Beginning, End and New Future of the Mitsubishi Eclipse
How the mighty have fallen! …well, not exactly.
Mitsubishi initially debuted the sport compact Eclipse in 1990 and over the next 22 years, it has been through four design generations and 24 different trims levels (plus special editions). Yet, all good things must come to an end and the Eclipse production ended in 2012. However, at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Mitsubishi Motors introduced the all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. But before we dive into this compact crossover SUV, let’s take a trip down memory lane to where it all began…
First Generation (1990-1994)
The first generation Eclipse was debuted with its Diamond Star siblings, the Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser, but ultimately the Eclipse proved to be the model with staying power and won the popular vote amongst its consumers. While, undergoing some minor styling changes during its production, this small two-door sports coupe was most notable for having those famous pop-up headlights. It was offered in five different trim levels – Eclipse, Eclipse GS, Eclipse GS DOHC, Eclipse GS DOHC AWD, GS Turbo, and GSX. Each of the previously mentioned trims varied significantly in drivetrains and available options which was included in the models appearance, especially the in the higher trim levels. The basic powertrain layout of the first generation Eclipse included:
- 1.8-liter 4G37 I4 — 92 horsepower
- 2.0-liter 4G63 I4 — 135 horsepower
- 2.0-liter 4G63T I4 turbo — 180 horsepower
- F5M22 manual w/o turbo (FWD)
- F5M33 manual turbo (FWD)
- 5-speed manual (AWD)
- 4-speed automatic (AWD)
- KM175-5/F4A22-1 manual/automatic w/o Turbo (FWD)
- F4A33-1 automatic Turbo (FWD)
Second Generation (1995-1999)
The second generation Eclipse was completely redesigned for the 1995 model year. Offering a larger interior, more round exterior style, convertible option and a new engine developed by Chrysler for their base trim model. The Eclipse was available in seven trim levels – Eclipse RS, GS, Spyder GS, GS-T, Spyder GS-T and GSX. Similar to the first generation, the second generation AWD models had similar transmission options, four-speed automatic and five-speed manual. Engine options included, 2.0-liter 420A I4 (140 hp), 2.4-liter 4G64 I4 (141 hp) and 2.0-liter 4G63T I4 (210 hp).
As previously mentioned, the second generation Eclipse’s exterior received an entire redesign, and consumers definitely weren’t complaining – who doesn’t like convertibles?!?! Not to mention – this model basically became to face of the 2001 movie The Fast and the Furious.
Third Generation 2000-2005
Throughout the 2000’s, it was almost guaranteed that the third generation Eclipse was to be seen all around town. Although, some consumers say that this may have been the beginning of the end for the Eclipse, it still had a huge loyal fan following for years following. The Eclipse was available in seven trim levels – Eclipse RS, Eclipse GS, GS Spyder, Eclipse GT, GT Spyder, Eclipse GTS, and GTS Spyder. The Eclipse RS, GS and GS Spyder shared the same 2.4-liter 16-valve 420A I4 which outputted 154 horsepower. The Eclipse GT, GT Spyder, GTS and GTS Spyder shared the 3.0-liter 24-valve SOHC 6G72 engine which outputted 210 horsepower.
Besides, the powertrain updates, the Eclipse third generation didn’t change a significant amount as far as the interior and exterior of the model.
Fourth Generation (2006-2012)
By the mid-2000’s, Mitsubishi enthusiasts began to focus their attention on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. However, the Eclipse wasn’t ready to go without a fight – the second generation redesign inspired engineers to give the Eclipse a fresh new look. The final generation of the Eclipse was available in five trim levels – Eclipse GS, GS Sport Spyder, Eclipse SE, Eclipse GT and GT Spyder. The first three trim levels shared the standard 2.4-liter 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G69 engine which delivered 162 horsepower, the remaining three trims shared the 3.8-liter 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G75 engine which delivered 263 horsepower. As a result of the update in drivetrain, this generation was considered the fastest factory-stock Eclipse at that time.
The Future Generation: All-new 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Somewhere between the Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander Sport, lies the newest member of the 2018 Mitsubishi lineup – the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Although, there is no relevance to the Eclipse sports coupe, one can appreciate Mitsubishi’s intentions on keeping the “Eclipse” name alive. Expected to arrive in the US in early 2018, the Eclipse Cross offers extraordinary stylish exterior and interior features unlike anything Mitsubishi has previously engineered. According to Mitsubishi Motors, every detail of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is designed to elevate the drivers senses. From the expansive power panoramic sunroof and rear heated seats, to the direct-injection turbo engine, the Eclipse Cross delivers a truly premium experience.
… So, stay on the lookout – this baby is due to arrive early this year.
Mitsubishi sure has come a long way since debuting the Eclipse almost 30 years ago and clearly, they have no intention of stopping any time soon. Come test drive any of our available 2018 Mitsubishi models today at University Mitsubishi located in Davie, FL or check out our available pre-owned Mitsubishi inventory, too.