Diamond Star Motors On January 2 2002, the motion picture about street racing titled the "Fast and The Furious" was released on DVD. Many that have watched this fast paced movie, come to the conclusion that the cars pictured throughout were just short of being awesome. The cars raced in the movie where modified compact cars. Racing cars has been around since the late fifty's when your father raced his big block down the drag strip for pure glory. Though with a younger generation of car enthusiasts, people have started using today's technology to modify four-cylinder and six-cylinder compact cars complete with cars that use eight-cylinder engines Throughout America and over the entire globe there are many compact cars produced and manufactured each year. There are a few manufactures we know of, for example, Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler, yet of all the manufactures there is one started in 1988 that started a revolution among modified compact car enthusiasts.
The manufacturer was called Diamond Star Motors and their lineup consisted of three cars the Eagle Talon, the Mitsubishi Eclipse and the Plymouth Laser. With a long history, including many knowledgeable owners and a diverse aftermarket of performance parts there may be no better compact car to modify, from the street to the quarter mile strip, than a DSM automobile.
The Background Diamond Star Motors popularly termed DSM, started as a joint partnership between Chrysler and Mitsubishi. These two companies wanted to design and build a potent sports car that would look good and perform good, yet have a reasonable buying price (dsm.org). With this in mind, they became partners and joined to make one company. The deal was that Chrysler would design the body and interior while Mitsubishi designed the engine and power train. With the contract ready and the funding from both companies available, Diamond Star Motors began laying plans in 1988. By the beginning of 1989, DSM was producing the first vehicles (dsm.org). Diamond Star Motors gave you three models to choose from (dsm.org). The cars are the same in every mechanical aspect. There are only a few changes in the body of the cars. The cars where given different names though to satisfy the needs of both car companies, Mitsubishi and Chrysler. Diamond Star Motors stopped production of the Plymouth Laser in 1993 and the Eagle Talon in 1997, both because of lack of sales (dsm.org). The Diamond Star Motors Mitsubishi Eclipse was produced until 1999 when Mitsubishi's contract ended and they went on to produce there own sports car without the aid of Chrysler(dsmtalk).
The Car From the factory a DSM car came with three power plants the 1.8liter normally aspirated, the 2.0liter normally aspirated and the 2.0liter turbo. A DSM car also had different trim options to soot each person's need for luxury and performance. The Mitsubishi Eclipse had the RS, GS, GST and GSX models to choose from. The RS was the luxury version. The RS has the small 1.8liter engine, but is loaded with luxury items. The GS was the sportier version of the RS with the larger 2.0liter engine. The GST and GSX trim where the performers. These two models included the 2.0liter turbo the GSX included the all wheel drive feature. The Eagle Talon had the LS, TSI and TSI AWD models to choose from. Like the Eclipse, the LS is the luxury version with the 1.8liter engine. The TSI and TSI AWD where the sportier versions, which had the 2.0liter turbo engine, and the TSI AWD included the all wheel drive feature. The Plymouth Laser, like the Eagle Talon, had three trim options to choose from, which were the RS, RST, and RSAWD. The Laser RS follow the Eclipse RS and the Talon LS by being the luxury car and including the 1.8-liter engine. The RST and RSAWD where the 2.0liter turbo engine models, with the RSAWD having all wheel drive(dsm.org).
As for changes in the car throughout the years, there where only two style changes that occurred. The first change happened in 1992 when Diamond Star Motors went from headlights that rose out of the hood to headlights that where permanently mounted. The second change occurred in 1995. Diamond Star Motors almost completely altered the look of the car. They widened the wheelbase, shortened the car, and rounded it out to make it more aerodynamic and give it a more rounded out appearance. Now, because of this, there is two generations of a Diamond Star Motors automobile. The first generation being the 1989 to 1994 models and the second generation being the 1995 to 1999 model which started after the major style change. The mechanical changes between the two generations are few and far between. The first-generation had the most changes. The 1993 to 1994 models had a stronger, better transmission, a four-bolt rear end on the all wheel drive models and stronger, larger axels. These models also included an upgraded brake system over the 1989 to 1993 models. Diamond Star Motors went from a single piston brake set up to a dual piston brake setup beginning in 1993 for improved stopping power. As for the second-generation models there was only one change, which occurred in 1997. The Mitsubishi Eclipse owners had the option of adding a larger spoiler on the turbo charged models to produce a sportier look.
