubishi Debonair AMG: The AMG That Isn't a Mercedes-Benz at All #BlogPost
Today, Mercedes-AMG, the in-house tuning and motorsports arm of Mercedes-Benz, is responsible for ultra-expensive, obscenely-overpowered sedans, coupes and SUVs that is a Mercedes-Benz (obviously). But then, they used to be a separate company too. So, that time AMG might had made a car that isn’t a Benz.
However, that’s really happening. Everyone might expect that’s a BMW 5 AMG (haha). No. Instead it’s the Mitsubishi Debonair AMG, the first non-Benz AMG car ever.
The Mitsubishi Debonair exists since 1964, serving as the company’s flagship passenger vehicle. In 1986, the second-gen Debonair was launched, replacing the aging first-gen. Originally, it’s available only in 2.0 L and 3.0 V6 SOHC engines. The new Debonair was a reasonable success; sales in its first full year (1987) were 6,230 cars in Japan, compared to a mere 205 of the predecessor in 1985.
The Start of a Crazy Mashup
For the reason why Mitsubishi did this, however, is still unknown. Some say that Mitsubishi may have called AMG in to tune up the car. Another one is the car was the product of some commercial vehicle agreement between Mercedes and Mitsubishi. But however the claims seems to be not enough to prove it at all.
In 1987, The Debonair AMG came out, a mere year after the debut of the famed supercar-destroying AMG Hammer (that is actually a Merc, if you love “guessing the car”-ish games). There’s a standard wheelbase and a long-wheelbase edition came in 1990, dubbed the Debonair V 150 AMG, with the “150” means the wheelbase extended in millimeters.
AMG (which didn’t made too much overpowered Mercs then) was brought in to enhance this version of the Debonair. So…you would think that under the bonnet lies some fire breathing AMG V8, right? Well, not quite. The Debonair AMG is mechanically identical to the stock one. The only “contributions” that AMG made to the Deb is just adding s* bodykits and fitting AMG badging everywhere. Yes, EVERYWHERE. It means the the car can get through one of the best in the list of “Top 10 Riced Cars” or something. (did I say “rice”?)
OH, WAIT, THERE’S MORE?
You expect that this crazy attempt would be the last time AMG and Mitsubishi teamed up. No. The so-called “Mitsubishi-AMG”union later produced the AMG Galant which you have expected another AMG-rice. Instead, at least they had seriously made it better, with engine modifications creating a decent 30ps power boost to the stock engine (140ps). But seriously the “Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhanced” Debonair AMG still existed after all.
End of a (Horrible) Story
In 1990s, things changed. First, in 1992, a third generation of the Debonair was launched, rendering the Debonair AMG obsolete. This is the end of the quirky, riced AMG saloon car.
And AMG was bought by Mercedes-Benz (the only thing obviously associated with AMG) later at some point. End of the story.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi built some iconic cars later, first the 3000GT, then the (legendary) EVO. And the AMG-riced Debonair is widely forgotten since then.