As more and more Nineties JDM cars become eligible for import under the 25-year rule, many have their eyes on Skylines, Centuries, and sporty Kei cars like the Honda Beat. But the bubble era wasn't defined just by its peaks, but by the breadth of product Japanese OEMs were putting out. Including 2.0-liter V-6 front-wheel-drive sport coupes like this: the Mitsubishi FTO GPX.
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The FTO name originally came from a special version of the Galant. I'd explain myself, but Wikipedia's wording is too good: "'FTO' was meant to stand for Fresco Turismo Omologato, in a fine example of Japanese Italian (or "Fresh Touring Origination" in English)." Italian-English dictionaries say that "omologato" is best understood as "approved," but the acronym proved effective.
In fact, so much so that it became its own model. And while its front-wheel-drive architecture didn't scream "motorsports," it did offer a hotter GPX model with a tiny 2.0-liter V-6. That doesn't quite edge out the Mazda's weird 1.8-liter V-6 for "smallest V-6," but it came from the same restriction: Japanese cars with over 2.0 liters of displacement faced steep tax penalties.
Overall, the FTO GPX was well received. It was named Japan's Car of the Year and even had limited export success in a few right-hand drive markets, like the U.K. and New Zealand. It never made it here, but now that examples like this one are over 25, you can have your very own Fresh Tourism Approved Mitsubishi.
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