Coupe,2 doors,2 seats
The Mitsubishi Starion is a three-door, turbocharged four-cylinder rear-wheel drive four-seat sports car that was in production from 1982 to 1990. It was also marketed in North America as the Conquest under the Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth names; both the Starion and Conquest came to an end in 1989. Although preceded by earlier turbocharged designs such as the Porsche 930 (1975), Saab 99 (1978) and the Mitsubishi Lancer EX 2000 Turbo (1980), it is considered to be one of the originators of the modern Japanese turbocharged performance automobile genre.
The "Starion" name is claimed by Mitsubishi to be a contraction of "Star of Orion", although an urban legend claims that it was intended to be stallion, as a result of an "Engrish" mistranslation.
The Starion's appearance in 1982 occurred during a period in which a number of Japanese Grand Tourer (GT) sports cars were increasing in popularity. The Starion's turbocharged four-cylinder engine enabled it to be very competitive.
During production, the Starion was produced in both a narrowbody and widebody (in later years). The design proved durable and few changes were made between models, with only simple improvements demarking the change from one model to the next. In the United States market, there was only one major change when the car was upgraded to the ESI-r (Conquest TSi) model; this model features an intercooler and five-bolt wheels, replacing the four-bolt wheels it had inherited from the rear wheel drive Mitsubishi Galant Lambda. European and Japanese models had a limited slip differential as an option on these cars.
At the time, Mitsubishi opted for the Mitsubishi Astron engine with a single-camshaft head (SOHC) rather than the dual cam head, and also for a throttle-body fuel injection setup which mixed the fuel with the air prior to entering the plenum chamber.
Production ceased entirely by 1990, and its successor, the GTO was fitted with the mechanicals of the recently demonstrated Mitsubishi HSX Sports Coupe concept vehicle.
Many of the performance features of the Starion were integrated into later vehicles and can be found in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, in the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, and the Mitsubishi Eclipse.
The Starion used a traditional front-mounted engine with rear-wheel drive layout, which most sports cars use. Many came with a limited slip differential and anti-lock brakes (single channel, rear wheels only) as standard features. The entire chassis was derived from the previous high performance variant of the Mitsubishi Sapporo or Mitsubishi Galant Lambda sports coupe, with a MacPherson strut suspension and swaybars that were fitted to front and rear.
Engine capacity was 2.0 L with the now well-known Sirius 4G63 2.0 L engine, subsequently featured in DOHC form in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution series of automobiles. However, American customers received the larger Astron G54B 2.6 L engine, but without any additional horsepower. Neither engines were DOHC. After 1987, European Starion models were also fitted with the 2.6 L engine, as was the GSR-VR for Japan. Both engines featured computer controlled fuel injection and turbocharging.
Horsepower varied between 150–197 hp (112–147 kW; 152–200 PS) depending mostly upon the turbocharger that was fitted, the presence of an intercooler, and whether the 8-valve or 12-valve head was used.
A naturally-aspirated version known as the GX was also built for the Japanese market, however production ceased in 1983 due to low sales figures. The Starion GX had no power windows, no air conditioning, no independent rear suspension, no fuel injection and did not have power-assisted steering.
Seating was a 2+2 arrangement, although the rear seats are not too suitable for large adults. The front seats were adjustable for lumbar, angle, knee support, position and featured variable-angle side-braces.
One of the more unusual features was that the seatbelts were located in the doors for the driver and front passenger, and some American models featured electrically operated seatbelts.
A five-speed manual transmission was standard in most models, however, an automatic transmission was sold as an option in some markets.
The drag coefficient was around 0.35; although quite angular, the aerodynamics were quite efficient for the era and around the average for a modern hatchback. It outperformed the Mazda RX-7 and the Nissan 300ZX upon its release.
A number of models existed throughout the world during 1982 to 1990.
2.0 L 4G63 engine, apart from GSR-VR which has 2.6 L 4G54 engine.
The Japanese domestic market had a large range of Starions to choose from.
GX - 1982–1983 (non turbo)
GSR-I,GSR-II,GSR-III, GSR-X - 1982–1984
GSR-II, GSR-III,GSR-X,GSR-V - 1985–1986 - can be distinguished from the earlier starions by driving lights in the front bumper
GSR-V - 1986–1987 - some had Sirius Dash engine
GSR-VR - 1987–1990 (widebody)
The Roman numeral after 'GSR' denotes the vehicle specification. Some examples can be found below:
GSR-I - base model
GSR-II - power steering and electric windows
GSR-III - improved audio system, trip computer system, digital dash cluster, and air conditioning.
GSR-X - leather interior replaced the cloth, climate control, air conditioning, cruise control
2.0 L 4G63 engine.
Australian vehicles were mostly similar to the European Turbo specification. The J codes below denote the model version, and are found on the Australian Vehicle Information Plates.
JA - 1982–1984
JB - 1984–1985
JD - 1985–1987
It was marketed in North America by Mitsubishi as the Starion from 1983 until 1989 and by Chrysler as the Conquest under both the Dodge and Plymouth names from 1984 to 1986 and under the Chrysler name from 1987 until 1989.
2.6 L G54B engine. with TD05-12A Mitsubishi turbocharger
ESI-R - widebody, all others above are narrowbody
Technica (this was a narrowbody package without intercooler)
2.0 L 4G63 engine with MHI TC06-11A turbocharger, apart from GSR-VR which has 2.6 L 4G54 engine with TD05-12A TC.
EX II - flatbody with intercooler
EX - luxury version
Turbo - base model
With the exception of Australia, many models were available as either narrowbody or widebody shell styles.
|Drivetrain||Steering||Front Suspension||Rear Suspension|
|Top Speed||0-60||SQM||MPG||Engine Pwr||Comment|
|133 mph||6.9 s|