The recipe? Take a standard 2008 Mitsubishi 380 VRX Series III, with its 3.8-litre, 175kW/343Nm V6 engine, add one Sprintex S3/335 supercharger and 6.5psi of boost, a larger air intake, plus TMR’s own 6-piston calipers and 370mm brake discs at the front with 340mm discs and 4-pots at the rear. Voila! Now your front-wheel drive Mitsi is running 230kW and 442Nm from a blown V6. What could go wrong?
Well, Mitsubishi could decide it’s closing its local production – which is exactly what happened. On Tuesday February 5 in 2008 Mitsubishi made the announcement, a shame for TMR boss and motorsport stalwart Alan Heaphy, who had 15 TMR380s already built and another 5 on the way. A string of order cancellations meant the initial sale of the 20 cars would take longer than expected.
They all ended up finding homes, though reportedly only 18 went to dealerships at an MSRP just shy of $57K. One was purchased for Mitsubishi Australia by then boss Rob McEniry, while #001 was kept by TMR.
By most accounts, despite the massive V6 sitting over the front axle and the fact it was putting so much shove through the front wheels, it wasn’t actually a torque-steering pig. Described as “a bloody nice car to drive,” by Heaphy (reckon he might’ve been a bit biased, though), reviews of the car were favourable as long as you could accept it was a relatively soft sports car.
2006 MITSUBISHI TMR 380 CONCEPT SPECS
Engine: 3.8-litre V6, 24v, supercharged
Power: 230kW @ 5250rpm
Torque: 442Nm @ 4000rpm
0-100km/h: 6.0sec (claimed)
Price: $56,990 (when new)