Demand for small pickup trucks had been growing, especially in North America. Mitsubishi Motors entered the market with the Forte in September 1978. Powered by a 1.6L engine, it offered superior driving stability, thanks to double wishbone suspension with coil at the front and leaf spring rigid axle at the rear.
A four-wheel drive model was added in October 1980, using a part-time direct drive silent chain transfer case. This had been developed by the company using our many years of experience in producing the Mitsubishi Jeep. The 4WD drive version was the trailblazer for many of the subsequent 4x4 models in the Mitsubishi lineup.