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NAC Spec-D Mitsubishi Starion – Tokyo Auto Salon 2017

Student project goes widebody and employs the powertrain from an R32 Skyline GT-R

Jan 13, 2017

It’s probably one of the most unlikely cars we’d expect to find at Tokyo Auto Salon, let alone a car we’d see on the street or on the track in Japan – the Mitsubishi Starion. Many of us know it as the Dodge, Plymouth or Chrysler Conquest, but the Starion, for a good amount of time, was Mitsubishi’s sports car answer to the Nissan Z, Mazda RX-7 and Toyota Supra of the ‘80s. It had a decent history in rally and touring car championships and Mitsubishi offered the rear-wheel drive Starion in turbo or NA form, as well as standard and widebody. We recently featured a Starion in the States that caught our attention from an Import Alliance event in ’16 and really showed the following and fans of this chassis are stronger than ever. It just seems like perfect timing that we came across this even wilder example at Tokyo Auto Salon.

Starion wheel closeup Photo 2/14   |   Starion Wheel Closeup

Without being able to communicate with the owners/builders of this car due to the language barrier, the details are slim. What we did find out was this particular Starion started life as a turbocharged, widebody (GSR-VR) model, and is also being completely built from top to bottom by a class of mechanic students. It’s been given a complete custom (and much more aggressive than stock) widebody, stripped of its unnecessary bits, and is being prepped for competitive motorsports. The one-off bodywork, six-point ‘cage and other features were already impressive; however, behind the aggressive exterior is an RB26 engine from an R32 Skyline GT-R. The accompanying GT-R drivetrain and brakes have also been swapped over to the Starion, and though the entire swap isn’t complete yet, we can’t wait to see this project done. It gives us a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that this build is made possible by a bunch of students who are putting it all together. How’s that for a school project?!

Sam Du
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