A Drift Spec, RB26-Swapped Starion

Tokyo Auto Salon is a magical time when the halls of the Makuhari Messe are filled to the brim with a wild variety of cars, women dressed in equally varied outfits, and an army of men who attend for the sole purpose of filling up their hard drives with pictures of girls.

As entertaining as it is to watch, my mission, like Dino and Blake’s, was to hunt out some interesting cars and share them with you.

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As I walked by Nakanihon Automotive College’s Mitsubishi Starion, I could feel myself being pulled towards it as if it had its very own gravitational field. The complete aggressiveness of the aero kit and the fact it had been built by students really piqued my curiosity.

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Luckily for me, the NAC students were close by, and watching my every move as I approached their precious project with camera in hand. To their great surprise, I turned to them and asked if they would like to tell me more about the unique build.

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When it came time to pick a platform for the project, the students first had to decide which route they wanted their build to take: time attack or drift.

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Since the previous NAC students had built a time attack car, it only seemed fair to take on the challenge of building a drift machine, which meant something relatively cheap and rear-wheel drive was at the top of the requirement list. It also meant that anything new was going to be out of the question.

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And that’s where this Mitsubishi Starion comes in. Being rear-drive and the previous students’ parts car meant it was more than affordable, but on the flip side it was going to take a lot more work to transform it into something able to reliably destroy tires.

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The old adage measure twice, cut once was taken to heart as the entire aggressive wide-body kit was designed and constructed by the students.

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Keeping the engine and other major components cool is a major concern while drifting, thus four air ducts in the rear direct air-flow to a second radiator in the back.

On the subject of keeping the engine cool, given that the Starion had already parted ways with its 4G63, the empty bay allowed the students to do something a little different. Different options were considered, but in the end an R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R donated its RB26DETT engine to the cause.

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And backing up the twin-turbo six is an RB25DET 5-speed gearbox. You can see where the original shifter was located and where they had to cut out the tunnel to accommodate the new transmission.

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Since this is a fairly significant change, everything in the interior also needed to be shifted rearwards, including the seat mounts, steering column and pedals.

You can’t forget the massive GT wing either!

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Unfortunately, the NAC students were not able to get everything completed before TAS, but to get caught up on that is to miss the point completely.

A lot of blood, sweat and tears has gone into this build and it radiated not only through the car itself, but through the pride the students showed as they dragged me around the Starion showing me all the details, and the fact they were slightly embarrassed by the unfinished elements.

Because of this, and the fact of how unique it was, I just had to pick it as one of my favorites from this year’s show.

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

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108 comments

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1

Well done. With this bodykit, looks like of the bigger, bulkier brother of a modded FC3S... says an European, no offence meant, Mazda guys ;-)

2

This is amazing.

3

WOW!

It's like they ran 80's JDM back through the still a dozen times to get a super-pure, 190-proof Essence of 80s JDM!

5

I'm amazed that anyone able to earn $9289


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6

This is like a real life version of the XRR from LFS.
Bit sad to see so few Starions getting a makeover.

7

I love the body kit and how it kept the cars body lines - bravo!

8

I saw

9

I really how they managed to make a much wider & more aggressive bodykit with the original(ish) design.
I hope they will finish this project, and one day we will see this car sideways on the circuit.

10

Agreed Acc, it's a Japanese car that deserves more attention!

11

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12

Such an awesome build straight through!
Not sure about it beeing a RB25DET tranny though? Looks like a GT-R tranny to me but i assume its rwd now.

13

Yea! It definitely had to be one of the things that stood out to me the most.

14

Lol I had to read that a couple of times. Love it

15

It really is a truly remarkable build!
It what the students told me so I'm going with what they said ^^

16

Really nice article btw, enjoyed reading it alot so kudos to you!
I guess they know what they've put in there, i could definitely be wrong. Nice to hear thet you listen to what they say ")
A few years ago I had an magazine article written about a 350Z i built, with a vh45de from a Nissan President, z32 tranny and so on but it was cluttered with wrongs, they hadnt listened at all lol. Fun car though.

