This is in fact two cars not one. The 1982 Mitsubishi Starion came as a widebody and as a narrowbody.
The narrow-body catered for the Japanese market’s arcane tax laws and the wide-body for the export market primarily. It entered a field thick with competent, capable and well-priced driver’s cars such as the Nissan Z cars, Mazda RX-7, Toyota Supra and the Honda Prelude and Isuzu Piazza. In Europe it fought bravely against the Manta and the Capri from Opel and Ford respectively. Alfa Romeo’s GTV was also firmly in its sights.
The striking appearance was matched by equally interesting underpinnings, a deceptively simple RWD layout with traditional front-mounted engine so it’s a bit of a drift-king. Customers could get a limited slip differential and anti-lock brakes as standard features though the ABS worked only on the rear wheels. The car had McPherson struts at the front and anti-roll bars front and rear, based on the award-winnning design of the Sapporo and Galant coupe. Instead of rack and pinion steering there was a gearbox to do the turning duties.
In recent years Mitsubishi have not offered such a compelling vehicle as the Starion which is a disappointment for fans of the three-diamond marque. Perhaps it’s time for Mitsubishi to revive the name and re-invigorate their image.