2021 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1983 Mitsubishi JA Starion 'Turbo' Coupe
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 1997cc|
This lot is no longer available
Taking on the likes of Nissan’s 280ZX, Mazda’s RX7 and Toyota’s Celica/Supra range, Mitsubishi entered the front-engined, rear wheel drive sports car market with the Starion in 1982. Sharing similar styling cues, the Starion was a wedge-shaped hatchback based on a shortened Scorpion coupe platform, becoming one of the first modern Japanese performance cars to feature electronic fuel injection among other technical advancements. McPherson strut suspension utilised sway bars front and rear, and many Starions also came with a limited slip differential and anti-lock brakes (single channel, rear wheels only) as standard features. Imported into Australia in small numbers from 1982, there were three models here – JA, JB & JD – each with minor feature and mechanical upgrades to what was basically the same car. Standard engine in Australia was the SOHC 4G63 2-litre four-cylinder unit featuring computer-controlled fuel injection and turbocharging. A five-speed manual gearbox was standard but Mitsubishi also offered a four-speed auto. Developing a handy 125kW at 5500rpm and a solid 245Nm of torque at 3500rpm, the Starion was a capable performer on the road, able to hit 0-100 km/h in 8.9 seconds and the quarter mile in 16.2 seconds. Marketed as a luxury two-plus-two, the Starion’s interior was well equipped, with nicely bolstered bucket seats and a well-stocked instrument panel complemented by novel touches like the door-mounted seatbelts and lots of colour-coded plastic for the full ‘80s Hi Tech experience. By no means a big seller, nonetheless the Starion was the hero of the Mitsubishi Australia range at the time and met with some local success in production car racing.