Some cars are brimmed with so much tech that you have to wonder if anything inside them will work in a few years time. Just look at smartphones; they have a tendency to become laggy and unresponsive in just a couple of years. Will scrap yards of the late 2020s be filled with mechanically sound cars written off for a completely failed dashboard infotainment system or unresponsive active suspension technology? It's a scary thought.
It's also not a new one. People have been nervous of complex cars for years and with good reason. Scare stories about used cars worth less than the cost of fixing a complicated electrical gremlin are legion, after all. But not all high tech models fit the bill. Take the Mitsubishi 3000GT, for example.
When this low-set Japanese two-door arrived in 1990, it was stuffed with digital kit. That it had four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering made it seem advanced enough, but it was the electronically controlled suspension, active aerodynamics and digital climate control screen (with colour graphics!) that left it looking like a car from the next century. And yet Japanese build quality was such that even with a gazillion things to go wrong, most remained faithful to their owner.
It's a shame then that the 2+2 model never quite captured the hearts and minds of customers in the same way the Honda NSX did. Sure, the 3000GT looked a bit like someone described a Ferrari to the designer over the phone, but it had exotic hardware, with a twin-turbocharged 24v 3.0-litre providing the muscle to that intelligent, digital chassis setup. Of course that made it heavy, too, meaning that it could never hope to rival Honda's mid-engined supercar where it counted.
In fact, despite being quick in a straight line - it used 280hp to hit 60mph in 5.7 seconds - it couldn't have been more of contrast to the NSX. The 3000GT felt lazy around corners with a numb variable steering system and the dynamic balance seemed to prioritise understeer over enjoyment. Truth be told, it was a bit unwieldy on a British B-road. Which is a shame.
Think then of the 3000GT as less of a performance car and more of a well-equipped luxury machine dressed in exotic clothing. Driven at seven tenths it was effortless and comfortable, and with all that kit to play with it felt like a premium machine. It needed to be, of course, with a list price of around £42,000, which made it pricier than a Porsche 968 was in the mid-90s.
Today, however, when cars like this are bought less for their driving dynamics and more because of nostalgia, coolness and investment value, the Mitsubishi is looking increasingly appealing. Which is probably why someone has gone through all the trouble of importing one from Japan to offer it as one of the cleanest available in the UK market.
Our latest Spotted is a fresh import with "low mileage" - although the advertiser declines to report exactly what that means - aside from saying the car is in "superb condition". Just look at the underside - with no British road salt to have graced its bottom there's little more than a couple of rusty bolts. An investment opportunity? For anyone who first encountered the car while holding a Playstation controller, the sentimental value alone might make it worth the £9k asking price.
SPECIFICATIONS - MITSUBISHI 3000GT
Engine: 2,972cc, V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Torque(lb ft): 315@2,500rpm
First registered: 1997
Recorded mileage: One to check!
Price new: £42,000 (1998)
Yours for: £8,991