Mitsubishi Starion EX Turbo
- Mileage: 81,460
- Year: 1989
- MOT Expiry: May 2019
- Exterior Colour: White
- Interior Colour: Black Leather
- Top speed: 129
- 0-60mph: 7.8
- BHP: 170
- Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
- Engine Capacity: 2555cc
- Engine Configuration: Turbocharged 4 In-line
The Starion is widely considered to be one of the originators of the modern Japanese turbocharged performance sports cars of the era, and certainly the first to use electronic fuel injection. It used a traditional front-mounted engine with rear-wheel drive layout. A limited slip differential and anti-lock brakes were stand standard features on many variants. 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. Rack and pinion steering was not offered; instead gearbox steering was standard on all models.
Engine capacity differed between markets. American customers received the larger SOHC Astron G54B 2.6-litre engine while the remainder received the SOHC 2-litre Sirius 4G63 engine, subsequently featured in DOHC form in later Mitsubishi sport compacts such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. After 1987, European Starion models were also fitted with the 2.6-litre engine, as was the GSR-VR for Japan. Horsepower varied between 150–197hp depending mostly upon the turbocharger that was fitted, the presence of an intercooler, and whether the 8-valve or 12-valve head was used.
Over the production run of the Starion nearly every year brought changes, with increased engine power, larger body sizes, and more complexity in the vehicle. The introduction of the “widebody” also split the car into two distinct ranges; one of which was a non-intercooled lower horsepower car using the narrow body style, and the high-performance intercooled widebody.
Seating was a 2+2 format although the rear seats were unsuitable for large adults. The front seats were adjustable for lumbar, angle, knee support, position, and featured variable-angle side-braces. Interestingly, the front seat belts were located in the doors.
A total of just 1,961 Starions were manufactured in 1989, the final year of production.
Leather sports seats, Leather steering wheel, Limited Slip Differential (LSD), 5-spoke alloy wheels, Cruise control, Power Assisted Steering (PAS), Electric windows, Pop-up headlamps, Rear wash/wipe, Mitsubishi cassette radio with four speakers, Lockable glove compartment, Digital clock, Tailored carpet mats, Ash tray, Cigar lighter, Alarm, Immobiliser, Locking wheel nuts, Spare key.
The crisp white paintwork presents to a great standard overall with few imperfections to report. The Starion’s boxy physique looks great under our studio lighting, its wide arches evocative of the era’s most famous rally and touring cars. On close inspection there are no significant scuffs, scrapes, or unsightly car park dings to report. All items of trim are in excellent fettle, and the classic popup headlamps operate just as they should. This UK example is remarkably well preserved throughout and would undoubtedly be a rare and fantastic addition to any collection.
The snug cabin space is pleasingly comfortable and surprisingly refined. The leather-upholstered front seats sport deep and supportive bolsters with minimal wear. The steering wheel is also free from marking, as are commonly worn items such as the gear knob and handbrake lever.
The interior retains a great ‘80s vibe; even the original Mitsubishi cassette radio remains in place. Other features include door-mounted seatbelts, cruise control, electric windows, and the stitched-effect vinyl dash, which is free from any distortion or marking. In the rear of the car the seats present as new, and the large boot area is also particularly clean.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The turbocharged 2.6-litre engine fires into life quickly and idles up to temperature without fuss. The engine bay is perfectly tidy and free from any signs of damage or poor repair. On test, the Starion’s performance is typical of the vintage but rewarding nonetheless; power is laid down smoothly and the gearbox remains feeling tight and precise. A fresh service has just been carried out at the current mileage by Wiltshire & Sons Mitsubishi in Farnham.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The dished five-spoke alloys look great within the Starion’s wide arches. Having been refurbished to a high standard in recent years the wheels present without any curb marking and only light discolouration to a small amount of lacquer on close inspection.
Upon arrival at 4 Star it was found that the brakes required attention. A comprehensive overhaul was subsequently undertaken at a cost of over £1,500. The discs, pads, and brake hoses were replaced all round; the calipers were also professionally stripped and completely overhauled.
This UK-supplied Starion was first registered in May 1989 and has now covered just 81k miles from new. The History File is complete with plenty of invoices and past MOT certificates. Recent work carried out on the car includes a service at Mitsubishi and a complete brake overhaul, all within the last 200 miles or so. The current MOT is valid until January 2019.
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