The Mitsubishi Delica is a range of trucks and multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) built by Mitsubishi Motors since 1968. It was originally based on a small pickup truck introduced the previous year, also called the Delica, its name a contraction of the English language phrase Delivery car. This truck, and a commercial van derived from it has received many names in export markets, being sold as the L300 (later L400) in Europe and New Zealand, Express and Starwagon in Australia, and plain Mitsubishi Van and Wagon in the US. The passenger car versions were known as Delica Star Wagon from 1979 until the 1994 introduction of the Delica Space Gear, which became simply Space Gear in Europe at least. The most recent version (not available as a commercial vehicle) is called the Delica D:5.
First generation (1968)Edit
|Also called||(Mitsubishi) Colt T100/T120|
T100: 1.1 L (1,088 cc) I4 KE44 |
T120: 1.4 L (1,378 cc) I4 4G41
The production of the Delica light commercial cab-over pickup began in July 1968. It received the chassis code T100, in line with the recently (January 1968) introduced "T90" Canter. Using a KE44 1,088 cc engine producing 58 PS (43 kW), its maximum payload was 600 kg (1,323 lb) and had a top end speed of 115 km/h (71 mph). A year later, in line with consumer needs, a cargo van and a passenger van were added to the lineup. The passenger van, discontinued in 1976, was called the 'Delica Coach' and could seat nine people in three rows of seats. The engine was later upgraded to 62 PS (46 kW).
In March 1971 a slightly facelifted version, called the Delica 75, arrived. This (the T120) received a small grille rather than the naked metal front of the earliest Delicas, and a new 86 hp 1.4 liter 4G41 Neptune engine (also seen in the Galant FTO) was added to the lineup. The smaller 1.1 litre engine may have remained available in a 600 kg version of the truck but soon vanished entirely.
After a fall 1974 facelift, the Delica received a new nose with lots of plastic cladding and double headlights. It was now known only as the "Delica 1400", as this was the only engine with which it was available (mention of a Delica 1200 is most likely apocryphal, perhaps an issue of confusion arising from the "120" chassis code). A longer wheelbase (T121) 1-ton truck was added in 1976.
In the export, this car was sometimes called simply the Colt T100 / T120.
Second generation (1979) Edit
Chrysler L300 Express (AU)|
Ford Husky (South Africa)
Mitsubishi Colt Solar (Indonesia)
Mitsubishi L300 Express (AU)
Mahindra Voyager (India, 1997–2000)
|Wheelbase||2,200 mm (86.6 in)|
|Length||3,990–4,015 mm (157.1–158.1 in)|
|Width||1,690 mm (66.5 in)|
The Delica series was replaced in June 1979 by an all new design, bringing overall width up to the maximum 1,690-millimetre (67 in) dictated by Japanese regulations for "compact" vehicles. Suspended at the front by an independent wishbone construction and a leaf spring at the rear, the Delica also features a sliding side door and one-piece gas strut tailgate. The line-up was expanded to include ten model variations encompassing a wide variety of passenger (eight-seater in thrree/two/three configuration), cargo and recreational applications. A four-wheel drive option was made available in 1982, a first in the Japanese van market. Engines were all four-cylinders well known from MMC's passenger cars and included the 1,439 cc, 80 PS (59 kW) Saturn 4G33 and 1.6 litre (1,597 cc 4G32) Saturn engines. A 1.8 litre Sirius version (1,795 cc Sirius 4G62, 100 PS (74 kW)) appeared in May 1980, and a 2.0 liter petrol version (1,997 cc Sirius 4G63B) became optional in 4WD versions from November 1983. A 2.3 liter diesel (4D55) appeared in October 1982 and was replaced by the larger 4D56 (2.5) in 1986.
The four-wheel drive version of the Delica was first introduced to the Japanese market in October 1982. This versatile vehicle utilized a modified version of the Mitsubishi Pajero's chassis, albeit usually with smaller engines (originally only the 1.8 liter Sirius engine).
