Mitsubishi Colt is a subcompact family vehicle produced by the Mitsubishi Motors since long time. The first Mitsubishi Colt appeared in 1962 as a series of Kei cars. Later in 1980s and 1990s, the export version of Colt was introduced as Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback. The name Colt was also used in 1970s by the Chrysler Corporation, Mitsubishi’s partner, for their second generation Mitsubishi Galant as Dodge Colt and Plymouth Colt sold under Mitsubishi’s dealership in US market.
First Generation (1962-1971)
In 1962, the name Colt was used for the first time by Mitsubishi Motors on their Colt 600, a 5-seat, 2-door, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive sedan came with an air-cooled NE35A 594 cc twin-cylinder OHV engine developing 25 PS (18 kW) built by regional subsidiary Mitsubishi Heavy-Industry Ltd.
With a view to expand the Colt lineup, the company came with Colt 1000 in 1963 and followed by a series of different models including Colt 800 and Colt 1500 in 1965 and Colt 1100 appeared in 1966.
In the United Kingdom, the Colt name was introduced in 1974 for the Mitsubishis models by Colt Car Company and discontinued in 1984. The Colt name was discontinued in New Zealand in 1970 with the launch of Mitsubishi ‘Dyna-Wedge’ Galant version. However, in Australia, the Colt name was reappeared in 1979 with the introduction of front-wheel drive Mirage and later in 2003.
Second Generation (1978-1983)
In 1978, the second generation model Mirage was introduced by the company as a 3-door, front-wheel drive hatchback. It was sold as Colt in many different countries. In 1979, a 5-door version was introduced. In the same year, it was imported by United States and sold as Dodge Colt and Plymouth Champ. In 1979, another major development was made in the form of 1600 cc engine in the lineup.
A 4-door version of the Mirage/Colt was introduced in 1981 as Lancer Fiore (not regular Lancer). It was marketed as Colt in Australian market. In the following a new more powerful turbocharged 1400 cc engine with 105 PS (77 kW) was released.
Colt was marketed in several countries as Mitsubishi Mirage and in the regions where Minica Kei car was not offered, it was Mirage/Colt was regarded as Mitsubishi’s entry-level model.
Third Generation (1983-1987)
In 1983, the third generation Colt was introduced by Mitsubishi. It was still offered as Mirage (3- and 5-door hatchback) and Lancer Fiore (4-door sedan) versions. However, it was sold as 4-door version as well in some international markets. In 1985, a station wagon version was added in the lineup followed by a 4-wheel drive version a year later.
A 4G32BT engine was used in USDM ‘Turbo Sport’ model to develop 105 hp. In international market different scheme of naming were used to market them. For instance, some export markets sold hatchbacks as Mirage/Colt, while sedan and wagon as the Lancer. During third generation some new engines were introduced in the lineup as 1300 cc, 1500 cc and 1800 cc diesel engines.
The third generation Colt was the first model to make debut in US market in 1985.
Fourth Generation (1987-1992)
In 1987, the fourth generation Colt was introduced as stylistically improved model. It was marketed in Japanese market as Mirage Cyborg powered by a turbocharged 1600 cc engine rated at 145 PS (107 kW). Other different engines offered include 1.3-L and 1.5-L 12-valve 4-cylinder engines, and 1.6-L and 1.8-L 16-valve 4-cylinder engines. The different versions offered in European market include 1300 GL, 1500 GLX, 1600 GTi, and 1800 GTi 16v.
The 4-door Colt models were sold as Lancer in international market, while it was marketed as Mirage Vie Saloon in Japan.
Fifth Generation (1991-1996)
The fifth generation Colt was introduced by Mitsubishi in 1991 with more contemporary rounder shape. Based on the Colt, 2-door coupe was marketed not only in the Japanese market but also in the export markets as CC chassis Colt in US and New Zealand and Lancer in Australia. The new MIVEC 1600 cc engine were introduced for the first time on any of the Mitsubishi platform. CA5A chassis platform was used for the 2-door, CC coupe. This new platform raised the engine choices for Mitsubishi and they came up with a 4G15 1.5 Carburetor, 4G15 1.5 fuel-injected, 4G93 1.8 EFI, 4G93 1.8 DOHC EFI, 4G92 1.6 MIVEC EFI, a 4G91 1.8 DOHC carburetor and a 6A10 (V6) and 4D68 Turbo Diesel engines.
Sixth Generation (1995-2002)
The sixth generation Colt was introduced by Mitsubishi in 1995 as CE, CJ or sixth generation chassis. It was offered as 2-door coupe (Mirage Asti in Japan), 3-door hatchback and 4-door sedan.
The station wagon version was also available; however, it was considered a Lancer version than Mirage. It was sold as Libero in Japan.
By the end of sixth generation, the Asti name was dropped and the coupe was sold with Mirage name.
Seventh Generation (2003-Present)
The seventh generation Colt was introduced in 2003. It shared its platform with Smart Forfour and its design was created by Olivier Boulay.
The European market saw the new Colt in 2004 and was available in different versions including 1.1 MPI MIVEC, 1.3 MPI MIVEC, 1.5 MPI MIVEC and 1.5 Turbo MIVEC petrol engines. A 1.5-L D-ID direct-injection turbodiesel version equipped with turbocharger and intercooler was added in the lineup. As of transmission, the All-shift automatic manual gearbox with electric clutch and six gears were an option.