2002 Mitsubishi Ralliart Magna - Best Aussie Buys #5

By: Guy Allen, Cliff Chambers, Photography by: Unique Cars Archives

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The market for collectible Aussie cars may hve gone nuts over the years but that doesn't mean all the bargains have gone. We've chosen our top five and at number five is the Mitsubishi Ralliart Magna

 

2002 Mitsubishi Ralliart Magna

Mitsubishi’s Ralliart-branded Magna was unique to the local market and intended to add some glam to the family car range, which saw itself as a competitor to the likes of Falcon and Commodore.

We had already seen some performance edge to this series, in the shape of the VR-X, but this was taking it a step further. The first public sighting was the Sydney Motor Show in 2001, though production versions didn’t emerge until the following year.

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Our friends at Wheels magazine tested the new chap against two hot six-cylinder contenders of the day: Ford Falcon XR6 VCT and the HSV XU6 (remember them?). While it may not have been a walk-over, the Ralliart (priced at a hefty $50k) was the winner.

What was the recipe? Some relatively mild breathing mods (valve train and exhaust) plus a bump in compression resulted in power lifting from the 163kW for the VR-X to 180kW.

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Suspension had been tweaked with Koni dampers and there was the bodywork. That giant rear wing, by the way, did actually produce downforce, from around 100km/h. Inside, you scored special front seats and a Momo wheel. According to the road testers, by far the biggest asset in the armoury of the five-speed manual version tested (there was also five-speed auto) was the torque-sensing limited slip diff.

In fact, the tester’s praise was fulsome: "The drivetrain is bloody brilliant, the suspension very capable, the steering surprisingly good for a front-driver this size and the brakes are fine."

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Numbers were limited to 500 and the manual is the one to have. We’ve seen them go for as little as $6000 in recent times, though they should be worth more. A budget of $10k could score a peach.

2002 Mitsubishi Magna Ralliart specs

Engine 3.5lt 24v SOHC V6 Power 180kW @ 5500rpm
Torque 333Nm @ 4000rpm
Gearbox 5-speed manual
Suspension Front: struts, A-arms
Rear triple lower links, upper A-arms, coils
Brakes Four-wheel
Discs ABS
Weight 1527kg

From Unique Cars #441, June 2020

 

Best Aussie Buys:

#1 - FPV GT BA-BF
#2 - HSV VR-VS Clubsport
#3 - Chrysler Centura
#4 - 2002-2007 BA-BF Ford Falcon XR6T
#5 - 2002 Mitsubishi Ralliart Magna

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