Welcome back to Forgotten Sporty Cars at The Garage! In this space we recall an era where small, economy car-based based vehicles were sold with zippy styling. Whether there was any substance to the sizzle weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll leave for you to judge.
1982-1990 Mitsubishi Cordia
In the US, Chrysler had been selling Dodge and Plymouth badged Mitsubishis for years. The Cordia represents one of the first models Mitsubishi sold here on their own, with no help from Chrysler, as they sought to create their own identity here. The Cordia was a compact front wheel drive coupe. Buyers could choose from either a normally aspirated 1.8 liter four rated at 100hp, or a turbo version of the same mill rated at 135hp. Both engines offered a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.Ã‚Â
Looking at the Cordia today, the styling screams “Totally 80’s!”, but during its production life, the car was a wallflower. Remember, Mitsubishi was a new brand here, and was completely overshadowed by its more established competition: cars like the Toyota Celica, Honda Prelude and Nissan 200SX. The automotive press overlooked the Cordia too, instead focusing on the far more popular Starion.Ã‚Â
Production of the Cordia ended in 1990, but sales ended in the US after 1988. The Cordia may be one of the most forgettable cars The Garage has reviewed yet, but do not downplay its significance. With the Cordia, Mitsubishi learned a lot about the American market, and busied themselves with a replacement car suited to our tastes. That car was the Mitsubishi Eclipse. You know, star of “The Fast and the Furious” and the darling of tuners around the globe. It just goes to show you have to start somewhere. It started with the Cordia. Hm.