Starion... So hot it would of left you Stari-eyed..!
It was an era when traditional American made performance cars were leaving something to be desired, the fit and finishes in the newly introduced Japanese sports cars were impeccable. The level of comfort supplied in this class of automobiles was something befitting of cars costing thousands more.
The rear wheel drive and fully independent suspensions that came standard with the Starion was years ahead in sophistication. Keeping in mind that the sports cars that are built in this country only switched to independent suspensions in the last decade, the Starion gave a new claim to the word technological. With an excellent and superbly shifting 5-speed manual transmission, it could not be touched by anything that did not also come with a 'Made in Japan' stamp on it.
A turbocharged 2.6 liter four cylinder (that was as smooth as butter) was a far cry from anything that we were used to driving that was being built in the USA. Also a newly introduced technology Spearheaded under Mitsubishi (later to be known as balance shafts) were put into the mix, further making the fours that much more silky. With other high tech features thrown in like rear wheel anti lock braking, digital drivers aids, electronic climate control, interiors made for not only driving, but enjoyable long trips. An outstanding stereo cassette with true bass button and a real equalizer, it would be hard to justify buying anything else... The difference was like wearing a Timex and the other hand a Casio.
A real cassette stereo with options.
If you couldn't find the noise level you wanted with this thing, it was time to go and get your hearing checked!
The Mitsubishi Starion had a nearly identical twin brother in the form of the Dodge Conquest. It was a bit more sinister in stature, but accompanied with all the Mitsu- hardware and a few more spoilers for it's Chrysler customers.
Dodge Conquest TSI
The Conquest was just a hand full of re-badged four bangers in the 80's that gave much street cred to the influx of the Japanese takeover of the Hyper Sports car market.
The Mitsubishi Starion's engine bay represented the coming of the Asian cars of the 80's. The coming of large four cylinder displacements that were not only smooth, responsive and reliable, but gave most of our V-8's fits..
The 1986 version used an intercooler to sweeten up the charge..
Body flares, aerodynamics being the word of the day, disc brakes all around, wheel arch flares, air dam, hood scoop and pop-up headlamps made the Mitsubishi Tri-Diamond coupe a major force to be dealt with in the 80's modern sports car arena. The aggressive arches and spoilers were obviously put there to move up class to more expensive cars like the the Porsche 944, and the Audi Quattro Coupe. Sixteen inch wheels also adorned the automobile.
A quick lesson in the Japanese automotive takeover of the world ...!
Thanks for checking out our blast from the Past for the month of May 2013. Hope you enjoyed your holiday.. I did.. Till next month this Dre' at autoFrenzy.net.. Deuces yall!