Mitsuota Garina AMG Surf mashup

Posted on

Mitsuota Garina AMG Surf

The Mitsuota Garina AMG Surf combines the best out of the Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I and the Toyota Carina ST Surf: how fast can you move your surfboard? The front section is taken from the Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I and the rear section is taken from the Toyota Carina ST Surf. The fusion of these two cars was born out of the necessity to cut costs and both manufacturers combined forces, combining the best of both cars into this new Mitsuota Garina. Mitsubishi and Toyota deemed it a good idea to combine the front of a sedan and the rear of a van. Even if the mashup of Mitsubishi and Toyota resulted in Mitsuota, this is a sheer coincidence to be very close to another Japanese car manufacturer.
Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I + Toyota Carina ST Surf = Mitsuota Garina AMG  Surf

The Mitsuota Garina combines the Bubble era and early 80s. Even in the bubble era things couldn’t get crazy enough and the Galant AMG was no exception: real wooden inserts in the door and dashboard panels, wooden shift knob, (optional) wooden steering wheel and full black leather seats with light grey inserts. On top of this all was the fact that these cars were shipped to Germany, tuned and upgraded and then shipped back to Japan! This was truly top European luxury in a bargain Japanese compact car! As the Carina had been launched at the start of the 1980s, the car was full of hope and high end luxury. This line of high end luxury would continue in all front wheel drive successors.

Mitsuota Garina AMG  Surf blueprint

Mitsuota Garina – Chassis and Suspension

The Mitsuota Garina has 5 doors and the total length of the car is 4503mm. The weight of the car also changed from 1210 kilograms (Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I) and 1045 kilograms (Toyota Carina ST Surf) to 1099 kilograms (2424 pounds).

Mitsuota Garina: a car mashup of the Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I and Toyota Carina ST Surf


Number of doors 5
Length 4503mm
Width 1695mm
Height 1650mm
Wheelbase 2550mm
Weight 1099kg


Front suspension McPherson struts
Rear suspension Solid axle
Front wheels 15 inch AMG alloy rims
Rear wheels 13 inch (pizza cutter) alloy rims, 165SR13 tires

Mitsuota Garina: a car mashup of the Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I and Toyota Carina ST Surf

Mitsuota Garina – Engine and drivetrain

The Garina features the Mitsubishi 4G63 engine up front. This engine delivers 170 SAE horsepower (167 BHP). The choice for the 4G63 engine is a natural choice: the 4G63 is more powerful than the 1S-U. With the weight of the car being 1099 kilograms, this alters the power to weight ratio to 10.63 lb/hp (6.47 kg/kW)
Mitsubishi 4G63 engine


Engine 4G63
Engine location front
Engine layout transverse
Displacement 1832
Bore x Stroke 85 x 98
Cylinders 4
Aspiration naturally aspirated
Power 170 hp (127 kW)
Torque 195 Nm (144 lb.ft)


Gearbox 5 speed manual
Topgear ratio 0.73
Final drive 4.91

AMG tuned the naturally aspirated DOHC 4G63 for the Mitsubishi Galant AMG E33A from 140ps in the GSR to 170ps in the AMG. They did this by increasing the compression ratio from 9:1 to 10.4:1, increased flow by changing the shape of the chambers, added an improved high flow Dual Stage Cyclone intake, improved the exhaust manifold and added hollow rocker arms and titanium valve springs to make it even more responsive. It’s probably the closest a Mitsubishi production engine came to a naturally aspirated racing engine!

Mitsuota Garina AMG Surf trim level

The AMG Surf mixes the best out of the Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I and the Toyota Carina ST Surf.
Mitsuota Garina front trim: taken from the Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I
The Galant AMG featured a special AMG steering wheel, CD player and dual zone air conditioning. Back in 1989 this was a luxury that was unheard of in a compact car.
Obviously the rear end has a wagon tail gate. To allow its owners to slip in a surfboard more easily the rear bench can be folded down in two halfs.
Mitsuota Garina rear trim: taken from the Toyota Carina ST Surf

Mitsuota Garina Trivia

Both Type I and Type II received special 15 inch AMG alloy wheels. The Type I were aero type wheels that looked like saw blades while the Type II wheels looked like inverse dished wheels. The fact that these wheels were only 15 inch in diameter was quite unusual for AMG.
Already in the early 1970s Toyota was experimenting with recreational vehicles. Don’t think of the American RV here: these cars were aimed more towards camping and beach trips. In the early 1980s Toyota had developed a whole range of vehicles that fit into the recreational vehicle concept and included, next to the Carina Surf, a Land Cruiser, HiLux Surf, Master Ace Surf and the Crown Station Wagon.

