- Written by webmin
Note: 1988 Battlecar Galactica Mitsubishi Starion shown.
The Starion and its re-badged Plymouth-Chrysler Conquest cousins made their debut in 1983-4 here in the United States. The turbocharged rear-wheel drive turbo specialty sports coupe evolved incrementally until being discontinued in 1989, but it was 1986 that brought box fenders with it. Stateside Starions were all equipped with the 2.6L Astron four-cylinder engine. An oil-cooled turbo eventually gave way to a water- and oil-cooled unit, though the somewhat baffling dual injector throttle body electronic fuel injection was retained throughout the run. Halfway through 1985, Mistusbishi stuffed a front mount intercooler into the Starion for a bump to 170hp, up 25hp from the 145hp non-intercooled engine.
The 170hp Starion ESI-R made its debut in 1986. The addition of fully integrated steel flared fenders, rocker sill extensions, and the 16-inch diameter staggered dished aluminum wheels set the ESI-R apart as the widebody. Flatter Starions became affectionately known as flatsiders, or flattys. Leather appointments and all the space technology that Mistubishi could muster went into the 2+2 ESI-R cabin. Sales for the wide car hovered around 17,500 units, heading slightly north for 1987 and 1988, with nearly 20,000 188hp Starions sold in 1989. The remaining Starion stock ranges from blown up or well-driven to good condition, yet finding a survivor is still possible. Even though it seems like a good idea now more than ever, the Starion was the last rear-wheel drive turbo coupe in the Mitsubishi lineup.
So for our Class of 1986, what say you? Are the Starion and Conquest worthy additions? Or would you kick ‘em out of the garage for leaking oil?