History of the Mitsubishi Eclipse

History of the Mitsubishi Eclipse


The Mitsubishi Eclipse launched onto roadways in 1990 and took the small Japanese to new heights in the minds of American drivers. Its compact style, lightweight design, and peppy four-cylinder engine created the perfect combination for drivers who loved sports cars at affordable prices.

The first Eclipse was developed between Mitsubishi and Chrysler’s joint venture as Diamond Star Motors. The result was a sports coupe with a plethora of legroom and bucket seats in the front with little room for rear passengers. The first-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse continued to impress drivers throughout the 1994 model year.

The 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse kicked off the second generation with a long body with sleeker lines. The 1.6-inch addition to the wheelbase added a little more room for rear passengers. Engine options included a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivered 140 hp. And 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that offered up to 210 hp. The interior saw newer materials, more airbags, and wider seats.

The 2000 model year marked the third-generation Eclipse, a model that would truly revolutionize the sports car segment. The new model arrived with an available V6 engine and rode on the same chassis as the Galant sedan. The Eclipse grew a little longer once again, further expanding interior space for both front and rear passengers. It was in the third generation that Mitsubishi offered all-wheel drive configurations.

The fourth, and final, generation Eclipse launched in 2006 with a new V6 engine that delivers up to 265 hp. Aggressive yet refined styling make it instantly recognizable, and the GT Spyder trim remains a popular sports car to this day. The final 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse was painted Kalapana Black, as chosen by fans on Facebook.  The model featured a rearview camera, HID headlights, 18-inch Dark Argent wheels, and a commemorative SE package.

Despite officially leaving the production line years ago, the Mitsubishi Eclipse remains one of the most popular sports cars on the road. The responsive handling, enthusiastic engine, and stylish design have made it a fan favorite among drivers of all ages. We sure do miss having it at Carriage Mitsubishi.


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