Mitsubishi Varica (Taiwan)|
|Assembly||Mizushima plant, Kurashiki, Okayama|
|Body style||Pickup truck, microvan|
|Layout||FR layout, F4 layout|
359cc ME24 I2 two-stroke|
359cc 2G10 I2 two-stroke
471cc 2G22 I2
546cc G23B I2
644cc 2G24 I2
783cc 2G25 I2
548cc 3G81 I3
796cc 3G82 I3
659cc 4A30 I4
1.1L 4G82 I4
The Minicab cab-over pickup truck was launched in 1966 to replace the 360, which by this time had adopted the same model name as the Minica sedan. It shared the sedan's air cooled two-stroke 359 cc engine, and came with cargo gates on three sides to simplify loading and unloading. In 1986 the van variant was introduced for the first time.
In 1971 the Minicab underwent its first model change, with the Minicab EL offering a new interior and a longer cargo bed. Ride quality was improved with the adoption of a front wishbone and rear leaf spring suspension. A panel van was added to the Minicab lineup in 1972, when it also became the Minicab W with the new watercooled 2G10 engine (hence the W).
In 1977, the third generation Minicab was introduced. In keeping with the changes in vehicle tax regulations, the Minicab Wide 55 featured an increase in both width and length, and adopted the enlarged 471 cc engine from the car line. It also incorporated new features like a windscreen defroster, a central console box and a central ventilation system. It continued until 1981, when Mitsubishi dropped "Wide 55" from the Minicab name as the market was now aware of the increase in body size and engine capacity. A rear window wiper, electronic locking rear gate and power brakes were adopted, and in 1983 the Flat-floor Van model adopted a double-walled construction to offer a flat, open cargo area. For some export markets, like Chile, this version was known as Mitsubishi L100. In China the third generation was build and sold as both the Shenwei SYW 1010 and the Wuling LZ 110.
Further model range updates have been in parallel with the Minica, starting with the fourth generation's introduction in 1984. Although improvements were made to enhance the Minicab's commercial applications, the most noticeable changes were made to support personal leisure activities. Angular headlamps played an important role in the Minicab's styling, along with larger windows to improve visibility. Mitsubishi offered fifteen front- and four-wheel drive van model variations and ten truck variations. The fourth generation Minicab incorporated many class-leading features such as an automatic free-wheel hub adopted on all four-wheel drive models, while two-wheel drive models had a turning radius of 3.7 metres (12.1 ft). The estate models featured the first sliding sunroof in their class. In 1987, the Minicab became the first manufacturer to offer a supercharged kei car. In China the fourth generation Minicab was built and sold as the Wuling LZW 1010 for the commercial variants and the Wuling LZW 6330 for the passenger variant.
A larger and completely redesigned Minicab was released in 1991 to take advantage of tax regulations allowing for increased dimensions and engine capacity of kei cars. Three new 660cc engines were introduced: a 4-valve SOHC unit, a 5-valve DOHC unit and a 2-valve SOHC unit. Across the range, there was a total of 66 possible model variations. This included a new variant, the retro-styled Bravo Route 66, however, one previous variant, the high-roof truck, was discontinued.
The sixth generation Minicab was introduced in 1999 now sporting a new semi-front design. By April 1999, a "wagon" version called the Town Box was introduced.
In January 2011, it was reported that Mitsubishi would add an electric version of Minicab, Minicab MiEV, for sale in Japan from Autumn 2011. Mitsubishi later announced a December 2011 launch. Mitsubishi picked up early orders for 100 units from major delivery company Yamato Transport in May of that year. The commercial use electric vehicle is estimated to have a range of 100 km (62 mi) with a full charge, which is lower than that of i-MiEV, in a bid to reduce costs. The price is aimed for less than ¥2,000,000 (about US$24,450) after subsidies.
Mitsubishi also manufactures a badge-engineered version of the Minicab pickup on behalf of Nissan, which sells it as the Nissan Clipper (a badge originally used on a larger range of Prince and Nissan trucks). The Minicab/Clipper competes in Japan with the Honda Acty, Subaru Sambar, Daihatsu Hijet, and the Suzuki Carry.
In Taiwan, as in mainland China, long wheelbase iterations of the fourth generation Minicab were also available with a variety of bodywork. The Taiwanese version (built by CMC, China Motor Corporation) was called the Varica and was available with a 1,061 cc 4G82 engine with 58 PS (43 kW). Overall length was up to 3,645 mm (143.5 in), with a wheelbase lengthened to 1,475 mm (58.1 in) right in front of the rear axle. Top speed was 115 km/h (71 mph). The Varica's nose was also extended somewhat.
Later a 1.2-litre version replaced the smaller 1100, and the car underwent a facelift which included a longer more rounded nose.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Minicab". Mitsubishi Motors History. Mitsubishi-Motors.co.za. http://www.mitsubishi-motors.co.za/featuresites/mm_history/Minicab.asp. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Schaefers, Martin. "History of Japanese Kei Class Minivans and Trucks". Far East Auto Literature. http://www.xs4all.nl/~mjs/cabover.html. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- ↑ Lienert, Paul. "Mitsubishi To Unveil Plug-In Hybrid Concept: 2011 Tokyo Auto Show". Edmunds Inside Line. http://www.insideline.com/mitsubishi/mitsubishi-to-unveil-plug-in-hybrid-concept-2011-tokyo-auto-show.html. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- ↑ Stephen Munday (2011-05-26). "Yamato Takyubin Delivery Co. Orders 100 Minicab i-MiEV Vans". Integrity Exports. http://integrityexports.com/?s=minicab.
- ↑ Isabel Reynolds (2011-0-11). "Mitsubishi Motors to use Toshiba battery in EV: report". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70K1AM20110121.
- ↑ "Mitsubishi supplies Nissan with mini-vehicles". AM Online. 10 August 2006. http://www.am-online.com/aftermarket/story/Mitsubishi-supplies-Nissan-with-mini-vehicles/41971. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- ↑ Mitsubishi Varica New Tone 1100 (catalog). Old Car Manual Project. 1991. http://storm.oldcarmanualproject.com/mitsubishi/China%20Varica%201100%201991%200102.jpg. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
- Mitsubishi Minicab official site (Japanese)
- Mitsubishi Minicab history, Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website
|Mitsubishi car and light van timeline, 1960-1979|
|Kei sedan||Minica||Minica 70-73||Minica F4||Minica 5||Minica Ami 55|
|Kei truck/ commercial||360 Van/Pickup||Minica Van|| Minica
|Minica 55 Van|
|Minicab||Minicab EL||Minicab W||Minicab 5||Minicab Wide 55|
|Subcompact||500||Colt 600||Colt 800|
|Colt 1000F||Colt 1100F/11-F|
|Compact||Colt 1000||Colt 1100||Colt 1200||Lancer||Lancer EX|
|Colt 1500||(Colt) Galant||Galant||Galant Σ|
|Sport coupé||Galant FTO||Lancer Celeste|
|Galant GTO||Galant Λ|