The MITSUBISHI MOTORS team took on the Dakar Rally for the second year, upgrading to the Modified Production car Class in its attempt to secure the overall win. The base car was changed from a canvas-top to a metal-top, and the engine was replaced with a 2.6L 4G54 type gasoline turbo engine taken from the MITSUBISHI STARION, which was marketed in North America. Engines were tuned in Japan by the Engine Research Division of the Passenger Car Technology Center in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture. Thanks to turbocharging, the power output was increased from 110PS to 170PS, and parts of the drivetrain such as the transmission, the clutch and the rear differential were all reinforced. MITSUBISHI MOTORS engineers also achieved considerable weight reduction. Sections such as the front hood, the doors and the tailgate were replaced with lightweight carbon Kevlar, and windows other than the front windshield were made of plastic. The roll cage utilized lightweight aluminum material, which was still permitted at that time. Necessary reinforcements such as sections that sustained cracks during the previous event were rectified. The suspension was also improved, with double shock absorbers on each wheel, as a result of the vital experience gained from the previous year’s participation.
That year's course featured an overall distance of 9,980 km, of which 5,754 km were competitive stages (SS). Similar to the previous year, the event once again crossed the Ténéré Desert from Dirkou in Niger to Agadez. In addition, the participants headed toward Dakar in Senegal cutting south through Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea. No rest day was set since starting from the Place de la Concorde in Paris as the participants sped their way toward Lac Rose in Senegal. That year saw the number of entrants increasing to 400 for the first time. Of course, the Porsche works team attracted considerable attention just as much as the strong showing from the MITSUBISHI MOTORS team. The 4WD 911 prototype, with its characteristic high ground clearance, boasted the highest speeds, exceeding 200 km/h.
The sixth Dakar Rally went according to plan, although the special stage in Burkina Faso was cancelled due to a problem of procedures at the border crossing from Niger. The three Porsche 911s won 13 of the 21 special stages, showcasing their impressive speed. The crew of René Metge/Dominique Lemoyne dominated the event, taking a well-deserved victory. Although fighting against formidable prototypes such as the Range Rover, Mercedes Benz, and Lada, in addition to Porsche, Andrew Cowan finished third overall at the wheel of the modified production car class PAJERO/MONTERO. Hubert Rigal of France was 7th overall and second in class to reward the MITSUBISHI MOTORS team with a 1-2 finish. Nicole Maitrot of France drove for a private women's team and tackled the event in the non-modified production car class behind the wheel of a PAJERO/MONTERO equipped with a 2.3L diesel turbo engine. She achieved a triple victory winning that same class, the Marathon class, as well as the women's class.
The MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTEROs demonstrated considerable endurance and durability under severe conditions in an event that saw only 35% of the participants finishing the grueling race.