The Mitsubishi Eclipse was produced from 1990 to 2012 and is available as a hatchback or a convertible. Early on, the Eclipse yielded a pair of similar models for the Chrysler Corporation: the Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser. This front-wheel drive model was also available with all-wheel drive for its first two generations.
2006 to 2012: Mitsubishi Eclipse
Beginning in 2006, the fourth and final generation Mitsubishi Eclipse was released. A base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine returned with bigger bores and was now rated at 162 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic was available with the base engine.
The second engine choice was a 3.8-liter V6 making 263 horsepower. This engine is paired with a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission.
Throughout its multi-generation run, the Mitsubishi Eclipse has maintained a familiar silhouette with a long sloping hood up front and a short deck or hatch to the rear. For 2006, Mitsubishi changed this model’s front fascia to align with the brand’s design language at that time. All models feature a narrow upper grille that’s punctuated by Mitsubishi’s diamond-star logo. A larger lower grille, oversized headlamps and circular recesses housing the available fog lamps complete the front end.
From the sides, the Eclipse has a sloping roofline, a high and rising beltline, body sculpting and available alloy wheels. From the rear, the Eclipse has a bulbous haunch with a spoiler, wraparound combination lamps, reflector lights and one or two exhaust tips.
The Eclipse has bolstered bucket seats up front and a dashboard that features a wavy design, with a circular theme evident in the shape of the vents, dials and gauge cluster. The transmission shifter, cup holders and a storage compartment split the front seats.
Tech features beyond an auxiliary input jack were not found in the Eclipse, particularly in later models where USB ports had become commonplace. Such technologies, including a navigation system, were available through aftermarket suppliers.
Throughout its model run, the Mitsubishi Eclipse faced off against a series of competitors, including the Ford Probe, Volkswagen Corrado, Honda Prelude and Mazda MX-6. Base models of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro might also be compared.
Earlier Mitsubishi Eclipse Models
The first-generation Eclipse was produced from 1990 to 1994; the second-generation model was made from 1995 to 1999. In 2000, the third-generation Eclipse was launched and stayed in production through 2005.
Upon its debut, the first-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse offered three engine choices. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder was the base engine. Also available was a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a turbocharged version of the larger engine. All three engines were paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The top-of-the-line GSX model was all-wheel drive, while all other models were front-wheel drive. The three-engine lineup remained in place throughout the initial model run.
The second-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse was launched in 1995, but without the base 1.8-liter engine. The two larger engines returned and were once again paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. As before, all-wheel drive was available. Beginning in 1996, a convertible model was also released.
In 2000, the third-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse was released. That model made a clean sweep of the powertrain offerings from the first two generations, but retained the previous hatchback and convertible body styles. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 154 horsepower was standard. Also available was a 3.0-liter V6 engine making 205 horsepower. Both models are matched with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.