Detroit 2008: Mitsubishi brings the retro to D-town

Click the image above for a gallery of high-res shots.

During Mitsubishi's press conference on Sunday, it paid particular attention to the marque's motorsport heritage with a video montage/quiz game on how Ralliart has fared in the last quarter century of rallying and road racing. That's no surprise, considering the introduction of the Lancer Ralliart, but Mitsu also brought a few of the vehicles that shaped its racing legacy and proudly displayed them on the show floor.

The first vehicle that caught our eye was the Group A Starion Turbo (above) that barely got a wash before being put away wet after its last race in 1988. The Starion racked up over a dozen wins in Japan and throughout the world during its four-year campaign, but beyond its on-track successes, the weights still taped onto the wheels and the rear-mounted radiator had us geeking out between photos.

The 1981 rally-prepped Lancer (2nd generation, above left) was particularly impressive, but the Galant GTO R73-X (above right) was what floored us. This Galant is a one-of-a-kind concept from 1972 that had its stock 1.6-liter inline-four swapped out for Mitsubishi's Formula Two-derived, 200-hp two-liter DOHC four. We've assembled all the cars in a gallery for your viewing enjoyment and Mitsubishi had the foresight to include a number of pics of the R73, which we've put in a separate gallery here.

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