Total Eclipse of the Mitsubishi: History of the Ill-Starred Sports Coupe
Timing, they say, is everything. Take the Mitsubishi Eclipse. Assembled by union hands at the Mitsubishi/Chrysler joint-venture facility in Normal, Illinois, the Eclipse offered a slightly esoteric take on the small, front-drive sports coupes that had been popping up across the autoverse for a couple of years prior. So enamored were we with its acceleration, stability, and, well, outsider personality that we immediately placed it—in alpha-dog, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive GSX trim—on our 10Best Cars list, where it stayed for four consecutive years. But while the Eclipse was basking in the sunlight, its competitors came back with smoother and faster coupes that bumped it off the list, never to return. Mitsubishi stayed with it, however, keeping the Eclipse in play for more than 20 years and four generations, offering a quirky alternative to the status quo and churning out some killer concepts in the process. Click through to follow the Eclipse’s evolution.
Sport compact car that was produced by Mitsubishi Motors
This article is about the sport compact car. For the compact crossover, see Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a sport compact car that was produced by Mitsubishi in four generations between 1989 and 2011. A convertible body style was added during the 1996 model year.
The first two generations (1G and 2G) share the automobile platform and parts with the rebadgedEagle Talon and Plymouth Lasercaptive imports. They were built during Mitsubishi Motors' close relationship with Chrysler Corporation. Their partnership was known as Diamond-Star Motors (DSM). In Japan, the first two generations were sold at a specific Japanese retail chain called Mitsubishi Car Plaza. (2000/2005) The third-generation (3G) shared a redesigned platform with the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Stratus. During May 2005, the fourth, and final,(2006/2012) generation (4G) Eclipse was introduced, replacing the Chrysler platform used in the first three generations with the PS platform.
According to Mitsubishi Motors, the Eclipse was named after an unbeaten 18th-century English racehorse that had won 26 races.
The Eclipse was officially sold in Japan, North America, the Middle East, South Korea, the Philippines, Brazil, and China. At the end of August 2011, the final Eclipse rolled off the assembly line, and was auctioned off, the proceeds donated to charity.
In 2017, Mitsubishi resurrected the Eclipse name on a compact crossover vehicle, titled the Eclipse Cross, which debuted at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show.
First generation (D21A/D22A/D27A; 1989)
|First generation (D21A/D22A/D27A)|
|Assembly||United States: Normal, Illinois (Diamond-Star Motors)|
|Body style||3-door liftbackcoupé|
|Platform||Chrysler D platform|
|Engine||1.8 L 92 hp (69 kW) 4G37I4|
2.0 L 135 hp (101 kW) 4G63 I4
2.0 L 180 hp (130 kW) 4G63T I4 turbo
2.0 L 195 hp (145 kW) 4G63T I4 turbo
|Transmission||F5M22 manual w/o Turbo (FWD)|
F5m33 manual Turbo (FWD)
5-speed manual (AWD)
KM175-5/F4A22-1 manual/automatic w/o Turbo (FWD)
F4A33-1 automatic Turbo (FWD)
4-speed automatic (AWD)
|Wheelbase||2,470 mm (97.2 in)|
|Length||4,390 mm (172.8 in)|
|Width||1,690 mm (66.7 in)|
|Height||1,310 mm (51.4 in)|
GSX: 1,300 mm (52 in)
|Curb weight||Base: 1,145 kg (2,524 lb)|
GS Turbo:1,245 kg (2,745 lb)
GSX: 1,404 kg (3,095 lb)
The first generation Mitsubishi Eclipse was marketed as an entry to mid-level four-cylinder sports coupe segment. Four trim levels were available; all were front-wheel drive except the GSX which was all-wheel drive. The GS Turbo and GSX were equipped with turbocharged engines.
The first generation Eclipse underwent minor styling changes during its production; 1992–1994 models have updated sheet metal and are easily distinguishable from earlier model years. The most notable is that the 1990-1991 models have pop-up headlights, whereas the latter model years do not. The Eclipse was revised for the 1995 model year as the second generation.
The Eclipse was available in five trim levels during its first-generation production run. AWD models were not available until halfway through the first model year.
- Eclipse: Base model equipped with a 92 hp (69 kW) naturally aspirated 1.8 L 8-valve SOHC4G37 engine
- Eclipse GS: Upgraded model with slightly more equipment
- Eclipse GS DOHC: Upgraded model equipped with a 135 hp (101 kW) naturally aspirated 2.0 L 16-valveDOHCMitsubishi Sirius engine; a naturally aspirated variant of the 4G63T engine[Note 1]
- Eclipse GS DOHC AWD: Equipped with a 150 hp (112 kW) 4G63 16-valve naturally aspirated engine (AWD N/A only available in Europe) All were only available with 5-speed manual transmission and without rear limited-slip differential. Sunroof, cruise control, ABS, central locking, and A/C were included.
- Eclipse GS Turbo: Upgraded model equipped with a 180–195 hp (134–145 kW)* turbocharged 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC 4G63T engine
- Eclipse GSX: AWD model equipped with a 180–195 hp (134–145 kW)* turbocharged 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC 4G63T engine
*The 1990 GS Turbo with a manual transmission was rated at 190 hp, whereas the 1990 GSX with a manual transmission was rated at 195 hp (145 kW). This was for the purpose of offsetting the additional weight of the AWD mechanism (approximately 2,930 lbs Vs 2,570 lbs GVW). However, 1991 and later years of both turbo models standardized on the 195 hp version 4G63T. The automatic models were rated at 180 hp (130 kW) due to smaller fuel-injectors and turbocharger.
