Rare Rides: The Luxurious 1993 Mitsubishi Diamante Wagon
We featured the predecessor to Mitsubishi’s American flagship last year — a little Sigma sedan that happened to one of the cheapest Rare Rides ever shown. Today we take a look at the car that came after Sigma: the Diamante.
And it’s the rare wagon version.
Overlapping the end of the Sigma’s life were two distinct models serving as its replacement. On the lower end was the new Galant, which was roughly the same size as the Sigma. The new flagship for Mitsubishi in North America was the more expensive and luxurious Diamante, which was quite a bit larger than the car it replaced.
Mitsubishi needed to step up its offerings abroad after it being surprised by the introduction of the Acura Legend in 1986. The brand had no global car to compete with the Legend, nor anything from the upcoming Lexus and Infiniti brands. Enter Diamante.
There were three body styles, two of which were sold in North America. The most familiar version is the sporty frameless-window sedan (not a true hardtop), which was built in Japan. There was also a more traditional sedan with three windows on each side, a taller roof, and slightly altered front and rear clips. That version was for Europe and the Australian market. Australians called it Magna, and built it domestically. The Magna was used as basis for the North American Diamante wagon, which was designed and built by Mitsubishi of Australia.
The wagon followed the sedan version to North America a bit late. Sedans went on sale for the 1990 model year, but wagons didn’t show up until 1993. While the Japanese market Diamante had available all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, world-first adaptive cruise control, and various engines and trims, North America received much more straightforward offerings.
There were two trims: base (later ES) or LS, and power was always to the front wheels via an automatic transmission. Base models had a standard 3.0-liter V6 that produced 175 horsepower, while upmarket LS versions had a dual-cam version of the same engine for 202 horses. Base models weren’t shy on equipment, but LS was required if buyers wanted alloy wheels, leather, or a sunroof.
A refresh took place a year after the wagons arrived, with new rear lamps on the sedan, satellite audio controls on the wheel, and a passenger airbag. Unfortunately for Mitsu, the refresh didn’t help move the Diamante. The rather expensive sedan and wagon were off the radar of most buyers. The wagon was dropped after 1995, as did all consumer sales. For ’96, the sedan was still available, though only to fleet customers. The relative product flop didn’t put Mitsubishi off, though, as a new Diamante arrived for 1997. Not that the second album went particularly well, either.
Today’s Diamante wagon is a 1993 example, and with all its equipment and leather trim is definitely an LS. With 134,000 miles, it looks nearly pristine and asks $2,995. It’s located in Orange County, which is slightly south of Downtown California.
H/t to commenter ciscokidinsf, who put today’s Rare Ride on Twitter.
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.
More by Corey Lewis
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
- Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
- Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
- FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
- Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.