Mitsubishi Eclipse

The original Mitsubishi Eclipse is a product of Diamond Star Motors, a joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi in the mid-1980s. The Eclipse has also been sold as a captive import under the names Plymouth Laser and Eagle Talon. With the withdrawal of the Plymouth and Eagle brands, only the Eclipse remains in production today.

More on the Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Eclipse Origins

The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a performance-oriented two-door coupe manufactured by the Tokyo-based automaker. The coupe gets its name from a famous English racehorse of the 18th century, which won 26 races. For more than two decades, the Mitsubishi Eclipse remained one of the most popular sport coupes in the U.S. The reasons behind the success of the car include its powerful engine, sleek styling, comfort, and most importantly, a decent degree of affordability. These traits are also inherent in the traditional domestic back-wheel drive sports cars, and the Eclipse has often been described as the Japanese version of a fancy pony car.

There have been four generations of the Mitsubishi Eclipse. With regard to design and all-around performance, the latest version of the Mitsubishi Eclipse is definitely no slouch.

About the Mitsubishi Eclipse

Affordability has been the major scoring point of the Mitsubishi Eclipse. In fact, both the first and second generation versions of the car were considered to be the most affordable sport coupes of their times. The original Eclipse debuted in 1990 and is identifiable from later generations by its hatchback-like body and pop-up headlights. It comes in four separate trims, and each variant offers its own unique mix of powertrains. The top-line model, or Eclipse GSX, boasts a 195 horsepower, four-cylinder turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. The manufacturer made some minor updates to the vehicle in 1992, including the addition of fixed headlights. Comfortable front seats and a sufficiently roomy cargo area also score points for the Eclipse.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Features

The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse comes as a four-passenger coupe or convertible (Spyder) body style. The former offers four trim levels: GS, GS Sport, SE, and GT. The Eclipse Spyder, on the other hand, only comes in the last three variations.

The entry-level GS version has 18-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, keyless entry, tilt-only steering, full-power accessories, a six-speaker CD audio system, and 50/50-split folding rear seats. The Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Sport has fog lights, xenon headlights, heated power mirrors, a sunroof, leather upholstery, and a rear wiper, to name just a few features. The GS Sport version has a power convertible roof. The new Eclipse SE model includes all of these features in addition to special styling details, such as dark gray alloy wheels, black mirrors, and matching rocker-panel graphics.

The power to both the front-wheel drive Eclipse and the Eclipse Spyder derives from one of the two engines. The GS, GS Sport, and SE models come fitted with a four-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine that generates 162-hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The GS variant has a standard five-speed manual transmission, with the four-speed automatic as an option. The latter comes standard in the SE and GS Sport versions. The Environmental Protection Agency pegs the fuel efficiency of both transmission modes at 20/28 mpg city/highway.

The Eclipse GT contains a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that generates 262 lb-ft of torque and 265 horsepower. The five-speed automatic transmission comes standard in this model. The engine, however, runs only on premium quality fuel, and its economy rate stands at only 17/25 mpg city/highway.

The 2012 Eclipse Spyder and Eclipse have several standard safety features. These include side-impact airbags for front seat passengers, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and stability controls. The coupe variants have front-side airbags, and the Spyder has taller side-airbags that cover the driver’s and front passenger’s heads. The back seats, however, lack adequate head restraints. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the Mitsubishi Eclipse a ‘Good’ rating with regard to both the side-crash and frontal-offset tests.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Evolution

The latest generation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse was introduced for the 2006 model-year. It offers four trims: GS, SE, SE-V6, and GT. The car did not change much until 2009, when the manufacturer dropped the SE trim. The GT model comes with added stability control, which later became a standard across all Eclipse versions, in 2010. The car got a mild facelift that included an aggressive looking front fascia.

A six-speed manual transmission system came standard in the GT version until 2011. Other than this, the powertrains on all generations remain similar to the current line. The GS Sport made its debut in 2010, and in 2011, the 18-inch alloy wheels became standard on the base GS model. In the same year, the GS Sport came equipped with front leather seats, as well as a power driver’s seat.

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