Mitsubishi Starion

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the parent company to Mitsubishi Motors is one of the worlds largest corporations, dating back prior to 1937. Mitsubishi Motors Division is ranked among the 10 largest automobile manufacturers in the world. As a side note, Mitsubishi is also the only automotive manufacturer in the world that builds their own turbochargers.

In 1972, Chrysler Corporation purchased a minor percentage of Mitsubishi Motors stock that gained them a seat on the board of directors. This opened up Chryslers ability to introduce a variety of low cost, fuel efficient cars toting the Chrysler, Plymouth or Dodge banner. We saw many cars, such as the Champ, Colt, Arrow, Challenger, Sapporo, and mini trucks roll off Chrysler's lots and home in the hands of happy consumers. Many of Chryslers US built cars shared Mitsubishi power plants (i.e., LeBaron, Dodge 400, Reliant, and Aries).

It was to no ones surprise when Mitsubishi announced their intended entry to the US automotive market in 1983. Having gained knowledge of what the US consumers wanted through their partnership with Chrysler Corporation, the car manufacturer felt they had the chance to create a market share on US soil.

To introduce themselves in October of 1982, a modest lineup of models proved sufficient. These were the Cordia, Tredia, Montero, 2WD and 4WD trucks, and of course, their Flagship, the Starion.

The Starion was to be designed and built to go head to head with other Japanese sports coupes that were now enjoying an exclusive niche in the US market. These were the Datsun 280ZX, powered by an in-line-6, and the Toyota Celica Supra, also with an inline 6. Needless to say, Mitsubishi's quick little 4 cylinder turbo sent Datsun and Toyota scrambling back to the design departments for turbo systems of their very own!

Chrysler also released the Starion under their own banner in 1984, displaying the name "Conquest," and they played a major role in refining the cars capabilities and appearance. With joint cooperation between the two industry leaders, the Starion/Conquest grew and matured through its 7½ ~year production life.

Starting it's production life at a meager 145hp@5,000RPM and 185lb-ft@2500RPM, the car was thought to be "too busy" by American car critics with it's hood scoop and fake hood vents. After a few revisions, the car ended production with a sleek, muscular look that has long since cultivated a following of individuals and with power ratings of 188HP@5,000RPM and 234lb-ft@2500RPM.

More information on this vehicle can be found at