This week, we learned that Mitsubishi is to revive its long-dormant Ralliart brand. It’s ironic the Japanese company is doing so amidst its currently precarious financial position (Ralliart was scaled back in 2010 to save money at the tail end of the noughties economic downturn), but we get it.
The current range is sorely lacking in excitement, so some Ralliart spice could be just the ticket to get people interested in Mitusbishi once more. Particularly as there will be some motorsport activities to give the sub-brands return some credibility.
Naturally, all of this has us thinking about Ralliart’s past endeavours. And there’s one that might have slipped under your radar: the Colt Ralliart Version-R Special.
We briefly got a Ralliart-badged Colt in the UK that replaced the CZT, but this isn’t it. Never officially sold here, the example you’re looking at is a Japanese import. And straight away, you can tell it’s more serious than the UK market Colt Ralliart.
Visual highlights include an Evo-like bonnet vent, blistered arches and 16-inch multi-spoke wheels. Under that vented bonnet is a 1.5-litre 4G15 inline-four turbo engine with ‘MIVEC’ variable valve timing, giving an output of 161bhp. This was up from 152bhp earlier Version-R, and for extra bragging rights, the Special had an extensively seam-welded bodyshell for additional stiffness.
All Version-Rs got front and rear strut braces, fancier dampers and Recaro bucket seating pinched from the Lancer Evolution VIII, making for a seriously tempting little hot hatch. The car even got a snazzy red engine cover, which surely adds an extra 5bhp.
Since only a few hundred Specials were made, and none for the UK, getting hold of one here is easier said than done. There seems to only be one for sale in the whole country, listed on Autotrader at £6950. Pretty much fresh off the boat, the import is showing 123,000 kilometres on the clock, which is about 76,000 miles. It’s just been serviced and has an MOT until February next year.
£7000 seems like a lot of money when you can pick up an almost as powerful CZT for a fraction of the price, but then again, it won’t feel as, erm Special, nor will it look as lairy. Option C is the non-Special 2007 Version-R we found on eBay for £3999, but that one’s best thought of as a project, with a little work needed to get the car finished.
Could this furious little Colt tempt you out of £7k?