Mitsubishi Eclipse: Something Old, Something New
|Topics: Mitsubishi Eclipse
February 27, 2009
The Mitsubishi Eclipse was born in 1990 from a union between Chrysler and Mitsubishi in a partnership called Diamond-Star Motors. The sporty coupe was marketed under several other names before being retooled and introduced in 1990 as the Eclipse. The Eclipse siblings include the Eagle Talon and the Plymouth Laser, which were where produced ant the some plant in central Illinois and introduced at the same time as the Eclipse. Neither the Eagle Talon nor the Plymouth Laser were as well designed or received and only the Eclipse remains in production today.
Beginning in 1990 the Eclipse was offered in 4 different trim levels and was designed to compete as an entry to midlevel sports car. This sleek rear drive sports coupe has remained quite popular, a fact that can be attributed to the powerful engines, smooth lines and affordability that Mitsubishi has remained true to since its introduction to the market.
The four seat sports coupe was named for an eighteenth century racehorse which won 26 races. Some have suggested that the Eclipse was designed to be the Japanese version of a pony car. . It has been produced exclusively for left hand markets and today is offered in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, China, South Korea, the Philippines and Brazil.
Today’s Eclipse has gone through several changes through the years and 4 distinct generations have been released. The first two generations were very close in design and many of the parts are interchangeable. Early models of the Eclipse can be identified by their pop up headlights. They were offered in the hatchback body style with 4 different levels of trim and varying power trains. The most popular first generation by far was the Eclipse GSX which sported a 195-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The second generation was introduced in 1995 and was manufactured through 1999. Compared with its predecessor, which many complained was too short and squat, the 1995 Eclipse was longer and more curvaceous. A convertible model, the Spyder was also introduced for 1996. With the addition of the Spyder, the Eclipse was now available in seven trim packages. The turbocharged engine was upgraded and offered exclusively in 5 of the 7 makes with the non turbo-charged engine found only in the hardtop RS and GS trims.
The third generation Eclipse was introduced in the year 2000 and was produced through 2005. Mitsubishi retained the hatchback style and the 4G63 engine was replaced by two powertrain options, a 150 hp 2.4L four cylinder and a 205-hp DOHC 3.0L. The body styling remained relatively the same and all trim models were offered with either a five-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic.
The latest body style has been available since 2006 and features of the new model include a 265-hp 3.8L V6 and a 163-hp 2.4L I4. Both models result from the Mitsubishi PS platform family and both are offered in FWD only like its counterpart the Galant. The GS and the GT come with a variety of trim packages and popular options include a sun and sound package with a power sunroof and a 650 watt Rockford Fosgate audio system. The GT is the more the deluxe and some the options include leather seating and upgraded sound system, heated door mirrors and automatic dimming rear-view mirror. For 2009, the Mitsubishi Eclipse received minor redesigns in its body style with added standard equipment and a tweaked exhaust system which boosted the horsepower slightly. Over all the Eclipse has remained unchanged since it was introduced in 2006.
Ronnie Tanner is a contributing writer at http://www.eclipsecartuner.com He writes about Eclipse body kits.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|