Mitsubishi Colt 1000, 1100, 1200 and 1500 are belonged to the Mitsubishi A20 series. It was a series of passenger cars manufactured by Shin Mitsubishi Heavy- Industries, one of the three regional companies of the Mitsubishi that merged to form the Mitsubishi Motors. Colt 1000 was launched in 1963 and was available in four different body styles including 2-door and 4-door sedan, 2-door van and 4-door wagon. Two different wheelbases were used to develop them. A facelift was introduced in May 1968 and from that point it was sold as ‘New Colt’.
Colt 1000 was offered as a 4-door sedan featuring a conventional Panhard layout. It was equipped with a 977 cc engine developing 51 Ps (38 kW) at 6000 rpm with a top speed of 125 km/h (78 mph) mated to a 4-speed manual transmission with a column shifter. However, a 3-speed semi-automatic transmission was introduced as SCAT (Single Coupling Automatic Transmission). A 2-door wagon version was also produced with the name ‘Van’ and like many of its previous van versions it was meant to produce for commercial purposes. It had a horizontal tailgate with maximum towing capacity of 400 kg (882 lb) and payload of 200 kg with 4 passengers.
Mitsubishi also produced Colt 1000 based touring cars for motorsports following the successful career of the previous Colt 500 and Colt 600. The Colt 1000 performed extremely well in the 1964 Japanese Grand Prix.
With the last production model for the year 1966, it was discontinued and replaced by the new Colt 1100.
In September 1966, the Colt 1100 was introduced as a replacement of Colt 1000. Designated A21 chassis code, Colt 1100 received a 4-cylinder pushrod 1088 cc engine developing 58 PS (43 kW) at 6000 rpm with a maximum speed of 135 km/h (84 mph).
There were several minor differences between the Colt 1000 and Colt 1100. For instance, Colt 1100 received a grille without dip in the lower middle part (bumper overriders) suggesting that the Colt 1100 was about 35 mm (1.4 inch) longer than its previous model. The Colt 1100 also featured a floor-mounted shifter which was absent in 1000 and 1200. The Colt 1100 was also lighter in weight with a drop of 40 kg and remained on 800 kg (1764 lb) curb weight. Initially, offered in ‘Standard’ or ‘DeLuxe’ trim, the Sporty DeLuxe trim was also added in the range short after its launch. The Sporty DeLuxe led the basis for the future Colt 1500 SS. In 1968, the New Colt 1200 replaced the Colt 1100.
A 100 Van version was also produced on Standard or DeLuxe versions and available as 2-door with horizontally split tailgate. It had a payload of 400 kg (882 lb) or 200 kg with five passengers.
With the introduction of a 1968 facelift, the Colt now renamed as ‘New Colt’. With the A23 chassis code and an updated long-stroke 1189 cc Ke46 engine, the New Colt was now called the Mitsubishi New Colt 1200. Almost all the ‘New Colts’ came with large rectangular headlights as well as lower front grille and sloping tip of the hood. Similarly, on the rear, it received wide slim rectangular tail lamps.
Different body styles available for Colt 1200 include 2- and 4-door sedan as well as 2-door wagon. A luxurious version of the Colt wagon was introduced as well in the later years that focused much on domestic customers than commercial ones. It also featured as standard a 4-speed, full-synchro, column shifted manual transmission.
With chassis code A25, the Colt 1500 was launched in November 1965. The colt 1500 featured a bigger engine, i.e. a bored-out, 4-cylinder version of the new Debonair’s 6-cylinder KE64 engine. The Colt 1500 also featured a longer wheelbase than its previous model at 2350 mm (92.5 inch). It also featured four headlights. The Colt 1500 received a 1498 cc engine developing 70 PS (51 kW). The Colt 1500 Van was available in Standard or DeLuxe trim levels and based on the shorter wheelbase body of the Colt 1100. Unlike previous models, it had a horizontally divided rear tailgate.
In 1966, Mitsubishi launched the 1500 Sports Sedan recognizable by its single headlights and blacked-out grille. The 1500 was rebadged to New Colt in May 1968 with new rectangular headlights, roll-down rear windows and a 2-door body style. 3+OT transmission took over the previous 3-speed. In August 1968, a twin-SU carbureted ‘Super Sports’ version was introduced in the range. Colt Galant Sedan replaced the Colt 1500 in 1969. However, Colt 1200 continued to be sold for next few years.