Hooniverse Weekend Edition: Diamond Stars via Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

This article is by Tim Baxter over at Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, and it showcases the Diamond Star joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler, including the offspring of this endeavor, the Eclipse, Laser, and Talon sport coupes. Read more after the jump….

According to Baxter:

Chrysler had enjoyed a brief flash of popularity thanks to the K-car and all its spinoffs. The humble little K-car (and about a kajillion government dollars) had helped the manufacturer escape bankruptcy in the late 1970s. They had managed to milk the little platform for everything it was worth—and then some—but by 1985 they were running out of options.

Compared to Mitsubishi, however, Chrysler was on a roll. The Japanese company just didn’t have anything U.S. buyers were interested in, and they were having a harder time importing their vehicles because of “voluntary” import quotas. To protect the U.S. auto industry, Washington had strongly suggested Japanese carmakers limit the number of cars they imported. Toyota, Honda and Nissan quickly began building U.S. factories to sidestep the quotas, but Mitsubishi wasn’t ready. They didn’t have the capital, and they couldn’t raise it without selling more cars. It was a vicious circle.

Since both companies were staggering along like the last two people in a bar at closing time, it’s not too surprising they woke up one morning to find themselves in bed together.

The byproduct of this venture was the cheap and cheeky sport coupes which sold like proverbial hotcakes. The cars were the fastest cars available then (especially in Turbo form), and could hit 140 mph and turn a quarter-mile in a tick under 15 seconds. Demand outpaced supply in the early years, even when Chrysler bowed out of the partnership. Baxter goes on to say that the cars are still a performance bargain. Read more at Grassroots Motorsports.
Image Source: Grassroots Motorsports

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  1. tonyola Avatar

    I wanted a Talon AWD Turbo when they were first shown in mid-1989, though I couldn't afford it (starving musician and all that). However, I thought the looks were botched when the DSM cars were facelifted for 1992 with exposed lights, and the almost-cartoonish second generation pretty much killed my enthusiasm. The current Eclipse is hopelessly fat at close to 3300 pounds in base form. Under 20 mpg average from a four-cylinder "sporty" coupe is pretty bad.

    1. Raze1138 Avatar

      I think my parents 98 Sierra pickup gets better mileage then that. Not much better, but still. Rather sad to be honest

    2. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      Are you sure you're not me in disguise? When I finally got within spitting distance of buying a new car, the Talon TSI AWD was my prime target. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it happen and now they're all either dead or dying sad ricer deaths. Sigh.

  2. Maymar Avatar

    I'd love to see more Evo bits in the current Eclipse, to bring it back to where it started, instead of some ludicrous bloated torque-steering hairdresser's car, but I guess the Evo body style doesn't drive away enough sales for Mitsubishi to care.

  3. OA5599 Avatar

    My sister bought a 1990 FWD turbo when it was new. Her insurance carrier wouldn't write a policy on it because of the forced induction.
    It needed a turbo warrantied out around 40K, and the timing belt was changed around the same tome because of a recall, but it was trouble free other than that for the six years she kept it.

  4. guest Avatar

    That DSM race car is seriously SWEEET!!!!

  5. muthalovin Avatar

    Before getting the rice-cred, I really wanted an AWD Talon. They are bastardized now, and that is a shame.