Text: Anton Andres / Photos: Mitsubishi | posted November 05, 2015 11:14
Popular nicknames Filipinos have given their diamond star cars
From Toyota, we move on to another brand that has been going strong in the country for many decades: Mitsubishi.
Like Toyota, Filipinos have given cars from the tri-diamond brand nicknames for the longest time. We start the list off with the most popular and longest running product Mitsubishi offers in the Philippines, the Lancer.
Lancer A70 (1973-79)
First unveiled in 1973, one can say that every generation of Lancer since then was given a nickname. Internally known as the A70, the first generation Lancer wore different names throughout its production. It was also called the Chrysler Valiant Lancer, the Chrysler Lancer, the Dodge Colt, the Dodge Lancer, and the Plymouth Colt. For us however, we simply called it one of three names, the “I-Type”, the “L-Type” and the “Bar-type” after the shape of its tail lights. Needless to say, the Lancer got the ball rolling for Mitsubishi's success in the Philippines.
Lancer A172 (1979-87)
We then arrive to perhaps the most iconic Lancer of all time and perhaps the definitive symbol of the 80's: the A172, better known as the “Box type” Lancer. There's no further explanation needed to figure out how the second generation Lancer got its nickname. It would appear as though the car was designed with the use of a ruler for its body lines and a compass to draw its wheels. With Mitsubishi being one of the few brands surviving during Martial Law, the company sold the Box type in bulk and the considerable amount of survivors account for that.
Lancer C6 (1989-92)
Like in Toyota's case, we skipped a generation of the Lancer and the Box type soldiered on until 1987. It was eventually replaced by the first front wheel drive Lancer to arrive in the Philippines. With its rather radical styling and slim headlights, the fourth generation would garner the nickname "Sinkit". As iconic as the Box type was, the Sinkit was leagues ahead when it came to tech, with the introduction of electronic fuel injection. Called the Cyclone engine, that tag also became the car's nickname.
Lancer CB (1993-97)
By the early 90's, curves were in and boxy styling was out. One can see the change in times with the fifth generation Lancer. It had round headlights, round tail lights, an oval themed interior and other styling touches that almost didn't have sharp edges. Because of that, this Lancer would get the nickname “Itlog” or “Hotdog”, some say after the shape of its rear turn signals.
Lancer CJ (1997-01)
After the ovoid styling of the Itlog Lancer came the more formal looking sixth generation model. Still, that didn't stop people from giving it a nickname. Keeping with the food theme, the 1997-2001 Lancer was called the “Pizza” thanks to its triangular, slice-shaped tail lights.
Lancer CS (2001-11)
Eventually, the Pizza made way for the “Cedia” in 2001. The name is an amalgation of Century Diamond. While there were still elements of the Pizza Lancer at the back, we simply adapted its Japanese nameplate.
Lancer CY (2008-current)
We arrive at the eighth generation Lancer that brings back a rather sportier look to Mitsubishi's compact. It also saw the return of the EX nameplate for the brand's compact sedan and hence, the nickname of “EX”.
Like the Toyota, Mitsubishi's midsize offering was also a hit among Filipino buyers. For the longest time, the Galant and Corona went head to head in the segment, both becoming popular buys among Pinoys who've leveled up.
Galant A12 (1977-87)
In the late 70's Mitsubishi ditched the mini-American car looks for a more streamlined design for the Galant. In Japan, the four door was known as the Galant Sigma but that didn't stop us from adapting its Japanese name in the country. Thanks to the badge on its quarter panel, we called this particular Galant the "Sigma".
Like Toyota, Mitsubishi offered a 'personal luxury coupe' alongside the sedan variant we fondly called the "Lambda". Instead of us saying Galant Lambda, we simply said Lambda to differentiate the sedan and the two door models. Who here can remember the aluminum trim that covered part of the C-pillar? Also, getting a digital clock in 1979 must have felt like "2001: A Space Odyssey".
Galant E3 (1988-93)
Mitsubishi followed the front wheel drive revolution of the 80's as we jump straight to the 1988 Galant. Nicknamed "Super Saloon", it was a big leap forward compared to Sigma with much more aerodynamic styling and the fuel injected (!) models were called the MPI. In the early 90's, Mitsubishi provided a sport sedan for the masses, much to the delight of local enthusiasts. This particular Galant is also called the "GTI" body thanks to the sport sedan's popularity that made Super Saloon owners put spoilers in an effort to give the standard model more street cred.
Galant E5 (1994-97)
In the mid-90's, squares were out and ovals were in. One can see that trend on the seventh generation Galant with its rounded styling and interesting pair of headlights and tailights. With its tail lights seemingly patterned after sunglasses, it's perhaps no surprise it soon got the nickname "Ray-Ban". Like the Super Saloon, another nickname was derived from its engine. Also known as the VR6, it's perhaps one of the few “affordable” cars packing a six cylinder. One can also say that the VR6 Galant was a bit of a sleeper, putting out 150 PS during the time most cars were saddled with less than 140.
Galant EA (1998-05)
The eighth generation Galant got rid of the rounded styling in favor of a more aggressive and sporty (for a midsize sedan) design. With a front end that's pointier than the Ray-Ban, the eighth generation Galant was eventually called the "Shark".
And there you have it, the popular nicknames for Mitsubishi's compact and midsize offerings from the as far back as the late 70's. For the next installment, we'll be covering the other popular nicknames from various brands like Subaru and Nissan.