Mitsubishi Motors Celebrates Eclipse Model Legacy with the 2012 Special Edition Coupe and Spyder
From its early days as a sleekly-styled, turbocharged-4-cylinder boy racer model, right up through to its current design as a sophisticated yet distinctive-lòòking two-door wîth available V-6 power, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe and Eclipse Spyder have long been tailor-made for the true driving enthusiast.
But after a long and successful run as the Japanese auto manufacturer's signature luxury performance sports coupe in North America, the always fun-to-drive Mitsubishi Eclipse will cease production after the upcoming 2012 model year.
To mark the occasion, the outgoing 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe and Eclipse Spyder will be available in a unique SE Special Edition that will feature eye-catching exterior features including special 'SE' side decaling, black side mirrors and handsome 18-in. dark finish alloy wheels, along wîth the extensive list of high-end standard features that can be found on the Eclipse GS-Sport versions of both the hardtop and convertible models.
Included amenities on the amply-equipped Eclipse GS-Sport models are a 4-speed automatic transmission, leather seating wîth heated front seats and a power driver's seat, rearview camera, Bluetooth® hands-free phone access, HID headlights wîth fog lamps, heated side mirrors and an exquisite sounding 9 speaker, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate® premium audio system wîth SIRIÚS® satellite radio. The coupe version of the Eclipse GS-Sport includes a sunroof as well.
The most affordably-priced version of the Eclipse remains the GS Coupe model. No-cost features include a 6 speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD player wîth MP3 playing capability and an auxiliary audio input jack, air conditioning, 6 airbags, dual exhaust, blacked-out roof, 18-in. alloy wheels and automatic shut off headlights. The Eclipse GS Coupe comes equipped wîth a smooth-shifting 5-speed manual while a 4-speed automatic transmission is available as an option.
Powering all of these aforementioned Eclipse Coupe and Spyder models is a very capable 162 horsepower, normally-aspirated 2.4-liter SOHC MIVEC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine.
The top-of-the-line Eclipse GT Coupe and Spyder editions feature a 265 horsepower, 3.8-liter SOHC MIVEC 24-valve V-6 that is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission that makes use of Mitsubishi's Sportronic® transmission technology, allowing the driver to manually select gearshifts when so desired. An automatic climate control system is also an included feature on all Eclipse GT models.
Standard safety equipment on all Eclipse models includes 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes (ABS) wîth Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); Active Stability Control (ASC) and Traction Control Logic (TCL); and advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) and side air bags. Side curtain air bags are included on the Eclipse Coupe.Source - Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Eclipse was introduced in 1989 and has remained in production in the modern era. The name 'Eclipse' came from a eighteenth century English racing horse which won 26 races. Since its inception, it has been redesigned on a number of occasions, and there has been four distinct generations. The first two generations were very similar and shared many mechanical components and design features. The third generation was a redesigned vehicle sitting a top a new platform.
There were four trim levels available for the first generation Mitsubishi Eclipse. The top-of-the line trim level was an all wheel drive version; the others were front-wheel drive. Both were available with the optional turbocharged engine. The trim levels included the base, GS, GS-T, and GSX. The base engine was a 1.8-liter 8-valve SOHC engine that produced just under 100 horsepower. The GS with DOHC was a 2-liter engine that raised horsepower to 136. The turbocharged version had over 180 horsepower.
Attached to the engine were a five-speed manual gearbox as standard equipment. A four-speed automatic was available for an additional cost. The AWD models included a limited-slip center differential and output shaft for a transfer case that was different than the FWD versions.
The second generation of the Eclipse began production in 1995 and continued into 1999. A Spyder version was now available, which offered convertible driving. Horsepower on all engines improved; the base 2.0-liter engine produced 140 horsepower. The 2.4-liter engine produced 141 and the 2.0-liter engine with turbocharger produced 210 horsepower.
There were now seven trim levels available including the RS, GS, GS Spyder, GS-T, GS-T Spyder and GSX.
In 1997 the model was giving aesthetic improvements. The front grille was updated, the headlights reshaped, and the driving lights became smaller and round. The reverse lights were moved away from their central position.
Built along side of the Eclipse was the Eagle Talon which was produced until 1989 when Eagle went out of business. The Talon was available in Base, ESi, TSi, and TSi AWD. Minor styling changes between the Talon and the Eclipse segregated these two vehicles.
The third generation of the eclipse appeared in 2000 and remained in production until 2005. It was a drastic styling change from its pior-self, with styling cues borrowed from the Mitsubishi SST design study which had debuted at the 1998 North American International Auto Show.
The Eclipse now shared a platform with the 8th generation Galant. Weight and size increased, and so did the engines displacement size. The base engine was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 140 horsepower. The 3.0-liter V6 engine raised horsepower to the tune of 200 horsepower.
The GTS trim was introduced in 2003. It had a 10:1 compression ratio and an improved Variable Induction Management air intake system that raised horsepower by 10.
The fourth generation of the Eclipse was shown at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show. The big news was the 3.8-liter V6 engine that raised horsepower to 263. The base 2.4-liter engine is rated at 165 horsepower. There is only one drive type available - front wheel drive. The Spyder version was released for 2007 at the North American International Auto Show.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007