Some of the most respected automakers and performance divisions in the business began life as rogue consultancy firms, willing to tinker on the vehicles of anyone who’d pay them. Like Porsche and Lotus, AMG once upon a time teamed up with an unlikely partner — in this case, Mitsubishi — to create something that is entirely unfathomable today: the Galant AMG. And there’s one live on auction over at Cars & Bids at this very moment.
Even more surprising, this Galant wasn’t the first AMG-badged Mitsubishi. The distinction belongs to the lavishly-titled Mitsubishi Debonair V 3000 Royal AMG, a sedan with a name as absurd as its bodykit. Unfortunately, that lunacy didn’t extend to any mechanical components, as that Debonair amounted to little more than an appearance package.
With the Galant however, the company was willing to put its stamp on the car’s driving dynamics as well as its bumpers. The sixth-generation Galant, in production from 1987 to 1994, employed a range of Mitsubishi’s 4G3- and 4G6-series engines displacing between 1.5 and 2 liters. At the top of the food chain was the dual-overhead cam 4G63, turbocharged for the rally-bred VR-4 model. But the Galant AMG, like the GTi-16V trim on which it was based, used the 4G63 in naturally-aspirated guise.
AMG teased 25 more horsepower and 14 more lb-ft of torque out of the 4G63 than Mitsubishi managed for the GTi-16V, for a total of 168 HP and 141 lb-ft. That’s well shy of the 195 HP the original VR-4 made, and even further off the mark from the 237 HP of later model years.
Of course, the VR-4 had the advantage of all-wheel drive as well, as this Galant sent power to only the front wheels by way of a five-speed manual. Then again, fewer driven wheels means less weight to lug around. This Galant is certainly light for a sedan by modern standards, at a shade under 2,700 pounds.
Dare I say the AMG also looked cooler? The VR-4 is great, no question, but the combination of those badges, the color-matched alloys and the unique fog light treatment makes this Galant, in my view, the meanest-looking of the lot — even if it wasn’t necessarily the meanest running.
Mitsubishi didn’t make a lot of these. Various sites parrot the 500-unit claim, and the seller here writes only 556 were produced. AMG Galants were never officially sold outside Japan, either.
All those things make this particular example very special. With 69,300 miles on the clock and some expected wear and tear, like worn front seat bolsters and dashboard sun damage, this one looks in pretty good shape in spite of the trip across the Pacific, all things considered. In the last two years this Galant has received comprehensive powertrain service, including a new timing belt and tensioner, water pump, filters, spark plugs and plenty more as described on the listing itself.
There’s five days left to bid, and this well-loved AMG is currently residing in West New York, which I’m always amused to tell people is actually in Jersey. And the current bid’s just $6,000! That’ll assuredly go up by next week, but either way — you ain’t going to find another AMG as cheap as this. Or one with seats upholstered with Champion fleece hoodies. Or one probably as rare, unless you’re cross-shopping this Galant with an SL65 Black Series for some reason.