We all got our first look at Mitsubishi's TMR 380 late last year and were able to ogle it again at the Melbourne Motor Show in early March.
Granny put on her best frock and some bright red lipstick.
I have to admit that it is not one of my favourite cars, even fluffed and buffed in TMR 380 form. To me, it just doesn't shrug off the bland 380 styling enough and you have to ask who designed the 380 in the first place...but thats another argument for another day.
It appears that the future of the TMR 380 as a production reality hangs in the balance. Mitsubishi has pulled out of the Australian Rally Championship this year. It was expected to participate with Team Mitsubishi Ralliart (TMR), the group who developed the TMR 380 concept.
Mitsubishi now have the option of building the TMR 380 in-house or entering a joint venture with the likes of Prodrive ( TRD & FPV) or the Walkinshaw group who currently have connections with Mitsubishi and Ralliart in Europe. Or not building the TMR 380 at all.
One of the issues that needs to be resolved before the TMR 380 could hit the streets is the lack of a stability control system. Mitsubishi do not currently have such a system available in the 380 range.
With 230kW running through the front wheels they need to find one to prevent new owners breaking their wrists under full throttle.
Mitsubishi are keen to see the 230kW supercharged TMR 380 go into production. A 'hero' car would be just what the doctor ordered for the slow selling 380 range.
I hope the TMR 380 project has legs. Mitsubishi have consistently built cars considered to be better than their Holden and Ford counterparts and there is no reason why the TMR 380 wouldn't continue that tradition.
Unfortunately, I think the blandness of the 380 range will haunt Mitsubishi for a long time to come. Maybe the TMR 380 will be the 'beer goggles' for the people that Mitsubishi needs. Somehow I doubt it.