The MitsubishiEclipse is a compact sports coupe that was produced from 1990 to 2012. Today, the new Eclipse Cross takes inspiration from the famous Eclipse sports sedan, paying tribute to the vehicle’s impressive performance and sleek design. The Eclipse is credited as the vehicle that pushed the Mitsubishi brand to the foreground of the American auto market.
The first iteration of the Eclipse, produced from 1990 to 1994, was a four-cylinder model that replaced the Starion sport coupe. It was the first product derived from a joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi, which was called Diamond Star Motors and based at a production plant in Illinois. The Eclipse shared similarities with Chrysler designs, but it had a shorter wheelbase and offered a high-end turbo engine along with a performance suspension. With an impressively light curb weight of 2,745 pounds and 190 horsepower, the speedy nature of model’s first-generation was rare for a FWD vehicle in the early ‘90s.
The second version of the Eclipse added exterior appeal by extending the design and creating a sleeker, longer look compared to the first generation. This generation added a refined suspension, an available GSX engine with 210 horsepower, and a quick seven-second zero-to-60 time. The Eclipse Spyder convertible was also introduced during this time.
The third generation was a complete redesign from the previous generations and lasted from 2000 to 2005. The new Eclipse had a wheelbase of 100.8 inches, three new trims, a base 154-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, and a significant increase in overall size. Mitsubishi also introduced the Eclipse Concept-E at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show, which was a rare gas-electric hybrid and very rare for its day.
The final version of the Eclipse appeared in 2006. It came with an optional 3.8-liter V6 which generated a robust 263 horsepower. The new V6 paired with all-wheel drive, a sporty exterior, and new color options helped drivers stand out on the road. It lasted until 2012, and some of its design features can still be seen in its spiritual successor, the Eclipse Cross.
If you’d like to see what features carried over from the Eclipse into the Eclipse Cross, you can visit us at Pantili Mitsubishi.