By on June 5, 2018

2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally in Arizona wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Hunting for interesting junkyard Mitsubishis has become more difficult during the last five years or so, as the Cordias, Tredias, and Sigmas have mostly disappeared, leaving endless fleet-spec 21st-century Galants and Outlanders plus the occasional weird Chryslerbishi.

One of the few bright spots is the Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally Edition, an econo-commuter that looked quick but had a tough time catching Tercel EZs. Here’s one in a Phoenix self-service yard.

2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally in Arizona wrecking yard, decklid badge - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsI had photographed a couple OZ Rally Lancers prior to today’s Junkyard Find: this yellow ’02 and this yellow ’03, both in Denver. Those two were pretty straight, as was the lone OZ Rally Lancer we’ve seen racing in the 24 Hours of Lemons.

2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally in Arizona wrecking yard, OZ wheel - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Today’s OZ Rally Lancer is the first I have seen in a wrecking yards still sporting its most special feature: the OZ Racing wheels. Well, just one OZ Racing wheel, in fact.

2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally in Arizona wrecking yard, space-saver spare - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAs is so often the case with junkyard-bound vehicles, this car was rolling on space-saver spares on two corners during its final days on the street.

2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally in Arizona wrecking yard, decklid spoiler - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsWith the OZ Rally Edition Lancer, you got a decklid wing and some moderately rally-ish body components.

2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally in Arizona wrecking yard, Engine - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsUnfortunately, the OZ Rally was much, much slower than the Evo VII it resembled from a distance. Under the hood and driving only the front wheels, an efficient but uninspiring 120 horsepower engine. At least this car has the five-speed manual transmission.

Like a Corolla, but cooler-looking and less reliable!

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20 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally Edition...”

  • avatar

    What up with the TTAC site.

    All Whacked out? Stop using WWII East German War Surplus Electronics.

    Stop using that SH)T software.


  • avatar

    Thought TTAC went under after less and less people posted due to political click baiting articles. The site got out of control not actually talking about cars.

    • 0 avatar

      The glory days for this site – whenever those were – are long gone. As of now, they haven’t even bothered to post an apology / explanation.

      • 0 avatar

        I could’ve done without the political-bait myself, I dont comment here often anymore but when I do its not to discuss heavily editorialized politics.

  • avatar

    I got one of these new when they first came out. That one could even be mine, if it made its way down I-10 afterwards. Of course it was no Evo, but like a Civic with a manual, it was “fast enough”.

  • avatar

    Dig the Type R seat covers – the 90s call and want their Pep Boys aftermarket parts back ;)

    I’ve seen these now and then – and the wing and rims were enough to fool me that this was a pretty fast car. Unless I’m confusing it with the actual Evo, which was the point of the package I assume.

    Reminds me of the 90s Impreza RS – it looks like a WRX/STI – well minus the turbo.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Here’s the list of what made it have the most standard features in its class:
    Tinted glass
    Power door locks
    Air conditioning
    Remote fuel door release
    Power mirrors
    Stainless steel exhaust
    (3 words remain blurred)
    Auto-off headlights
    CD audio system
    Child safety locks
    Trunk light
    Remote trunk lid release
    Power windows
    Available 162hp MIVEC engine

    I never realized you could get the Lancer with the higher power motor, I thought they were all the same as the OZ.

    • 0 avatar
      pc talon

      It was the Ralliart models the received the 2.4 MIVEC also used in the Galant.
      Mitsu also graced the US with the 1 year only Sportback version (pretty sure the wagons were automatic only with the 2.4)

      • 0 avatar

        Had an 04 Sportback LS wagon. They made a Ralliart wagon too, which is the closest we’ll ever get to an Evo wagon in the US. I actually bought an Evo wagon brochure off of Ebay when I had my Mitsu. I don’t know why, I just did!

        All wagons had the 160hp 2.4 and a 4 speed automatic. The wagon might have sold better if the nearly identical 1st gen Outlander hadn’t been sold at the same time. Not a lot better, but maybe more.

        • 0 avatar

          Owned a 2004 (the only year they imported them) Sportback Ralliart. It, too, was a lot queen in a sea of trucks and SUVs. I loved the car, though always wish it had been a manual, versus automatic. That 4-speed sucked some of the life out of that car. I had way too many teen-age boys ask me about the Ralliart (though it didn’t have the Ralliart running gear, just the looks). Still, I owned that car longer than just about any other car I owned, as it just “fit” me at the time. Kind of sums up Mitsu…for a while, it was just right. Now, I’m not sure what to think. Wife and I went out shopping for cars over the weekend and she thought just about everything on the Mitsu lot was less than eye-appealing. Sad, since I cut my teeth driving on a 1978 Plymouth (nee Mitsu) Arrow.

      • 0 avatar

        Wasnt the Dodge Caliber built off a Lancer platform?

        I had the chance to look at one of those Lancer wagons once, but I lost interest when the owner was being shady about some heater-related gremlins.

        • 0 avatar

          Points for Ryoku75! That shouldn’t totally shock me, given other Mopar-Mitsu collaborations, but I certainly wasn’t guessing Caliber-Lancer off the top of my head. Per Wikipedia, the ’07-’17 Lancer and the Caliber both have a 103.7-inch wheelbase, which doesn’t sound like a coincidence.

          Anybody else have a guilty-pleasure urge to try out a Calibre SRT4?

