This car is proof positive that old-school can be 'cool'. These cars still draw attention and provoke instant questions from complete strangers. With such dramatic angles and aggressive styling, the Chrysler Conquest and Mitsubishi Starion stood out decades ago and continue to draw marked interest from the driving public. Based upon the platform of a well rounded independent suspension and capable turbocharged powerplant, these cars surpassed the expectations of many owners. With serious corner carving ability and strong overtaking performance, these cars actually delivered on the aggressive look of their body lines. Easily standing out amongst the Exclusive Turbosystems fleet, the black on black bruiser pictured here will receive a full customization of its drivetrain more fitting the nature of its body panels.
The Mitsubishi 2.6 liter 4-cylinder was a pleasant engine with more than enough grunt years ago, but with the limited potential of the stock multi point fuel injection and restrictive plumbing of its turbo system, an upgrade is welcome. Instead of using a Mitsubishi designed 4-valve 2.0 liter engine as expected, this Conquest will have 3.0 liters of 4-valve motivation from a Toyota in-line 6-cylinder. You read correctly, a Toyota six cylinder. The 7MGTE was selected for its close ties to the era of the original mid-eighties design. With a well designed fuel injection system and potent ignition componentry, this engine really delivers truly powerful boosted performance. Of course, this being the twenty-first century, many of the original design features have become essentially obsolete. No problem, we'll just 'tweak ' it a bit.
We will begin with an engine block that has been bored out for .060" larger forged pistons and fitted with super-strong forged aluminum connecting rods to handle 600+whp. Nothing out of the ordinary except for the compression ratio which will be over 10 to 1. This will be a very responsive engine pushing the limits of the head gasket seal with a high cylinder pressure load under boost. A copper head gasket and high tensile strength ARP head studs will be called upon to keep the fury contained to the combustion chamber and the piston domes. The cylinder head will be ported in-house to allow very high levels of exhaust gas flow and complete combustion. Supertech valves, springs, and Titanium retainers will be moved by high lift/ long duration camshafts. To prevent lubrication failure, a street-spec dry-sump oil pump, custom fabricated pan, storage tank, and stainless steel braided fluid lines will be affixed to the block and set up to deliver a steady supply to the bearings and valve train. Drastic weight reduction measures will be employed such as trimming of the cast aluminum timing covers, and accessory brackets of unnecessary material. This will be done to keep the nose of the Conquest from picking up any additional weight over the original 4-cylinder engine. Of course there will be a suitable placement of the engine as rearward as possible in the chassis as well.
The turbo system will be constructed around a 76mm Master Power turbocharger, which will be controlled by a Turbosmart 45mm Hypergate, and fed by 1 7/8" primary tubing. While the exhaust will exit via a full stainless steel 3.5" system, the pressurized charge will be cooled down by a 3" thick intercooler core. Positioned before the huge 90mm throttle body is a 50mm Turbosmart Raceport for venting boost upon throttle closings. Mandrel bent aluminum alloy piping connects all of the major components, the last of which is the custom constructed intake manifold. The tuned length manifold will allow much improved breathing at rpm levels approaching 8000rpm and 25psi of boost pressure.
The venerable Toyota R-154 5-speed transmission will get the result of those 6 explosions through a tough twin disc clutch. The driveshaft will be a modified Supra unit shortened to fit the Conquest's tunnel and connected to a factory LSD Toyota differential. Modified axles will then channel the power outward to the Conquest's hubs. The factory issue 16" wheels will be sectioned to retain the factory 5-lug centers which will be welded inside of modern 17" wheel hoops for the fitment of more readily available rubber. Of course the factory brakes will be overhauled to eliminate the ABS and all of its complex plumbing, to be replaced with a Brembo system of Lancer Evolution specification. By now your thinking, wow that sounds like a lot of custom work! It is, but that is the every day work at Exclusive Turbosystems.
Another system that will be updated is cooling system. An aluminum 4-row radiator shall be crammed into the nose. Some A/N fittings will attach the braided SS hoses to the water pump, engine block, and heater core. Twin electric fans mounted on a custom fabricated shroud will replace the original engine driven plastic fan.
The body won't escape the modification process either. The wheels fitted will by larger than the 8"front and 9" rears of the Performance Handling Package spec Conquest. The front wheels will be 17" x 9", while the rears will be at least 10.5" wide. To accommodate these steamrollers, the factory metal fender flares will receive a further widening using a donor car's fenders to add another 4" to the outer dimensions. The factory rear adjustable struts will be retained and the front struts will receive upgraded cartridges. The spring rates will be tweaked to accommodate the modified chassis dynamics of the 6-cylinder drivetrain. Every measure will be taken to reduce overall weight and increase rigidity. Suspension arms will be fitted with polyurethane bushings and reinforced where needed to match the additional cornering loads. Anti-roll bars will be tuned to reduce roll and modified for adjustability.
The interior will escape major changes except for the elimination of the automatic seatbelts, a hated fad that was more of a nuisance than a true safety aid. Gauges will be upgraded to modern, and accurate Auto Meter 2 1/16" analog units set into the dash replacing their decades old counterparts. The overall exterior lines and interior finish will remain true to the original design, just slightly updated and made even more aggressive.
The purpose of all these changes to such a character-rich classic turbo car is simply to make it perform at the level that the wide fender flares and raked nose always suggested. The engine was always outdated owing to it's modified TBI layout of 2 injectors for the engine's 4 cylinders. The jet-valve equipped and fracture-prone cylinder head was no help either. So if you happen to come upon an old-school Conquest that seems even wider than usual, check out the footprint before you challenge a duel, no matter the road ahead. Chances are, that you will see the spoiler and exhaust tips very clearly indeed.