Year of Mitsubishi Legnum
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For the Mitsubishi Galant Fortis, see Mitsubishi Lancer.
The Mitsubishi Galant is an automobile manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors since 1969. The name was derived from the French word galant, meaning "chivalrous". There have been nine distinct generations, and cumulative sales now exceed five million. It began as a compact sedan, but over the course of its life has evolved into a larger mid-size car. Initial production was based only in Japan, but since 1994 the American market has been served by vehicles assembled at the former Diamond-Star Motors (DSM) facility in Normal, Illinois.
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The first generation of the car, initially known as the Colt Galant, was released in December 1969. Three models were available, powered by the new 'Saturn' engine in 1.3 (AI model) or 1.5L (AII and AIII) configurations. The design was dubbed "Dynawedge" by Mitsubishi, referring to the influence of aerodynamics on the silhouette. Initially only available as a four-door, a two-door hardtop variant was added in 1970, offering the unique stylistic feature of being the first Japanese production passenger car with full side windows and no side pillars. It became Mitsubishi's first car to be sold in the United States in 1971 when the Chrysler Corporation, the company's new partner and stakeholder, began importing the car as the Dodge Colt.
From 1970, a fastback coupé model was developed, the Galant GTO. Fashioned after contemporary American muscle cars, the hardtop GTO was available with a choice of three 4G32 'Saturn' engines, and was available until 1975. The nameplate was sufficiently highly regarded in Japan for it to be resurrected for the 1990 Mitsubishi GTO coupé.
A second coupé was introduced in 1971, the Galant FTO. Powered by the 4G41 1.4L engine, it too would leave a legacy for the company to return to in the 1990s with the Mitsubishi FTO.
The second generation Galant was more widely exported as Mitsubishi's ambitions grew. It was again sold by Chrysler in many different guises; as the Dodge Colt in the United States, as the Plymouth Colt and Plymouth Cricket in Canada (from 1974), as the Chrysler Valiant Galant in Australia, and in Europe as the Colt Galant.
This model was more curvaceous, influenced by contemporary "coke-bottle" styling, and featured a range of larger 'Astron' engines developing up to 125PS to complement the 'Saturn' units. During the second generation, the first Astron 80 engines were introduced using Mitsubishi's newly developed "Silent Shaft" balance shaft technology for reduced vibration and noise.
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