The Mitsubishi Debonair V 3000 Royal AMG is an actual AMG—a very totally different AMG, too. A worldwide mix of Teutonic tuning and Japanese luxurious, it could have been the proper expression of its second in time. And the epitome of what Japan aspired to be—a builder of world-class luxurious cars to rival the European elite. And what higher manner to try this than wrap one in all your high choices within the mystique of a celebrated German tuner?
In 1987, when this AMG-ified Mitsubishi debuted, Japan was thriving. The Bubble Economy, because it’s recognized, meant automakers had been completely flush with money and pleased to spend it growing moonshot vehicles just like the Eunos (Mazda) Cosmo, the Acura NSX, the sequential-turbocharged monsters just like the Toyota Supra and Mazda RX-7.
A technology past the devastation of WWII and the wrestle to rebuild, the Japanese public had been additionally driving excessive on the financial system’s success. The Debonair AMG was the type of automotive that might actually attraction to a younger, hard-driving government searching for to reward themselves for his or her company acumen. Or an older government hoping so as to add a veneer of sporty, international luxurious to their stately Mitsubishi barge.
AMG was the proper firm to lend this large Mitsubishi an air of sophistication. At the moment, just a few years earlier than AMG inked a take care of Mercedes-Benz correct and commenced its strategy of full integration into its essential benefactor, the corporate was impartial. It tuned buyer vehicles, launched some iconic in-house builds, and in addition labored along with Mercedes in motorsport. Customizing a manufacturing unit Mitsubishi mannequin was uncommon, certain, however not unthinkable.
The AMG-ed up Debonair did not provide any extra energy (its V-6 was unaltered) or important chassis upgrades (it remained front-wheel drive), however that wasn’t actually the purpose. It had a bodykit, a singular steering wheel emblazoned with an AMG brand, particular alloy wheels, and—most significantly—it was official. An actual AMG, provided on an actual Japanese product. For the suitable purchaser, that was loads to make the Debonair AMG the definition of cool on the time. Its overstuffed seats—nay, thrones—conveyed that its proprietor did not want to sit down on onerous vinyl or low-cost velour anymore. No, in a Debonair AMG, you’d made it.
If the execution would not essentially maintain as much as the take a look at of time, actually you can relate to its attainable attraction on the time. Taking a look at its total aesthetic now, a cool, geeky mixture of formal traces and gee-whiz futurism, it is endearing if not enticing. And there was one other AMG-modified Mitsubishi that got here to fruition after the Debonair’s quick run: the Galant AMG. However that is a narrative for one more time.