Chrysler Australia introduced the SA series Delica to the Australian market in April 1980 under the name "Chrysler L300 Express". After acquiring control of the Chrysler Australia operations in the same month, Mitsubishi Motors renamed the firm Mitsubishi Motors Australia in October 1980. This resulted in the rebranding of the L300 Express as a Mitsubishi. Fitted with a 1.6-liter engine and four-speed manual, both van (three-seater commercial) and wagon (eight-seater) variants were offered, with the commercial (van) version available with or without side rear windows. The utility (pickup) version was not sold in Australia, as the L200 Express covered that segment of the market. In November 1981 the SB series was introduced, now fitted with radial ply tires on larger diameter wheels, thus increasing the payload capacity from 925 to 1,000 kilograms (2,040 to 2,200 lb). The following month, Mitsubishi introduced the high-roofed luxury "Deluxe" trim, fitted with electric sunroof and cloth upholstery. The next update to the SB series arrived in October 1982, resulting in the "Deluxe" trim being renamed "Starwagon" and gaining a larger 1.8-liter engine—offered with a five-speed overdrive manual or optional three-speed automatic. Mitsubishi extended the availability of the 1.8-liter engine to the lower-specification variants, albeit, in automatic guise only.
From May 1983, the L300 Express received rectangular headlights in chrome surrounds as part of the SC iteration. The SC also featured newly-designed black resin bumpers and adjustments to the front suspension spring rate to improve ride and handling. The four-wheel drive version, badged "4WD", came in October 1983 as a 1.8-liter model with floor-mounted five-speed manual only, therefore becoming a seven-passenger model by losing the front-row center seat. After another facelift in late 1984, the car became the SD series, introducing better equipment and black headlight surrounds along with a black trim piece between the headlights on "Starwagon" and "4WD" trims. The SD revision also upgraded the "4WD" to a 2.0-liter engine, with the 1.8-liter standard issue in a new long-wheelbase commercial (van) model. A final minor update, the SE series appeared in 1986.
- Other markets
This generation is still in production in Indonesia as the "Mitsubishi Colt Solar L300", equipped with the 2.5-litre 4D56 diesel engine.
It is also in production in the Philippines since 1987 as the Versa Van, as well as the Cab/Chassis wherein local body builders assembles the rear bodies such as Almazora, Centro and Metro Truck for passenger and cargo hauling purposes. Variations such as the FB (Family Business), PET (Personal and Equipment Transport), WT (Water Tight Aluminum Van) and DS (Drop Side) have been made to cater to those needs. In 2010, an extended length chassis was added to the line up known as the L300 Exceed primarily for the L300 FB variant.
From 1997 to 2000, the car was sold by Mahindra & Mahindra in India as the 'Voyager', but priced too high it was taken out of production after only a little over two years. The Voyager did meet with some success as an ambulance, but this unhealthy association only further prevented prospective private purchasers.
Third generation (1986)Edit
Mitsubishi Express (AUS)
Mitsubishi Starwagon (AUS)
Mitsubishi Versa Van
Mitsubishi Van/Wagon (US)
Dodge 1000 (MEX)
Cainta, Rizal, Philippines
Jakarta, Indonesia (Indobuana Autoraya)
1,439 cc 4G33 I4|
1,597 cc 4G32 I4
1,795 cc 4G62 I4
1,997 cc 4G63 I4
2,351 cc 4G64 I4
2,476 cc 4D56 turbodiesel I4
|Transmission(s)||4-speed auto, 5-speed manual|
|Wheelbase||2,235–2,435 mm (88.0–95.9 in)|
|Length||4,380–4,780 mm (172.4–188.2 in)|
|Width||1,690 mm (66.5 in)|
|Height||1,840–1,955 mm (72.4–77.0 in)|
In June 1986 the Delica underwent its third full model change. More aerodynamic than previous versions, its monocoque body and extensive safety features proved very popular in Japan's fast-growing recreational vehicle market segment. The more rounded design was referred to as "soft cube" styling by Mitsubishi. Passenger versions continued to be sold as Delica Star Wagons, which became just plain "Starwagon" in Australia. The commercial version is called the "Express" in Australia.
Although the subsequent L400 Delica and Delica Space Gear were introduced in 1994, the L300 Delica (van versions only) still remained in production in 2007 for export markets. In Japan the commercial Delicas were replaced by a badge-engineered Mazda Bongo under an OEM deal which began in November 1999, however, as of 2011, the commercial version remains on sale in Australia where it is badged "Mitsubishi Express".