The original front: Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I

This particular model of the Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I was sold in 1989. The body style is a door sedan.
Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I
The sixth generation Galant was the second generation front wheel drive. The same platform was carried over from the fifth generation, allowing quick and easy development time. The new Galant E31 – E39 was released in 1987 in homeland Japan and won the Car of the year Japan award, but only became for sale in 1988 in Europe and 1989 in the US. The new rounded style introduced was also applied to the other Mitsubishi lineup: the 1987 Mirage/Colt/Lancer and the 1991 Sigma. In addition to the four door sedan a new model was introduced: the five door hatchback Eterna, which was sold as the Galant in Europe.

Rallying and performance

For rallying purposes the Galant VR-4 E39A was developed which introduced four wheel drive coupled with a turbocharged 4G63. You may find this sounding familiar as this exact setup was also used in the Lancer EVO and thus the Galant VR-4 E39A is often referred to as the Lancer EVO 0. In addition to the Galant VR-4 another sporty initiative was started in 1988: the Galant AMG. After the successful Mitsubishi Debonair V3000 Royal AMG, Mitsubishi put their efforts towards the Galant and this time it wasn’t luxury they were after!

AMG + Galant = Galant AMG!

The Galant AMG featured many performance improvements: AMG brakes, big spoiler on the boot, the naturally aspirated DOHC 4G63 now featured titanium valve springs, increased compression ratio (from 9:1 to 10.4:1), improved exhaust manifold, a Dual Stage Cyclone intake and an AMG custom ECU. This bumped the engine output from 130ps to 170ps, which may not sound as a whole lot, but keep in mind that the engine now revved all the way up to 8000rpm! Also the interior and exterior were changed: luxury leather seats, AMG leather steering wheel, dual climate AC, CD player, AMG alloys, smoothed out bumpers with integrated fog lamps and side garnish and side skirts to reduce drag.

The Galant AMG was only once hue available: metallic black! Alongside the Galant facelift in 1991, also the Galant AMG received a facelift. The new grille, headlights, tail lights and door mirrors were carried over. In 1993 the seventh generation Galant went up for sale and after 1395 units produced this ended the Galant AMG story.

The Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I ad campaign

The Mitsubishi Galant sales catchphrase was at first The Individual 4 door and later 4 door Sports. For most advertisements the backdrop was Paris and one of the ads they drove a Renault 5 and Renault 14 in the background. Even the photos in the Galant AMG brochure were all taken in France.
Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I

The Mitsubishi Galant AMG Type I in popular media

The Mitsubishi Galant AMG was a true wolf in sheep’s clothing and it never caught the attention of mainstream media. Also it always stood in the shadow of the four wheel drive turbocharged Galant VR-4 that offered an extra 30 horses over the AMG engine. Also the successes of the Galant VR-4 in rallying made the VR-4 the more desirable one look for.

1991 Mitsubishi AMG Galant Type II – Tuned by AMG (USA Import) Japan Auction Purchase Review by Pacific Coast Auto

The original rear: Toyota Carina ST Surf

This particular model of the Toyota Carina ST Surf was sold in 1982. The body style is a door van.
Toyota Carina ST Surf
The first generation Carina and Celica had been built on a shortened floorpan of the midrange Corona to fill a stopgap between the Corona and the Corolla. The second generation Celica and Carina grew in wheelbase and length so it was decided to merge the Celica, Carina and Corona in the third generation to save cost. The third generation Toyota Carina was therefore almost a direct copy of the second generation: the platform got extended with a few centimeters, the shape more angular and it inherited the independent rear suspension (IRS) from the Carina based Celica Camry.

Carina engines

The new generation also iterated on the same engines, but the Toyota LASRE program ensured during launch time the new 3A-U and 1S-U were available so the engines were quite diverse. The 1S-U replaced the aging 21R-U having two very different 1.8 litre petrol engines (3T-EU and 1S-U) in the lineup at launch time. This only confused more when a year after launch, in October 1983, the range got extended with the Twin Cam Twin Spark Turbo 3T-GTEU engine replacing the older Twin Cam 18R-GEU engine introducing the new GT-T and GT-TR models. At the same time a new model called Jeune is introduced as a high tech car full of driving aids for less experienced (female) drivers including automatic transmission (four speed manual optional), power steering and reverse ultrasound parking sensors called the back sonar.