  • avatar

    I remember the heady days of the early 2000s tuner scene… I just finished the 5th grade and all hopped up on the first F&F movie (easily the best and most “authentic” in the series). I believe these OZ rally variants debuted around the time that F&F2 debutted and Mitsubishi had the star roles in Paul Walker’s and Tyrese’s rides of choice (convertible 3g Eclipse and non-US market Evo VII). Even then I realized the OZ Rally was mostly a cosmetic package on an otherwise quite underwhelming car. The 2.4L motor at least put it within spitting distance of the rest of the sport-compact class power wise. I’m unashamed to admit a few years later in high school my hand-me-down ’90 Civic Wagon rocked “Type R” shoulder belt pads and an “SiR” sticker on the back. 15″ Honda Si alloys, ’94 Accord lower front bumper lip, fog lights, removed the orange inner lenses from the turn signals and blue running lights. Kenwood deck and Xplod speakers. Yearly bondo work to fix rust. Man those were the days! Engine was a bone stock D15B2 (92hp, throttle body injection) and the coup de grace was the automatic transmission. I still have recurring dreams about driving that car.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Ha! I wasn’t much into cars until I had a house and a steady job, so I skipped over all that youthful embarrassment. About the time you were pimping out that Wagovan, I had an S2000 and gave it “classy” (read: expensive) mods like a factory hardtop, forged JDM wheels, Bilstein coilovers, CF intake, etc. The S2K crew didn’t mingle with the general Honda scene much- S2000 owners tended to be older and there isn’t much mechanical commonality with the ’90s Civics and Integras.

      • 0 avatar

        I had all sorts of schemes to either hop up the wagon with a) an MPFI multi-port sequential fuel injection intake manifold setup from a junkyard D16A6, b) manual swap or c)junkyard turbo setup on the stock D15B2 and auto. I had a few interesting interactions with the law as well as my similarly car-crazy friends and I bought a semi-wrecked canadian market ’92 Civic EX-R for $200 to learn stick on (SOHC VTEC mill) and unsurprisingly were pulled over and the car towed. I repeated the feat my senior year of highschool trying to hobble a ’92 Civic LX (5spd, see a pattern emerging?) with a bad alternator that I bought for $250 back home. Didn’t have lights on to conserve juice, got pulled over by campus police. Got a 6 month probationary period where if I didn’t get any tickets then the three they gave me would get dropped (no reg, no insurance, no inspection). That 6 months of Driving-Miss-Daisy instilled some very careful driving habits that I maintain somewhat to this day.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          There wasn’t much of a car scene when I was in high school (early ’90s) and most of that was limited to fixing up Malaise-era Mustangs and Camaros well enough to get out of their own way (and those were usually wrecked soon afterwards). I did know a few people who went through a revolving cast of ’70s beaters.

    • 0 avatar

      I graduated from high school in 2000 and HATED the early 00’s tuner scene. My DD was a 1990 Civic wagon also, but I was lucky enough to find an AWD with the 6-speed manual. My fun car was a ’98 Camaro Z28 that I was paying for by wrenching at a local Acura dealer. I loved being able to trust the Civic to get me to work every day, but even driving brand new RSX Type-S’s I just couldn’t fathom why the world around me seemed to suddenly prefer that torqueless, wait-for-it power when you could get 350 ft-lbs of torque in something with 6-years depreciation on the transaction price.

  • avatar

    I bought one of these on eBay back in ‘03, it was a salvage vehicle, had it shipped from AZ to NY. The grand total for the car and shipping was $5,500. Put over 150,000 miles on it, most of it was my teenaged daughter who even managed to back it *into* a fast food restaurant, right through the wall, lol. It eventually died of cancer from NYS road salt but the engine never quit. All show and no go but not a bad little econobox. I had an Eclipse that would have ran forever too if not for salt.

  • avatar

    I had an 04 Sportback LS wagon that was a lot queen with 12 of its siblings, a few were Ralliart wagons. I was buying for a job, so I didn’t want the more expensive Ralliart and the 17 inch wheels that went with it.

    Mitsubishi introduced the 1st gen Outlander, which was mostly identical to a Sportback, just with AWD and a higher ride height, so the wagon never sold at all. Only two years and I heard once only 3500 sales in the US.

    All wagons had the 2.4/ 4 speed automatic. It was a decent driving car, probably much more so than these 120hp cars. Not terribly efficient, it wouldn’t crack 30 on the highway even driven lightly.

    It had the worst seats of any car I’ve owned, painfully obvious since I used it as a courier and put 75k on it in two and a half years. It never once let me down mechanically, except when the battery died. I’ve owned 4 lot queens with over a year of sitting on the dealers lot and they all had battery issues, so I don’t blame the car really.

    It served my needs and when I was rear-ended (hard) by an Impala, it was totaled. I’m glad I spent the extra money on GAP insurance for this one! My sister had an 06 Eclipse GT and didn’t suffer with it too much either (and she, does not care for her cars).

    I won’t write-off Mitsubishi when looking at vehicles, but they are not my first choice. Just had an 18 Outlander as a rental and it proved why. It was fine, but there’s just so much better out there if you spend a bit more. I did choose the Outlander over a Rogue on the Avis lot and I’m not sorry I did.

  • avatar

    Worked at a factory with a kid that bought a yellow one brand new back in 2002. I’d bet dollars to donuts its also sitting in a scrap yard or is already a tin can somewhere.

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