17

Thank you! I really appreciate it.
Yeaaa hearing the story the owners (or who ever in taking to) have is something I really enjoy the most to be honest. What is the point of meeting / taking if all you are going to do is type a parts list -__- then get it wrong lol.. I'm sorry, that must have been a let down to see that

18

this car is mental, love it

19

You mention that the 4G63 was taken out.  Didn't the Starion have a different engine?  Or did this one already have a swap previously?

20

You deserve it!
lol i was kind of prepared cause that magazine isnt 'always' up to date with trends, also they were more intrested in taking pics of a burnout than taking notes of the build details.

21

This is awesome

22

Leppah I believe that the station came with the 4g63 in jdm spec, while american models were given a different engine

23

This looks awesome. I love Starions. Its a shame that there are not  more of them build.
Afters seeing this, Im thinking to moe to Japan and apply that college :D

24

Ron Celestine 
in the era of exposed riveted fender flare, I salute the students for staying with flushed/merged flare

25

Haha right?! Was telling them the same thing. Just need more time -___-

26

I'm with you on that!

27

Someone recently told me that the Starion was originally supposed to be called the Stallion....but things got lost in translation lol. Is this true, or an urban myth?

28

Haha Dino and I were talking about that! Based on my knowledge on Japanese, I can totally see that being a lost in translation thing. However I honestly don't know 100%

29

??

31

Love it!

32

Why does every TAS article on here have to mention how you guys were apparently the ONLY ones not there to take pics of girls? EVERY article.

33

SO SICK!! love it... very tough looking car, Starions never really got the recognition they deserve.

34

cynicalyricist Because we are car enthusiast, Not the one like you who likes girls.

35

Leppah  Australian and American models received the 4G54 while the Japanese and European models got the 4G63

36

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37

It's a part of the TAS culture. I wrote about it in a different article but it's something you just have to see for yourself. Personally speaking, I don't want to blend in with the 'other photographers' taking pictures of the girls and that's not my job lol. There is taking pictures of girls and then there is TAKING PICTURES of the girls. I'll leave it at that ^^

38

cynicalyricist Because the Japanese seem to make a sport of it, with the girls getting surrounded by pretty obvious crowds of shameless pervs snapping away?

39

I'd be cautious of generalizing an entire category of people like that however there are some who choose to take picture of girls rather than the cars. Like I said, it's a cultural difference and something you just have to see for yourself

40

I've seen it myself; I've been to TAS probably long before most folks on here could even drive. But my point is that this *constant* reminder from all you guys comes across as an air of holier-than-thou aggrandizement.
Like you said, how about more car stuff, and less belittling of those attendees who are there for the girls in every TAS article...?

41

I'm in shock that some people can earn $8528




 in four weeks ............






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42

All Australian cars (narrow body) have 4g63's. Most Japanese widebody's have 4g54's, a few had 4g63's and a handful had 4g63 "Dash" motors.

43

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44

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45

We need a new anime series featuring this car. It's not up for debate.

46

I saw this on Instagram and because I love 1980's FR cars I was pretty smitten with this. A full widebody kit NOT JUST BOLT ON OVERFENDERS! so refreshing. 

Although I will never get an answer to the question "how does it stack up against John Lazoracks?"

47

Those Starions are completely slept on. You could really turn one into a special project. Too much attention paid to the less-memorable Eclipses. Now about that crank walk...

49

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51

CyborgGT Twitch_6 Yup was lost in translation. Was about to link this. Nice haha.

52

i23sonny CyborgGT Twitch_6 Im glad they went with starion, sounds much cooler.

53

Mits staz Most jap widebodys actually did have the 2 Litre, but a number had the 2.6 as well

54

Acc widebody starions like this are getting to rare to cut up.

55

Sadie . I agree that Rosa `s c0mment is cool... on friday I got a great Toyota from having made $4558 this - 5 weeks past and would you believe, 10-k last-month . it's by-far the most comfortable job Ive ever had . I started this five months/ago and right away began to bring home minimum $83... per hour.http://www.woltcash.com/

56

Easily my favourite car from TAS this year. Hats off to them, unique and interesting. I would love to see more when it's done!

57

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58

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59

PowerTryp  That seems like a bit of a mismatch, since this will be purely drift and the Conquest is time attack and drift, but I would still like to see them run in anger together.

60

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finally.... an "over-fender original"

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