What. A. Car.
I present to you, my 1996 Legnum VR-4 Type S.
Teaser pics have popped up here and there on my social media, but here it is now, all the cards on the table.
This car had been on my radar since moving to Canada in the summer of last year, 2019. I came oh so close to importing one, but then my lovely 1999 Pajero super exceed came along and I just could not pass it up. I digress.
A year later, and the boomerang effect landed me in the seat of my very own Legnum VR-4. And lemme tell ya, what a seat it is to ride in.
No it’s not a corbeau or a sparco or a Recaro, but it’s comfy and bolted down to just about 300 hp of twin turbo goodness.
I got it with about 106k kms on it, barely broken in, stock as could be. Paint isn’t the greatest, but it’s not a pretty trailer princess.
It is the ultimate sleeper.
It came with a couple tasteful additions including a turbo timer, gfb bov and boost gauge, two sets of wheels, and a magnaflow muffler mated to 3 inch stainless steel exhaust piping. The exhaust note is understated, but present… it doesn’t drone an ounce and it gets the heart fluttering beyond the 3k mark. It’s not obnoxious, but it isn’t a bag of wonder bread.
The previous owner dailied her for a while, but took good care of her, and I will carry that torch on just as I do for the rest of my fleet. It’s already seen a new timing belt, water pump, alternator lines and rebuild, and various oil seals under my ownership.
This Legnum was one of the highest specs in terms of performance your money could buy. It came with the 6A13TT (cousin to the 6g72 twin turbo in the 3000GT), a 5spd trans with front LSD, and rear AYC both which were very similar to that of the evo 4/5/6.
The interior is simplistic with some of the fake wood bits. Carpeting and upholstery is reminiscent of the 90s with purple, green, and blue spots arranged in a sporty, retro fashion. The dash clocks are my favourite part: They flash to life out of the darkness when you turn the car on and have high contrast to their black background. Its a constantly illuminated setup with sharp sporty red needles and a bright VR-4 label. They make you feel like you’re piloting a technologically advanced rocketship, which it is essentially.
I would argue this particular offering from Mitsubishi was the pinnacle of its engineering prowess in the 90s. The amount of tech and advanced systems they piled into this car is remarkable. And they work so well, almost 25 years later. Yes, it is a complicated car compared to my 89 shogun, but its less complicated than my 99 Pajero!
Yes, transverse v6s are not the most fun to work on, but it isn’t impossible. Just make sure your battery is out of the car before you attempt anything with the alternator… Ask me how I know…
It’s road manners are remarkably tame, if you want them to be. But it’s like “a lion in sheep’s clothing.” So it’s game for however you’re feeling. Speed racer? Ok. Tokyo Drift? Yup. Egg transport wagon, sure. Long hauler? Can do. Street racer beat you off the line at a green light? Ohhhhhhhh yeeeeaaaah. Rallycross weapon? Yes sir!
It is the ultimate sleeper because it isn’t overstated in styling, it isn’t loud, it isn’t flashy, it’s a wagon. But it will eat you alive at the stomp of the skinny pedal. Some guy in a wrx tried to get the jump on it, but the legnum had the last laugh. The wrx driver was flabbergasted. He was surprised by the potency of the “dinosaur” I was driving. I prefer the dinosaur to your video game, mate.
And my god is it an animal in the snow. I’ve never driven a car that was just so easy to control. The movements are so flawless in the car at speed or not. Drifts are a cinch, grip is endless, and donuts are delicious.
I’ve entered it in a winter rally cross coming up next weekend. It should be a blast. More to come on the car on a bit.