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Mitsubishi Airtrek Turbo R | Spotted

An Outlander with an Evo VII engine in? Gawd bless the JDM...

By Dafydd Wood / Thursday, February 13, 2020

Are you in the market for a performance orientated(ish) family car? Do you enjoy driving something a little left field? Is your budget £5,000 or less? If the answer to all those questions is yes, then do we have a Spotted for you.

The Mitsubishi Airtrek might look a lot like an Outlander at first glance, and that's because it is. From its introduction in 2001 the model was known as the Airtrek, the Outlander name came along in certain markets in 2003, and by 2008 it had usurped the Airtrek moniker altogether. So that's that sorted. Today's Spotted is no regular Airtrek, though, it's the mighty Turbo R.

Unfortunately that doesn't mean it's been bestowed with a 6.75-litre V8 or a hand-crafted interior; depending on your outlook, however, it may well have been given something better. Because not only did the Airtrek Turbo R benefit from the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine found in Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution VII, it also received the rally icon's permanent all-wheel drive system as well.

Putting out 240hp and 252lb ft, the Airtrek's installation may not be quite as potent as the Evo's, but a 7.8-second 0 to 62mph time isn't sluggish - or rather wasn't in 2002, at least. That power is sent through a five-speed tiptronic transmission, which can be controlled via steering-wheel mounted buttons should you so desire.

While certainly not what you'd call a handsome car, the Airtrek's blobby features are strangely compelling in that JDM curio kind of way. It rides 40mm lower than a standard version, and its bonnet-mounted scoop not only provides airflow to the engine's top-mounted intercooler, but alludes to the car's pumped up performance potential.

Alternatives? The obvious one would of course be the Subaru Forester STI. With 265hp and 279lb ft of torque from its 2.5-litre boxer four, and a 5.4-second 62 sprint, it is undoubtedly the faster machine. You'll be looking at twice the price for a considerably leggier example, though, and as for an Evo IX Wagons, well, they're rare as hens' teeth.

If you're in the market for a performance orientated(ish) family car, enjoy driving something a little left field, and have a budget of £5,000 or less, then, well this could be the Spotted for you.

1,997cc, inline four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 240@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 252@2,500rpm
CO2: N/A
Recorded mileage: 53,000
First registered: 2002
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £4,995

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