These models varied significantly in drivetrains and available options, and included some variance in appearance, as higher trim lines added different front and rear fascia panels and surrounding trim, with the GSX model getting a notably different styling package from the others.
The basic driveline layout of the Eclipse is a transverse-mounted 4-cylinder Mitsubishi 4G37 or 4G63 engine situated on the left-hand side of the car driving an automatic or manual transmission on the right-hand side. AWD models have a different transmission which includes a limited-slip center differential and output shaft for a transfer case, which drives the rear differential (also available as limited-slip) and half-shafts.
There is also a difference between rear axle/rear ends on all-wheel-drive models. 1990-early 1992 cars have three bolts attaching the axle to the wheel hub. Late 1992–1994 have larger-diameter axles and attach to the hub with bigger, 4-bolt axle cups.
The 4G37 and 4G63 engines are gasoline inline-fours. The 4G63 has an iron engine block with an aluminum cylinder head and is equipped with two balance shafts. The turbocharged version of the 4G63 (sometimes referred to as the 4G63T) has a lower compression ratio (7.8 in 1990–1994, 8.5 in 1995 - 1999, and 9.0 in the naturally aspirated version) and oil squirters under the pistons for better cooling from extra heat introduced in the system by forced induction. The turbocharged 4G63 engine received an internal update during the 1992 model year. The engines built from 1989 through April 1992 have 6-bolt motors. Beginning in May 1992, Mitsubishi revised the engine to a 7-bolt design. The bolts refer to the number of bolts on the flywheel that connects to the crankshaft.
Problems and issues
In March 1998, Mitsubishi issued a recall (bulletin 98V069001) for all 1990-1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSXs citing, "Lockup of the transfer case can occur due to insufficient lubrication. The condition can cause a loss of vehicle control increasing the risk of a crash." The dealers would inspect the vehicles for the adequacy of the transfer case oil volume, transfer case oil leakage, and operational degradation of the transfer case mechanism. The transfer case itself did not leak but rather the brass plug in the center of the transfer case yoke would leak. Mitsubishi estimated 24,275 vehicles were affected.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined crash test ratings of the 1G Eclipse:
|Model year||Model||Frontal driver rating||Frontal passenger rating|
The Eclipse Turbo was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1989–1992.
Second generation (D31A/D32A/D38A/D39A; 1994)
|Second generation (D31A/D32A/D38A/D39A)|
Post facelift Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe
|Assembly||United States: Normal, Illinois (Diamond-Star Motors)|
Amy Hiroshige (interior)
|Body style||3-door liftbackcoupé|
|Platform||Chrysler PJ platform|
|Engine||2.0 L 140 hp (104 kW) 420AI4|
2.4 L 141 hp (105 kW) 4G64 I4
2.0 L 210 hp (157 kW) 4G63T I4
|Wheelbase||2,510 mm (98.8 in)|
|Length||1995-96: 4,370 mm (172.2 in)|
4,380 mm (172.4 in)
|Width||1,740 mm (68.7 in)|
|Height||1995-96: 1,280 mm (50.2 in)|
Spyder: 1,340 mm (52.8 in)
GSX: 1,280 mm (50.5 in)
1997-99: 1,260 mm (49.8 in)
|Curb weight||RS/GS: 1,235 kg (2,723 lb)|
GS-T:1,305 kg (2,877 lb)
GSX:1,460 kg (3,210 lb)
Spyder GS: 1,310 kg (2,888 lb)
Spyder GS-T: 1,385 kg (3,053 lb)
The Eclipse was redesigned in 1994 (for the 1995 model year) and included standard dual airbags, more rounded styling, a larger interior, and a new engine made by Chrysler for the base model. The second-generation car maintained the market focus of the first generation car but had numerous changes to appeal to a broader market. A convertible model, named the Eclipse Spyder, was introduced in 1996 offered in two trim levels; the GS and the GS-T. The Spyder GS was powered by a 2.4 L I4 naturally-aspirated 4G64 engine. The Spyder GS-T was fitted with Mitsubishi's turbocharged 4G63 engine. The GSX model was also powered by this engine but with the addition of a high performance all wheel drive system. No convertible model was powered by the Chrysler's 420a engine, nor was there a convertible with all-wheel-drive.
The turbocharged engine option continued as the 4G63. It was also updated for more power as compared to the previous generation (210 hp (157 kW) vs 195 hp (145 kW)). The naturally aspirated cars had two different I-4 engines depending on the market they were produced for. The US version engines produced 140 hp, found only in the RS and GS trims, and were a modified version of the Chrysler Neon engine, the 420a, manufactured by Chrysler and delivered to and installed at the Diamond Star Motors facility. The European market engines were a naturally aspirated 4G63 with 141 hp (105 kW; 143 PS). International market Eclipses made less horsepower than their Japanese domestic market relatives when equipped with the 4G63 (210 hp (157 kW), 154 hp (115 kW)), due to emissions regulations at the time.
This model exceeded Japanese government's compact car regulations regarding exterior dimensions (maximum width of 1,700 mm (66.9 in)), therefore incurred a more expensive annual road tax obligation.
A special version of the Eclipse, called the "10th Anniversary OZ Rally", was sold at the end of the 1999 model run with unique 16-inch Enkei wheels with the OZ Racing logo. It also included the leather interior package, accented exhaust exit, “silver” gauges, mud flaps, and hoop-style spoiler that were available as standard equipment on GS-T and GSX models. The special edition package was only offered with the 420A engine.
A unique version of the 2G Eclipse was sold in some European countries. It used a naturally aspirated Mitsubishi 4G63 motor, similar to what was available in the 1G, unique side-view mirrors, and amber rear turn signals.
A minor style revision was applied for the 1997 model year. The front grille opening was given a more aggressive profile. The headlights were given a sharper slant on the inner edges, and the previous all-chrome fixture interior changed to a black interior with chrome reflector inserts. The driving lights were revised from a reflector type to a smaller projection type. The rear bumper cap was altered and had the reverse lights restyled and moved out into the bumper fascia, away from their original central position by the license plate bracket. The GS-T coupe and GSX received a large rear spoiler. The interior color choices also changed from blue, and grey in 1995–1996 model years to black/grey, tan/black, and grey in the 1997–1999 model years. The black leather interior option was only available in 1999; the package included all seats (with the 'Mitsubishi' logo embroidered on both of the fronts), door inserts, and a center console armrest.
The Eclipse was available in seven trim levels: Base [Only available in 1996.5 (mid-model year)], RS (Rally Sport), GS (Grand Sport), GS Spyder, GS-T (Grand Sport Turbo), GS-T Spyder, and GSX (Grand Sport X=AWD).
- Eclipse RS: Base model equipped with a 140 hp (104 kW) and 130 lb⋅ft (176 N⋅m) of torque 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC Chrysler 420a engine
- Eclipse GS: Equipment upgraded model equipped with a 140 hp (104 kW) and 130 lb⋅ft (176 N⋅m) of torque 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC Chrysler 420A engine. The European variant of the GS had a naturally aspirated, DOHC 16 valve 4G63 engine producing 150 HP
- Eclipse Spyder GS: Convertible model equipped with a 141 hp (105 kW) 2.4 L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G64 engine
- Eclipse GS-T: Upgraded model equipped with a 210 hp (157 kW) and 214 lb⋅ft (290 N⋅m) of torque turbocharged and intercooled 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC Mitsubishi 4G63 engine
- Eclipse Spyder GS-T: Convertible model equipped with a 210 hp (157 kW) and 214 lb⋅ft (290 N⋅m) of torque turbocharged and intercooled 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC Mitsubishi 4G63 engine
- Eclipse GSX: AWD model equipped with a 210 hp (157 kW) and 214 lb⋅ft (290 N⋅m) of torque turbocharged and intercooled 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC Mitsubishi 4G63 engine
- RS: 2.0 L DOHC 4-cylinder engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, driver and passenger airbags, power steering, cloth reclining front bucket seats, 5-way adjustable driver's seat with memory recliner, center storage console, folding rear seat, map lights, remote fuel door and rear hatch releases, tachometer, trip odometer, low fluid warning lights, AM/FM radio, digital clock, tinted glass, rear defogger, dual remote mirrors, color-keyed bumpers and front air dam, 14-inch wheels with full wheel covers (195/70/HR14 tires.)
- GS adds: 4-wheel disc brakes, 6-way (7-way in 1995) adjustable driver's seat, split-folding rear seat, tilt steering column, cassette player, Power antenna (96-99), cruise control, body-colored power mirrors, door handles and rear spoiler, fog lights, a cargo cover and net, 16-inch wheels with 205/55/HR16 (96-99 models), lower bodyside cladding, rear windshield washer/wiper.
- GS-T adds: turbocharged and intercooled engine, engine oil cooler, air conditioning, cruise control, turbo boost, and oil pressure gauges, Infinity 8-speaker AM/FM cassette/CD player with separate amplifier, anti-theft system, CD changer controls, power windows/door locks, sport-tuned shock absorbers, 16-inch alloy 5-spoke wheels, bright dual exhaust outlets.
- GSX adds: Permanent all-wheel drive, 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/50/VR17 (97-99), 16-inch alloy wheels with 215/55/VR16 with a manual transmission 205/55/VR16 for automatic transmission (95-96), limited-slip rear differential (optional 97-98), power driver's seat (96-99), anti-lock brakes (optional 95-99), leather-wrapped steering wheel and manual transmission knob, leather package, 10.8" vented front rotors with dual-piston calipers and vented rear rotors (rear vented only early 95).
The basic driveline layout of the Eclipse is a transverse-mounted 4-cylinder Chrysler 420A, Mitsubishi 4G64 or 4G63 engine. The Mitsubishi motors are mounted in the same orientation as the first generation cars. The 420a-powered cars had the engine mounted on the right side of the car, and further back in the chassis. AWD models had a similar transmission to the first generation car. The second-generation GSX also had a stronger carrier/differential when equipped with the limited-slip option.
All motors are four-cylinder gasoline engines. All have cast iron blocks with aluminum cylinder heads. The 4G63/4G64 engines retain the balance shafts for smoother operation, while the 420a does not use them. The 1995–1999 turbo engines were given an increased compression ratio of 8.5:1, up from 7.8:1, and a smaller turbo, a Garrett T25 set to 12 psi in place of the previous Mitsubishi TD04-13G (automatic cars) and TD05-14B (manual cars). This was done to minimize turbo lag, which was an undesirable trait for mass-market appeal in the U.S. These changes led to increased horsepower and torque vs. the previous 1G turbos. The 2G turbo cars produced 210 hp (157 kW) at 6000 rpm (205 hp (153 kW) at 6000 rpm w/ AT) and 214 lb⋅ft (290 N⋅m) at 3000 rpm (220 lb⋅ft (298 N⋅m) at 3000 rpm with AT.)
The 4G63t engines found in 1990–1994 models have a 60 mm throttle body compared to the 1995–1999 MY's 52 mm. The intake ports on the head and runners of the intake manifold are also larger on the 1G. They also have larger crankshaft bearing journals to allow better lubrication. Because they look similar, it is important to note that the 1990-1994 cylinder head is more on the side of high air volume, while the 1995-1999 cylinder head is more on the side of high air velocity.
Mitsubishi Motors quietly updated its 4G63 engine in 1998 and 1999. The crankshaft is more precisely shaved and cut compared to previous years. It is identical to that used in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, which was not yet sold in North America until 2003. The thrust bearings have been revised to a "split" type to allow better lubrication and self-alignment with the crankshaft. It also had improved tuning and functionality thanks to a new ECU, which was similar to Lancer Evolution ECUs. Although originally deactivated to protect the drivetrain, it included advanced features such as launch control, boost control, adjustable rev-limit, fuel system control as well as fuel and boost map selection for certain Mitsubishi Heavy Industries turbochargers.
Problems and issues
The 2G Eclipse received numerous Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) affecting a variety of issues with the car however there was one notable powertrain recall. In March 1998, Mitsubishi issued a recall (bulletin 98V069001) for all 1990-1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSXs citing, "Lockup of the transfer case can occur due to insufficient lubrication. The condition can cause a loss of vehicle control increasing the risk of a crash." The dealers would inspect the vehicles for the adequacy of the transfer case oil volume, transfer case oil leakage, and operational degradation of the transfer case mechanism. The transfer case itself did not leak but rather the brass plug in the center of the transfer case yoke would leak. Mitsubishi estimated 24,275 vehicles were affected.
Another issue that impacted the mid 1995-1997 Eclipse GS-T/GSX (4G63 equipped vehicles) is thrust bearing failure commonly referred to in the Eclipse community as "crankwalk." Mitsubishi never publicly addressed the issue via a recall or TSB. There were a variety of symptoms however the most common symptom of crankwalk is the clutch pedal would stick to the floor upon making a left turn. If crankwalk occurred, it typically meant engine failure. In 1998, Mitsubishi revised manufacturing processes to correct the issue.
All 2G Eclipses came standard with driver and front-passenger airbags, side-guard door beams, front and rear body structure crumple zones, 5 mph energy-absorbing bumpers, safety-cage body construction, 4- wheel disc brakes (except RS), three-point ELR/ALR lap/shoulder safety belts (ELR only for the driver) and height-adjustable front shoulder belts. Anti-lock brakes were optional on all models (except for RS).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined crash test ratings of the 2G Eclipse:
1995 and 1996 "Driver's Choice Award" - MotorWeek
Third generation (D52A/D53A; 1999)
|Third generation (D52A/D53A)|
2003-2005 Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe
|Assembly||United States: Normal, Illinois (MMNA)|
|Designer||Dan Sims (1996)|
|Body style||3-door liftbackcoupé|
|Platform||Chrysler ST-22 platform|
Chrysler Sebring coupe
Dodge Stratus coupe
|Engine||2.4 L 150 hp (110 kW) 4G64I4|
3.0 L 200 hp (150 kW) 6G72V6
3.0 L 210 hp (160 kW) 6G72 V6
|Electric motor||Permanent magnet synchronous (Eclipse EV Prototype)|
|Battery||95 Ah manganese Li-ion|
|Wheelbase||2,560 mm (100.8 in)|
|Length||2004-05: 4,491 mm (176.8 in)|
2000-03: 4,455 mm (175.4 in)
|Width||1,750 mm (68.9 in)|
|Height||2001-05 Coupe: 1,311 mm (51.6 in)|
Spyder: 1,341 mm (52.8 in)
2000: 1,316 mm (51.8 in)
|Curb weight||2.4 coupe: 1,280 kg (2,822 lb)|
2.4 convertible: 1,380 kg (3,042 lb)
V6 coupe: 1,385 kg (3,053 lb)
V6 convertible: 1,470 kg (3,241 lb)
The Eclipse underwent a change into its third generation in 1999, closely applying the Mitsubishi SST design study which debuted at the 1998 North American International Auto Show. It was the first concept vehicle exhibited by Mitsubishi at an auto show in the U.S.
Two new powertrain options were available, a 147 hp (110 kW) 2.4 L 16-valve SOHC 4-cylinder 4G64 and a 205 hp (153 kW) 24v SOHC 3.0 L V6 (6G72). AWD was no longer an option. The suspension setup was modified to provide a softer and more compliant ride quality.
The third-generation Eclipse shared its powertrain with the 8th generation Galant. In late 2001, the power of the GT trim was lowered to 200 hp (149 kW) as a result of tightened emission standards forcing MMNA to adopt the California emissions standards for all variants of the car, rather than selling independent 'Federal Specification' and 'California Specifications' versions.
In mid-2002, the GTS trim was introduced for the 2003 model year. This vehicle included an engine with a 10:1 compression ratio, revised camshaft profile, and an improved Mitsubishi Variable Induction Management (MVIM) air intake system that gave the car an extra 10 hp (7.5 kW) and a slightly improved power curve. The 2003–2005 GTS coupe, GTS Spyder and GT Spyder shared the new engine while the GT coupe retained the 200 hp (149 kW) powertrain.
With the introduction of the 2003 GTS model, the Eclipse saw minor changes including a redesigned front bumper with slotted fog lights, as well as a recoloring of the taillights. On the interior, the gauge face changed, and the door panels were also redesigned. Newly designed five-spoke chrome wheels were offered with the GT and GTS trims.
In 2004, Mitsubishi Motors imported the Eclipse Spyder to the Japanese Domestic Market as a special edition.
The Eclipse was available in 7 trim levels: RS, GS, GS Spyder, GT, GT Spyder, GTS, and GTS Spyder. All trim levels (besides RS and the Spyder) came with an automatic tilt and retracting sunroof. All models were FWD. The GTS trims were introduced for the 2003 model year. For the 2005 model year, the RS trim was discontinued and a special "Remix Edition" GS trim package was introduced, which included chrome wheels, identifying placards, and the premium interior package from the GT and GTS models, which was not previously offered on the GS trim.
- Eclipse RS: Base model equipped with a 154 hp (115 kW) 2.4 L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G64 engine; automatic RS models were only 3G Eclipse without Mitsubishi's "sportronic" select-shift option
- Eclipse GS: Upgraded model equipped with a 154 hp (115 kW) 2.4 L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G64 engine
- Eclipse GS Spyder: Convertible model equipped with a 154 hp (115 kW) 2.4 L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G64 engine
- Eclipse GT: Upgraded model equipped with a 200 hp (149 kW) 3.0 L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine
- Eclipse GT Spyder: 2000-2002: convertible model equipped with a 200 hp (149 kW) 3.0 L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine. 2003-2005: convertible FWD model equipped with a 210 hp (157 kW) 3.0 L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine with MVIM
- Eclipse GTS: Upgraded model equipped with a 210 hp (157 kW) 3.0 L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine with Mitsubishi Variable Induction Management (MVIM)
- Eclipse GTS Spyder: Convertible model equipped with a 210 hp (157 kW) 3.0 L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine with MVIM
The third generation Eclipse utilized two distinct Mitsubishi engines: The SOHC 4G64 2.4 L 16-valve four-cylinder and SOHC 6G72 3.0 L 24-valve V6. Both engines use cast iron blocks with aluminum cylinder heads. The four-cylinder, found in the RS, GS, and GS Spyder trims, used a 9:1 compression ratio and produced an output of 154 hp (115 kW) and 163 lb⋅ft (221 N⋅m) of torque throughout all years.
The 3.0 L V6, however, used in GT and GT Spyder models, produced 205 hp (153 kW) in Federal Specifications between 2000-2001 and 200 hp (149 kW) in all GT models in California Specifications, all years with a static compression ratio of 9:1. In 2003, the 3.0 L V6 was improved for the GTS and GT/GTS Spyder, using a revised camshaft profile, raised compression ratio of 10:1 and variable-length MVIM intake manifold. This engine produced 210 hp (157 kW).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined crash test ratings of Eclipse of different model years:
2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse EV
The Mitsubishi Eclipse EV is a prototype electric vehicle with a lightweight electric motor and lithium-ion batteries in the chassis of a third-generation Eclipse. It is powered by manganese lithium-ion batteries made by Japan Storage Battery, which have 65% reduced charging time over nickel-hydrogen batteries.
The prototype model participated in the 2001 Shikoku EV Rally, a 780 km (485 mi) circuit around the perimeter of Shikoku, Japan, where it drove in excess of 400 km (249 mi) on a single battery charge.
Fourth generation (DK2A/DK4A; 2005)
|Fourth generation (DK2A/DK4A)|
|Assembly||United States: Normal, Illinois (MMNA)|
|Body style||3-door liftbackcoupé|
|Platform||Mitsubishi PS platform|
|Engine||2.4 L 162 hp (121 kW) 4G69I4|
3.8 L 263 hp (196 kW) 6G75V6
|Transmission||4-speed automatic (F4A4B)|
5-speed automatic (F4A5A)
|Wheelbase||2,576 mm (101.4 in)|
|Length||2006-08: 4,564 mm (179.7 in)|
2009-2011: 4,583 mm (180.4 in)
|Width||1,834 mm (72.2 in)|
|Height||2006-2010: 1,359 mm (53.5 in)|
2006–2010 Spyder: 1,382 mm (54.4 in)
2006–2010 GT Spyder: 1,389 mm (54.7 in)
2011: 1,351 mm (53.2 in)
2011 Spyder: 1,375 mm (54.1 in)
|Curb weight||2.4 coupe 1,485 kg (3,274 lb)|
V6 coupe 1,575 kg (3,472 lb)
2.4 convertible 1,575 kg (3,472 lb)
V6 convertible 1,665 kg (3,671 lb)
Another substantial styling revision was introduced, with the new model taking some of the profile from the second generation model but maintaining a front fascia consistent with Mitsubishi's current corporate styling features. Drivetrain features of the new model include a 263 hp (196 kW) 3.8 L MIVEC V6 for the GT trim, 2009 and newer models have 265 hp (198 kW). The GS has a 162 hp (121 kW) 2.4 L MIVEC four-cylinder, both derived from the Mitsubishi PS platform family, with which the Eclipse shares many mechanical components. Like the 2004 Galant and third generation Eclipse, the new Eclipse is FWD only, although a concept model has been produced by Mitsubishi and Ralliart with a MillenWorks designed hybrid-electric AWD platform, the 4G63 engine from the Lancer Evolution, and more aggressive body styling with imitation carbon fiber accents. The V6 produces 263 hp (196 kW) and 260 ft⋅lbf (353 N⋅m) of torque.
The fourth-generation Spyder (convertible) Eclipse was released for the 2007 model year at the North American International Auto Show.
For the 2010 model year in the U.S., its primary market, the Eclipse was available in five trim levels: GS, GS Sport Spyder, SE, GT, and GT Spyder. In Mexico, the GT Spyder is known as the Eclipse Convertible. In Canada, the GT trim is known as the GT-P.
- Eclipse GS: Base model equipped with a 162 hp (121 kW), 2.4 L 16-valveSOHC Mitsubishi 4G69 engine.
- Eclipse GS Sport Spyder: Convertible model equipped with a 162 hp (121 kW), 2.4 L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G69 engine.
- Eclipse SE: Upgraded model equipped with a 162 hp (121 kW), 2.4 L 16-valve 4-cylinder MIVEC Engine, and additional features including 18-inch wheels, a front and rear spoiler, unique interior options and side skirt decals.
- Eclipse GT: Premium model equipped with a 263 hp (196 kW), 3.8 L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G75 engine, 2009–2012 models have 265 hp.
- Eclipse GT Spyder: Convertible premium model equipped with a 263 hp (196 kW), 3.8 L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G75 engine, 2009–2012 models have 265 hp (198 kW).
The models and standard / optional equipment:
- GS Standard- Choice of five-speed manual or a four-speed Sportronic automatic transmission, a 140-watt (max.) Mitsubishi CD/MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers, 17-inch alloy wheels, an anti-theft immobilizer, auto-off halogen headlamps, power windows/locks/mirrors, air conditioning, a split fold-down rear seat, two 12-volt accessory outlets, anti-lock brakes, a rear spoiler, and a six airbag safety system.
Options Include - Sun & Sound package with a power sunroof is paired with a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system. Boasting nine speakers including a 10 in (250 mm) trunk-mounted subwoofer, a 6-CD in-dash changer, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, the package also includes a central display with outside temperature and compass readings and an electrochromic rear-view mirror.
- GS Spyder - available for sale for the 2007 model year.
Options Include - GS Deluxe Leather Package: Leather front seating surfaces. Heated front seats. Heated side mirrors. Outside temperature indicator and compass in the center dash display.
- GT Standard- Choice of six-speed manual or a five-speed Sportronic automatic transmission, a 140-watt (max.) Mitsubishi CD/MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers, 17-inch alloy wheels, an anti-theft immobilizer, auto-off halogen headlamps, fog lamps, power windows/locks/mirrors, air-conditioning, a split fold-down rear seat, two 12-volt accessory outlets, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, a rear spoiler, dual-stage six airbag safety system, traction control, a front strut tower bar, and a center display with outside temperature and compass readings.
Options Include- Premium Sport Package with 18 in (460 mm) seven-spoke alloy wheels, leather front seating surfaces, a power sunroof, an eight-way-adjustable (six power) driver's seat, alloy pedals, heated front seats, heated door mirrors, automatic dimming rear-view mirror, air-conditioning, and a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with nine speakers that included a 10-in (254 mm) trunk-mounted subwoofer, a 6-CD/MP3-compatible in-dash changer, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
- GT Spyder - available for sale for the 2007 model year.
Options Include - GT Premium Sport Package: 18-inch alloy wheels. Leather front seating surfaces. 6-way power driver's seat. Heated front seats. Heated side mirrors. Aluminum pedals. Automatic climate control. Wind Deflector
- GS - Equipped with the SOHC I4 4G69 engine capable of 162 hp (121 kW; 164 PS) in factory trim. The displacement is 2378 cc, with a bore of 87 mm and a stroke of 100 mm. The engine runs 9.5:1 compression. Firing order is 1-3-2-4. It uses 315 cc top feed high impedance injectors with a returnless fuel rail. It has a 62 mm throttle body. The stock exhaust diameter is 2 1/8".
- GT - Equipped with the V6 3,828 cc (3.8 L; 233.6 cu in) with bore 95 mm (3.74 in) X stroke 90 mm (3.54 in) SOHC4 valves per cylinder 60° V-block 6G75 engine capable of making 263 bhp (267 PS; 196 kW) in factory trim and a compression ratio of 10.5:1. The firing order is 1-2-3-4-5-6. It uses 315 cc top feed high impedance injectors with a returnless fuel rail. It has a 65 mm throttle body. The stock exhaust diameter is 2 1/4". Since 2009, power is upgraded to 265 bhp (269 PS; 198 kW) at 5750 rpm and 262 lb⋅ft (355 N⋅m) at 4500 rpm of torque. The intake valves begin to open at 5° before top dead center, and close 55° after top dead center. The exhaust valves open 51° after top dead center, and close 17° after top dead center. The oil pump is a trochoid type. The cooling system is water cooled forced circulation with a centrifugal impeller type pump.
The Eclipse is equipped with dual bank catalytic converters on the manifolds of both the 4 and 6 cylinder engines with O2 sensors placed after each catalytic converter to monitor operation. Downstream of these is a third catalytic converter placed mid way in the exhaust to assist in preventing further emissions.
The Eclipse has an EGR system.
The Eclipse PCV system returns into the intake piping to prevent contaminants from escaping.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse was given a minor facelift for the 2009 model year, the front fascia changed the fog lights and deleted the triangle housing the "three diamond" logo used to sit on in the grille; the rear fascia changed the "Eclipse" insignia from an indent to raised silver letters. An option to add a dual exhaust and projector H.I.D. headlamps also became available. The V6 engine now rated at 265 hp (198 kW) and 262 lb⋅ft (355 N⋅m) of torque in part due to the more open front fascia as well as a new stock dual exhaust system. It was unveiled at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show.
For 2011, the Mitsubishi Eclipse featured a "blackout" roof, similar to the 1990 model. Mitsubishi also lowered the suspension of Eclipse about half an inch to create a lower center of gravity. A rear backup camera and Bluetooth hands free calling to the Sun and sound package were included. In the GS trim, the car gets the same 18-inch wheels and blackout front end as the GT model called the GS Sport.
Final model year
For the 2012 model year, the Eclipse received three slight changes: brake override logic, a clear lip spoiler on the GT trim, and one new exterior color. According to a review and rating by Motor Trend, the fourth-generation Eclipse was described as "dated" - but its "exterior design still stands out among sporty coupes currently available." The 2012 model year Eclipse was now six years old and "is still trying to pass itself off as a sporty two-door." This was the final model year, albeit a short run because production ended in August 2011.
The last Eclipse to roll off the assembly line was built on 16 August 2011, painted Kalapana Black, its color was chosen by members of Mitsubishi's Facebook community, who picked from a historical Eclipse color palette. This was the only Eclipse equipped with both the 3.8L/265 hp V-6 engine and the commemorative SE package, as well as special 18-inch Dark Argent alloy wheels and one of a kind graphics. It is also built with a sunroof, leather interior, 650W Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker audio system with Sirius XM, hands-free Bluetooth phone interface, rear-view camera, and HID headlights. The car was auctioned off by Mecum Auctions in St. Charles, Illinois on 17 September 2012, for $35,000. Proceeds went to the Japanese Red Cross to aid victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Grand total Eclipse production was 906,876 units.
- 05V247000 - Recalled 6 February 2005, vehicles were found equipped with faulty brake booster assemblies. The brake booster could separate due to improper crimp joints resulting in total brake failure
- 05V299000 - Recalled 27 June 2005, master cylinders were found to have improperly installed seals. Brake fluid may bypass the seal and result in longer pedal stroke, and reduced braking pressure
- 15V337000 - Recalled 6 February 2015, vehicles made between 23 December 2005 and 13 February 2009 were recalled for corrosion issues in the ABS unit. This can cause internal valves to seize, resulting in sudden brake failure or reduced stopping ability
- 08V454000 - Recalled 9 September 2008, certain 2005-2007 vehicles had improper fuel tank mounting brackets which could split. This could result in the fuel tank to come undone in a collision and potentially cause a fuel leak.
The Eclipse has been campaigned in various auto racing events.
Rally, endurance and road racing
The Eclipse, and its Chrysler-branded counterparts, have competed in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events.
In 1995, a GT2 class specification Eclipse GSX was entered into the annual 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race. It was placed on grid number 74, at the back in last place. It moved up to 24th place overall finish without any issues. It nearly set a new record as well, passing a total of 50 cars. In 1998, it entered the race again but was now in a lower specification class (GT3/GTS3) It finished in 24th place. In 1999, the Eclipse made its final appearance in the race, achieving 39th place, after posting 455 laps. The name of the team was Spirit of Daytona and their sponsor was Daytona Mitsubishi. Craig Conway, Eric Van Cleef, and Todd Flis were the drivers.
In 2004 and 2005, Greg Collier won the NASA Super Unlimited class national title in a Plymouth Laser RS Turbo. These wins were over purpose built Ferrari Challenge and Porsche Carrera Cup race cars.
In 2009 and 2010, an Eclipse Spyder GS-T driven by Matt Andrews and Andrew Brilliant won the Super Lap Battle Limited championship in Willow Springs, California.
In 2012, a heavily built and tuned Mitsubishi Eclipse piloted by Mark Rybníček won the Czech Hill Climb championship. Other drivers such as Karel Stehlik and David Komarek have used Eclipses in hill climb competition as well. Some of engines produce as much as 650 hp (485 kW; 659 PS). They also have short transmission gears to accelerate into triple-digit speeds.
Brent Rau has won three world drag racing championships using an Eclipse; IDRC, NDRA, and NHRA. Many other notable names have also claimed big wins piloting Eclipses for drag racing as well.
Jett Racing entered a 3rd generation Eclipse for drag racing competition. As of 2014, they hold the world record for the world's fastest four cylinder. It has 1,600 hp (1,193 kW; 1,622 PS) and is RWD. It is capable of over 2,000 bhp (1,491 kW; 2,028 PS). On 29 November 2018, they ran 6.2 seconds in the quarter-mile with 225 MPH for the top speed.
- ^1990–1994 model years Eclipse, Talon and Laser did not come with the 420a engine. The 420a was not available until the second generation..
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With eye-catching style and heart-thumping mechanics, the Mitsubishi Eclipse sport coupe — in production for more than 20 years — was an Eclipse you couldn’t help but stare at.
Its low, road-hugging stance stood out among other sporty coupes and promised to raise its owners’ street cred. In the face of countless competitors, the two-door, four-seat Mitsubishi sports car maintained continued success over four generations and, to this day, has a strong fanbase of car aficionados and motorsport enthusiasts.
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Despite being built at a Mitsubishi plant in an Illinois town called Normal, the Mitsubishi Eclipse was anything but — attracting plenty of attention for its futuristic appearance and wide, sporty silhouette.
The first generation Eclipse — designed in the U.S. at the Mitsubishi Motors North America Design Studio and introduced in 1990 — was available in four trim levels: Eclipse, Eclipse GS, Eclipse GS-T (Turbo) and Eclipse GSX. With the exception of the all-wheel drive GSX, each Mitsubishi Eclipse was front-wheel drive.
Both the Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Turbo and Eclipse GSX were equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4G63 engine that achieved up to 195 horsepower, and could go from zero-to-60 in less than seven seconds. With its spirited acceleration and precise handling, it was entirely befitting for the purpose-built Eclipse to be named after an 18th century English racehorse with a record number of wins.
Over the years, new models were added and Eclipse continued to anticipate desires and exceed expectations of form, function, beauty and technology — as a true driver’s car should. But as Mitsubishi’s global focus shifted towards meeting environmental targets around the world, the company announced the discontinuation of the Eclipse, to invest more time and effort into developing battery technology.
To mark the end of the Eclipse’s illustrious career, a final special edition was created for both the sport coupe and Eclipse Spyder models. The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Special Edition featured distinctive badging, leather interior with contrasting stitching, a sunroof for the coupe version, and a choice of two engines: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 162 hp, or 3.8-liter V6 cranking out up to 265 hp.
Today, while the Mitsubishi Eclipse sport coupe is no longer produced, drivers can still be the envy of the masses with Mitsubishi’s lineup of versatile crossovers, including the Eclipse Cross — a crossover SUV with sharp coupe looks that builds on a history of style, and fun-to-drive dynamics.See the Lineup
From Eclipse to
Spirit Lives On
Mitsubishi designs are rooted in Mitsubishi heritage. And since there was much to love about the Mitsubishi Eclipse sport coupe, it was only natural that it would inspire one of the best-loved vehicles in our current lineup: the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
Although the two vehicle platforms are distinct, both are driver-centric. Many features that made the Eclipse a success — from the ergonomically-designed cabin to the turbo engine — were fined tuned and live on in its namesake.
The GSX’s all-wheel-drive technology continues in the Eclipse Cross with a new version of Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC). And much like the Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T and GSX, the Eclipse Cross is equipped with a turbocharged engine that encourages weight savings. The feature has been adjusted to promote better mileage results.
While the coupes’ Sportronic� transmission is not akin to the Eclipse Cross’ CVT, it did inspire Mitsubishi to add paddle shifters2 to the Eclipse Cross’ steering column, giving the crossover a sportier feel. In addition to the available paddle shifters, the 8-step sport mode lets drivers shift manually for maximum control.
BUILD AN ECLIPSE CROSS
Mitsubishi Eclipse timeline
Introducing A New Conversation Starter
The Mitsubishi Eclipse compact sport coupe debuts in America with a turbocharged 4G63 engine and available all-wheel drive technology. It goes on to make Car and Driver’s '10 Best List' for four consecutive years (1989-1992).
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder: Sun, Stars, Stares
During Eclipse’s second-generation, Mitsubishi introduces the soft-top convertible Eclipse — delighting open air thrill-seekers. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is available in two trim levels: Spyder GS, powered by a 4G64 normally aspirated engine, and Spyder GS-T, featuring Mitsubishi’s turbocharged 4G63 engine.
Mitsubishi Eclipse GTS: Performance-Tuned
Mitsubishi introduces the Eclipse GTS trim. Built with a powerful 3.0-liter V6 engine with a variable induction system, this line-topping third-generation model raises the Eclipse’s power to the tune of 200 horses.
From Concept To Production
The Mitsubishi E-boost concept that gave life to the fourth generation Eclipse earns a prestigious 2005 Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) for its soft, athletic lines and unique departure from boxy automotive trends.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Production Ends
An Eclipse Special Edition — painted Kalapana Black, as chosen by Mitsubishi fans on Facebook — is the final model to roll off the assembly line in August of 2011. The Mitsubishi Eclipse SE is auctioned off, and proceeds are donated to the Japanese Red Cross to help victims of the 2011 Tõhoku earthquake and tsunami.
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Does Mitsubishi still make the Eclipse?
No. The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse was the final in a series produced since 1989. In 2018, however, the well-loved Eclipse moniker made a comeback in the form of a technology-based crossover: the Eclipse Cross. Equipped with a 1.5L turbo engine, the crossover SUV achieves an impressive 184 lb-foot torque off the line. The Eclipse Cross received a prestigious GOOD DESIGNTM3 award for Design Excellence and Design Innovation by The Chicago Athenaeum. It was also awarded ”Car of the year 2019” by the Automotive Researchers’ & Journalists’ Conference of Japan (RJC).
When and why did Mitsubishi discontinue the Eclipse?
Mitsubishi stopped production of the Eclipse in August of 2011 to focus on electric and smaller footprint vehicles. In 2012, Mitsubishi started selling the i-MiEV — the company’s first electric car — to US markets.
Does Mitsubishi plan to bring back the Eclipse?
Mitsubishi remains focused on crossover and electric/hybrid car segments, and there are no plans to bring back the Eclipse Sport Coupe.
Which Mitsubishi Eclipse model was equipped with AWD?
The Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX was the only all-wheel drive model available in North America. All other models were front-wheel drive. The GSX — also known as the Grand Sport X — was produced for the first two Eclipse generations, and discontinued in the year 2000.
Which Mitsubishi Eclipse model had a turbo engine?
In its first generation, the Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T and GSX were both equipped with a 4G63 turbo engine, achieving up to 195 hp. The second generation added a new turbo-equipped model, the Spyder GS-T convertible, and even more power with turbo engines now achieving up to 210 hp.
The tradition continues
Explore Mitsubishi's current lineup of performance-oriented crossovers and smaller footprint vehicles.Find your next Vehicle
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