Not all, but still plenty of us, remember Mitsubishi’s turbocharged wonder from the eighties. I talk, of course, of the Mitsubishi Starion – a 2-door rear-wheel-drive sports coupe of impeccable pedigree. Needless to say, Chrysler made a smart move and brought it stateside under its own guise. A number of people will also remember the Chrysler Conquest – the Starion’s badge-engineered American clone. There was also a Dodge version of the Conquest, but who actually remembers that Plymouth offered a Conquest of their own as well?
Dodge and Plymouth actually started the rebadged Mitsubishi Starion trend. Both divisions’ cars were offered side by side until parent company Chrysler took over in 1986. During those two model years, Dodge sold only a marginally larger quantity of Conquests than Plymouth, though. Dodge production number totals were 2,502 units for 1985 and 2,791 models for 1986, for a total of 5,293 cars. Plymouth, on the other hand, sold 2,500 and 2,653 Conquests of their own respectively – a grand total of 5,153 units. Both were extremely rare, as you can clearly see. For some reason (let’s be honest, they weren’t cheap), Mitsubishi’s turbocharged sports hatch simply never appealed to the American crowd. Even the 2.6L turbo version of the Astron four banger exclusive with Chrysler captives wasn’t enough. Even though it raised a more-than-healthy 145 horses in base form and 170 ponies with the intercooler.
Intercooler versions were limited to a 5-speed stick, while non-intercooled models came with a choice in 4-speed auto. Moreover, base versions used narrow bodies, while intercooled models came with wide body treatment. Although Chrysler’s modified and overhauled version of the Conquest looked better and managed to create a steady base of worshipers over the years, Plymouth and Dodge Conquests more than deserve credit for their role in launching the rare Starion clone into stardom.