The Power As previously mentioned, a DSM car came with three power plants, though only two engines where used, the 420A and the 4G63. 420A was the engine code for the 1.8liter engine. This engine only produces one-hundred twenty-five horse power at the wheels and is not really sought after by sports car enthusiasts except for the luxury of great gas mileage. The 4G63 was the gem of the DSM engines. While you could get it normally aspirated in the Eclipse GS, the turbo model is the one sought after by the power hungry compact car tuners. From the factory these engines produced a whopping two-hundred fifteen horsepower and two hundred ten pounds of torque. These engines could propel a DSM car from zero to sixty in 6.0 seconds and could produce a 14.9 second quarter mile(turbo). The 4G63 is proof that Mitsubishi wasn't playing around when it came to building a high-performance four-cylinder engine(dsm.org). The 4G63 is force inducted with an inline turbo, which included a 14b compressor wheel(sport compact car). What makes the 4G63 so sought after is the fact that is can take up to five hundred-horse power on stock internals and it takes really well to modification.
A DSM automobile also had two different power trains to harness the power of the 4G63. Diamond Star Motors offered a front wheel drive power train and the infamous all wheel drive power train. Both power trains have their advantages and disadvantages. The front wheel drive has very bad wheel slip because of the power the 4G63 produces, yet it has a higher top end than the all wheel drive. The front wheel drive tops out at 156 mph, while the all wheel drive tops out at 145 mph, because it takes more torque to turn four wheels(dsm.org). The all wheel drive power train on the other hand can lay all of the power the 4G63 produces to the road without any wheel-slip at all. This functional power train makes a DSM automobile better in a quarter mile race, because it can easily produce under two second sixty foot times. The all wheel drive power train is also better on curves and in bad weather. When Diamond Star Motors built these cars they built the engine and power train to be able to take years of abuse from rugged sports driving(turbo).
Modifying Since DSM automobiles have been out on the market so long there is now such a diverse aftermarket of modifications available. Diamond Star Motor automobiles are one of the easiest and best cars to modify for the smallest amount of money there is. In a recent issue of Turbo magazine, a popular compact car magazine, DSM was ranked the number two best compact car to modify ever produced under the Toyota Supra. There are many modifications one can to a DSM automobile. A sample build up of a few modifications like a 16g turbo, a 2.5-inch exhaust, a larger fuel pump and a boost control, a DSM automobile can easily put out four-hundred horsepower(hci). Four-hundred horse power on a car with a 2000 pound curb weight converts to a high twelve second quarter mile or zero to sixty in three to four seconds. To put this in perspective a Ferrari Modena 360 is capable of a 12.9 second quarter mile from the factory and is equipped with a forty eight valve dual overhead cam twelve cylinder engine. A DSM automobile has only four cylinders.
The following On July 7, 2001 at Palmdale raceway, David Bushur , a long time Diamond Star Motors compact car enthusiast, raced down the quarter mile in a blistering 7.96 seconds at 253mph. This feat was accomplished without the use of nitrous oxide, on a full interior, uni-body car(turbo). The daily driven car that enable him to obtain this exhilarating trap time and speed was an Eagle Talon TSIAWD.
After eleven years of manufacturing, these cars have caused a strong following of people throughout America. Two of the most notorious individuals are Bushur and Sean Glazer, both whom race DSM automobiles in outlaw drag racing. Sean Glazer recently, like Bushur, broke his record with a 9.57 second quarter mile time with a full interior Talon, though he used nitrous oxide to aid him(turbo). With so much racing of these cars and such a large following of people there is DSM enthusiast clubs in nearly every large city in America, including Gainesville. There are also chat forums on the Internet like DSMtalk.com. This is where DSM enthusiasts from all over America can help you with anything via the Internet. In conclusion, since Diamond Star Motors first started production in 1989 they have built one of the most dynamic sport compact cars on the planet. Although some can argue about other cars being the best, Diamond Star Motors have defiantly built an awesome sports car with razor sharp performance. In fact, I have owned two of them myself. If the car is not abused, basic maintenance kept up, and parts bolted on with some forethought, a DSM automobile will reward you with performance for many years to come.