In the meanwhile in February 1982 diesel engines and the Carina Surf (SA60G) also had been launched. Then in May 1983 the aging 2T-GEU was replaced with the all new Twin Cam 16 valve 4A-GE in the GT and the now new GT-R model. In May 1984 the all new front wheel drive Carina is launched, slashing the SE and ST models from the rear wheel drive range. In July 1985 all SG and ST coupe models and GT, GT-R, GT-T, GT-TR sedan and coupe models cease to exists. In January 1988 the remaining sedan and coupe models are discontinued and finally, after 7 years of production, in April of 1988 also the Wagon/Surf and Van models stop production.

The Toyota Carina ST Surf ad campaign

The ad campaign of the third generation Toyota Carina was a prolongation of the previous generation. Just like with the first and second generation Kill Bill actor Sonny Chiba (千葉 真一) promoted the third generation as well alongside Kayoko Kishimoto (岸本加世子) as his female sidekick. Where the first generation got the focus on outpacing motorbike gangs, the second generation more on a sporty image which the third generation initially followed. However quickly after a Toyota Carina AA60 won the 1981 Paris-Dakar two-wheel drive class, Toyota shifted the focus towards this amazing achievement by team ACP.


At the same time Toyota had been preparing the new 4A-GE and 3T-GTE engines for the GT and GT-T respectively and shifted the focus once more towards the sportscar-sedan. This resulted in the hilarious puppy-saving Carina GT-TR commercial and a Sonny Chiba going sideways in a yellow Carina GT-R scaring off his female co-driver Kayoko Kishimoto. Another hilarious ad was made for the Jeune model which featured driving aids for young mothers and executive daughters who just got hold of their driving licenses. As far as we could find there was only one commercial ad involving the Surf/wagon variants.
Toyota Carina ST Surf

The Toyota Carina ST Surf in popular media

As the Carina was mostly a more-sporty-bread-and-butter model it wasn’t a very popular car at launch time, but the plain Carina SG AA60 entering and winning the two wheel drive class in the Paris-Dakar rally for Team ACP made it a lot more attractive all of a sudden! It featured in many movies during the 1980s including Giwaku (1982) where a 18R-GEU powered GT coupe played a large role. The Carina also made an appearance in the 1985 novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami where a Toyota Carina 1800 Twin Cam Turbo pops up as a high tech rental car playing a key role in the ending of the book.

After the 1980s it quickly departed from the streets in Japan and Europe where most European cars, due to it’s uncomplicated technology, were exported to African countries. During the early 1990s the upcoming drift culture makes the GT and GT-R models a favorable alternative to the AE86, but after the first few years it is soon forgotten. Then in the late 2000s the Carina is rediscovered to be a good alternative to the (more scarce) AE86 for drifting and many GT and GT-R models are drifted to oblivion on Japanese race tracks.

Hachimaru Hero: Toyota Carina 1800 GT-TR (TA63) – 3T-GTEU Engine by Wasabi Cars


The Mitsuota Garina certainly is a daring product by combining two cars from two different manufacturers. It really took guts from Mitsubishi and Toyota to come to this consensus and that’s certainly something to be remembered for. It may not be 100% up to the tastes of typical buyers from Mitsubishi or Toyota, but the car being sold under the brand could potentially attract new customers that they normally wouldn’t have had.


Keep in mind that this is an automatically generated artist impression what could be a possible mashup between the Mitsubishi Galant AMG and the Toyota Carina. This is not meant to offend any person nor mock a specific car or car brand as all cars and car brands in our database are mashed up randomly. The gods of randomization feel that this was the proper hommage to both cars and highlighting their strong and weak points. In the end, just imagine this newly created car was a real thing and existed out of cost saving necessity. This isn’t the first time such a thing happened, hence we now have to live with the Toyoscionbaru BRZFR-SGT86 and soon with the ToyoBMW Z4Supra.

If you like this mashup and you want to spend some more time with it, you can play around with these before and after image sliders and do your own car mashup:

Also don’t forget to share this if you liked it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *