Starion ESI-R
Mitsubishi logo
5,000 CR
Model year: 2003
Performance Index: D 277
Drive Type: RWD
Engine Placement: Front
Basic Performance
Advanced Performance
Power: 188 HP (140 kW)
Torque: 233 lb ft (315 N·m)
Weight: 3087 lbs (1400 Kg)
Front: 53%
Displ: 2.6 L
Power/weight: 134 HP per ton

100 kW per ton

Mitsubishi was certainly ambitious in naming their range-topping sportscar after a celestial object; “Starion” is officially a contraction of the phrase “Star of Orion.” The ambition was justified, as the Starion sports the latest state-of-the-art (for the time) Japanese sport-coupe technology. Introduced in 1982, this 1988 Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R is the final evolution of the breed—and the last rear-wheel drive turbocharged Mitsubishi to date. The box flares and aero kit separate the ’88 from earlier models, taking the space-age 1980s styling to its zenith. Boasting a huge 2.6-liter “Astron” engine, with such performance features as hemispherical combustion chambers and an intercooled turbocharger, the Starion has a full 188 horsepower at its disposal. That’s enough to give any of its contemporaries a run for their money, and with four-wheel independent suspension it can handle too. It’s probably not surprising, then, that the Starion had a very successful racing career as a production racer and, in modified 4WD form, won the grueling Paris-Dakar rally’s experimental class back in 1983. Considering that it’s a powerful, rear-wheel drive Japanese car, it’s also not surprising that the Starion is very active today among drifting and modification crowds.

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