A large range of engines were available, from a 1.4-liter petrol up to a 2.5-liter turbodiesel. Rear- or four-wheel drive, several bodystyles and two wheelbases made for a particularly extensive lineup. The four-wheel drive chassis was based on that of the contemporary Mitsubishi Pajero, although parts are seldom interchangeable.
From 1987 until 1990, Mitsubishi sold this model in small numbers in the USA as the "Wagon" for passenger versions and "Van" for windowless cargo versions. The US versions all received a 107 hp (80 kW) version of the 2.4 litre 4G64 engine. For model years 1990 and 1991 an LS version of the Wagon was added. Van versions, built by CMC in Taiwan are sold in Mexico, badged as the Dodge 1000.
Fourth generation (1994)Edit
Mitsubishi Space Gear
Mitsubishi Starwagon (AUS)
4D56 2.5 L TD I4|
4G64 2.4 L I4
4M40 2.8 L TD I4
6G72 3.0 L V6
|Wheelbase||2,800–3,000 mm (110.2–118.1 in)|
|Length||4,595–5,085 mm (180.9–200.2 in)|
|Width||1,695 mm (66.7 in)|
|Height||1,855–2,070 mm (73.0–81.5 in)|
|Curb weight||1,690–2,170 kg (3,700–4,800 lb)|
Released on May 12 1994, the newest Delica received considerably more aerodynamic bodywork. No truck model was available of this generation, and passenger models were now called Delica Space Gear in the domestic Japanese market. Body specifications of the Space Gear in Japan ranged from XR, XG, Exceed, Super Exceed and Royal Exceed, and both long and short-wheelbase versions were available.
The fourth generation Delica is based on the chassis of the Mitsubishi Pajero and has full off road capabilities, with four-wheel drive, high and low ratio gears and differential locking. It has engine variations from 2.5 litres through to a 2.8-liter intercooled turbodiesel. A 2.4-liter and a 3.0-liter V6 petrol engine with 12 or 24 valves, each with 4 gears and overdrive. Apart from the 2.8-liter diesel model they are available as a two or a four wheel drive version.
In many export markets, the cargo versions of the fourth generation were called the Mitsubishi L400 while the passenger versions were called Mitsubishi Space Gear – without using the Delica nameplate at all.
In Australia, where this generation was only available as a passenger version, it retained the "Mitsubishi Starwagon" name and was available between September 1994 and 2003. These Australian models were made available in four levels of specification: GL, GLX, GLS and 4WD. Mitsubishi fitted the GL with a 2.0-liter carburetored inline-four, with the GLX gaining a fuel-injected 2.4-liter inline-four, and the GLS a 3.0-liter V6. Both four-cyliner engines were fitted standard with a five-speed manual transmission with optional four-speed column-shift automatic. The 3.0-liter GLS offered a four-speed floor-mounted automatic as its sole transmission option. The facelift model, released in 1996 saw the range rationalised with only the base GL and mid-range GLX models retained.
In 1996 the Delica was upgraded with a facelift model. The upgrade is mostly cosmetic with changes to the lighting clusters and front bodypanel, with the integration of a moulded bumper in place of the original three section bullbar. The engine was upgraded with an electronic control type distribution type jet pump and an electronic sidestep was made standard on the higher specification versions.
Fifth generation (2007)Edit
|Engine(s)||2.4 L 4B12 I4|
On October 30, 2006 Mitsubishi Motors announced that the next generation of its monobox minivan would be called the Delica D:5, based on the Concept D-5 prototype first exhibited at the 39th Tokyo Motor Show in 2005. It is an eight-seater, that features Mitsubishi's AWC four wheel drive system and an INVECS-III continuously variable transmission, coupled to a 4B12 2.4 L MIVEC straight-4 engine. Based on a new global GS platform, new Delica features Mitsubishi's next-generation RISE safety body.
It was released in Japan on January 31, 2007, with prices ranging from ¥2,614,500 to ¥3,412,500.
Other models using the "Delica" name Edit
- Main article: Mazda Bongo
Between November 1999 and 2010, Mitsubishi retailed a rebadged version of the Mazda Bongo as the "Delica" in Japan, replacing the cargo version of the fourth generation Delica in that market.
