Junkyard Find: What The Hell Is a Cordia Turbo?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find what the hell is a cordia turbo

We all remember the Starion, with its TURBO badging on everything from the seat belts to the door handles, but who among us can recall ever having seen the other 80s hot-rod Mitsubishi in the wild?

Because TURBO emblems cost extra yen, the ’87 Cordia Turbo didn’t have quite as many as the pricier Starion. In addition to the usual decklid badge, there’s the one on the steering wheel…

…and the one cast into the valve cover.

Only the 1980s could have produced this door-panel insert fabric. The Cordia (and its sedan cousin) sank into North American obscurity rather quickly. Actually, they started out in obscurity, as Mitsubishi got off to a very slow start as it tried to branch out from its captive-import relationship with Chrysler.

Check out that post-Malaise-Era 140 MPH speedometer! 1987 car buyers were able to drive a new Cordia Turbo off the Mitsubishi lot for $11,329, about the same price as the naturally-aspirated Nissan 200SX hatchback. That got you 116 turbocharged horsepower… but if you went across the street to your Dodge dealer, you could get yourself a Shelby Turbo Z Daytona— with 174 screamin’ turbocharged horses— for $12,749. Worth paying nearly a grand-and-a-half more for an extra 58 ponies? Given the nowhere-near-Toyota-and-Honda build quality of Mitsubishi products at the time, you were probably much better off with the Dodge.

Join the conversation
2 of 24 comments
  • Omnifan Omnifan on Jan 03, 2012

    My fondest Mitsubishi memory is a 1977 Dodge Colt. Had the "Silent Shaft" engine, which idled very smoothly due to the balance shaft. The car also gave me the "silent shaft" when the the shaft bearings seized up and the timing belt wiped out its teeth at the crankshaft. What a marketing double entendre by those clever MMC folks.

  • Joseph Burke Joseph Burke on Apr 07, 2018

    These cars were underpowered because Mitsubishi was hesitant to spend the money to develop a DOHC engine for them. The rest of the industry was moving in that direction already and turning out cars of similar size and price with a lot more power, but Mitsubishi didn't have the funds to do it and their cars suffered because of it.

  • Tassos Is there any reason you could not put the ACTUAL 348 mile number in the TITLE of the damned article, so I would not need to read the whole thing to find out?
  • Tassos Honda is bleeding billions in order to keep this loser Acura alive.In the REST of the world, Identical vehicles to Acuras are just called HONDAS. Best example, the NSX! It was NEVER called an "acura" outside the US.
  • Cprescott Very expensive all terrain golf cart.
  • 56m65711446 ALL AEB systems should be tested using a SES executive from DoT as the test dummy.
  • TheMrFreeze Wife and I bought just bought new (to us) daily drivers...both have manual transmissions and neither has any kind of "new" safety nanny technology in it. By choice. That's how we roll.