To complement the Delica D:5, a smaller "Delica D:2" model appeared in March 2011. Equipped with a 1.2 L (1,242 cc) four-cylinder Suzuki K12B engine and a CVT transmission, the car is a rebadged Suzuki Solio provided under an OEM deal. The Solio is the most recent version of a family of cars which began life as a widened Wagon R.
- ↑ Fact & Figures 2005, p.33, Mitsubishi Motors website
- ↑ Ozeki, Kazuo (2007).
日本のトラック・バス 1918~1972(in Japanese). Tokyo: Miki Press, 113. ISBN 978-4-89522-494-9.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Kazuhiko. "初代デリカ（Ｔ系）" (in Japanese). Delica History. Retrieved on 2011-04-28.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 (September, 2000) "Facts & Figures, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation 2000", Section V (Current model lineup), page 6 (Naming in global markets). Tokyo: Mitsubishi Motors, 18. Retrieved on 2010-10-30.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Mahindra Voyager: RIP (1997-2000)". MarketingTypo.com (2010-07-24). Retrieved on 2010-12-20.
- ↑ "Delica 1979". Mitsubishi Motors Web Museum. Retrieved on 2010-10-30.
- ↑ McKay, Peter (June 1980), "Chrysler launches rival for Kombi", Modern Motor (Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales: Modern Magazines (Holdings)): 15, http://www.archive.org/download/ChryslerLaunchesRivalForKombi/ModernMotor1980-06.pdf.
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 Mills, Andrew (November 1984), "Mitsubishi L300 Express: The Trendsetter", Modern Motor (Sydney, New South Wales: Australian Consolidated Press): 90–92, http://ia600606.us.archive.org/18/items/MitsubishiL300ExpressTheTrendsetter/ModernMotor1984-11.pdf.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 (2007) Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 11, '80s Japanese Cars. Tokyo: Nigensha, 226. ISBN 978-4-544-91018-6.
- ↑ "Australia in the 1980s: Industry". My Place. Australian Children's Television Foundation and Education Services Australia. Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
- ↑ "Chrysler Australia". Unique Cars and Parts. Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
- ↑ "1980 Mitsubishi L300". CarBuddy. Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
- ↑ Lake, Barry, ed. (May 1983), "More power, auto for Express wagon", Modern Motor (Sydney, New South Wales: Murray Publishers): 13, http://www.archive.org/download/MorePowerAutoForExpressWagon/ModernMotor1983-05.pdf.
- ↑ Lake, Barry (September 1983), "Improved L300 range", Modern Motor (Sydney, New South Wales: Murray Publishers): 13, http://www.archive.org/download/ImprovedL300Range/ModernMotor1983-09.pdf.
- ↑ "1983 Mitsubishi L300". CarBuddy. Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Britten, Tim, ed. (November 1984), "L300 update", Motor Manual (Melbourne, New South Wales: Newspress): 8, http://www.archive.org/download/L300Update/MotorManual1984-11.pdf.
- ↑ Britten, Tim, ed. (March 1985), "Still king of the people movers?", Motor Manual (Melbourne, New South Wales: Newspress): 61–62, http://www.archive.org/download/StillKingOfThePeopleMovers/MotorManual1985-03.pdf.
- ↑ "1986 Mitsubishi L300". CarBuddy. Retrieved on 2011-04-30.
- ↑ Un aliado de su negocio hecho a la medida MMC Automoritz S.A.
- ↑ "Notable MMC Cars". Mitsubishi Motors: Facts & Figures 2010. Mitsubishi Motor Corporation (2010).
- ↑ Mitsubishi Facts & Figures 2007 – Mizuma Plant (Japan) Sales figures by volume (Page 21)
- ↑ James M. Flammang (1994). Standard Catalog of Imported Cars, 1946–1990. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc., 447. ISBN 0-87341-158-7.
- ↑ (1990) in Mastrostefano, Raffaele: Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1990 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A, 581–582.
- ↑ miautoculiacan.com
- ↑ "Mitsubishi Starwagon GLX Car Review". NRMA (3 December 1994). Retrieved on 2011-04-14.
- ↑ "New Mitsubishi Motors mono-box minivan to be branded "Delica D:5", Mitsubishi Motors press release, October 30, 2006
- ↑ "Mitsubishi Motors launches new Delica D:5", Mitsubishi Motors press release, January 31, 2007
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