Why Did They Discontinue the Mitsubishi Eclipse?

June 14th, 2024 by

The end of one of Mitsubishi’s most popular vehicles

Despite being built at a Mitsubishi plant in the Illinois town of Normal, the Mitsubishi Eclipse stood out for its futuristic appearance and wide, sporty silhouette. The flashy and unique look of the Eclipse even earned it a spot as Paul Walker’s car in the popular Fast and Furious movie. It wasn’t just another car; it was a statement, a vehicle that drew attention and admiration from car enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike, and it still does. The Eclipse’s bold design choices, from its sleek lines to its aggressive stance, made it a standout on the roads and a favorite among those who appreciated automotive aesthetics and performance.

But why did they discontinue the Mitsubishi Eclipse?

Mitsubishi Eclipse Overview

mitsubishi eclipse

The first-generation Eclipse, designed in the U.S. at the Mitsubishi Motors North America Design Studio and introduced in 1990, marked a significant departure from typical car designs of the era. Available in four trim levels—Eclipse, Eclipse GS, Eclipse GS-T (Turbo), and Eclipse GSX—the vehicle offered a range of options to suit different driving preferences and budgets. Except for the all-wheel-drive GSX, each Mitsubishi Eclipse was front-wheel drive, catering to a variety of driving needs and conditions.

Under the Hood

Under the hood, both the Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Turbo and Eclipse GSX were equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4G63 engine. This engine was capable of producing up to 195 horsepower, delivering a thrilling driving experience with its robust performance. The Eclipse could accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds, a testament to its engineering and design prowess. This spirited acceleration and precise handling made the Eclipse more than just a car; it was a dynamic driving machine that lived up to its name. The vehicle was aptly named after an 18th-century English racehorse known for its record number of wins, symbolizing speed, power, and agility.

Over the years, Mitsubishi continued to innovate and expand the Eclipse lineup. New models were introduced, each bringing enhancements and improvements in response to driver feedback and advancements in automotive technology. The Eclipse consistently exceeded expectations in terms of form, function, beauty, and technology, embodying the essence of a true driver’s car. Its design evolution showcased Mitsubishi’s commitment to creating vehicles that not only performed well but also looked stunning.

However, as global environmental concerns grew and the automotive industry began shifting towards sustainability, Mitsubishi adjusted its focus. The company’s global strategy pivoted to meet new environmental targets, leading to the decision to discontinue the Eclipse. This move allowed Mitsubishi to redirect resources towards developing cutting-edge battery technology and other eco-friendly innovations. The decision to cease production of the Eclipse was bittersweet for many, as it marked the end of an era for a beloved model that had captured the hearts of drivers worldwide.

The Last Year of the Mitsubishi Eclipse

To commemorate the end of the Eclipse’s illustrious career, Mitsubishi created a final special edition for both the sport coupe and the Eclipse Spyder models. The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Special Edition featured distinctive badging, adding a unique touch that set it apart from previous versions. The interior was upgraded with leather seating and contrasting stitching, enhancing both comfort and aesthetics. For the coupe version, a sunroof was included, offering drivers a more open and enjoyable driving experience. This special edition also provided a choice of two powerful engines: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 162 horsepower or a 3.8-liter V6 engine capable of delivering up to 265 horsepower. These options ensured that the final Eclipse models remained true to the performance legacy of their predecessors.

Rebirthing the Eclipse: The Eclipse Cross

mitsubishi eclipse cross

Although the production of the Mitsubishi Eclipse sport coupe has ended, the spirit of the Eclipse lives on in Mitsubishi’s current lineup of versatile crossovers. Among these, the Eclipse Cross stands out as a crossover SUV that combines sharp coupe-like looks with the functionality and versatility of an SUV. The Eclipse Cross builds on the Eclipse’s history of style and fun-to-drive dynamics, offering a modern take on what made the original Eclipse so special.

Mitsubishi designs are deeply rooted in the company’s heritage, reflecting a long history of innovation and excellence. The Mitsubishi Eclipse sport coupe, with its blend of performance, style, and advanced technology, naturally inspired the design of one of the most popular vehicles in the current lineup: the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Although the platforms of the two vehicles are distinct, they share a common driver-centric philosophy. Many features that contributed to the Eclipse’s success, such as the ergonomically-designed cabin and the turbocharged engine, have been fine-tuned and incorporated into the Eclipse Cross.

The Eclipse GSX advanced all-wheel-drive technology continues to thrive in the Eclipse Cross through a new version of Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC). This system enhances the vehicle’s stability and handling, ensuring a confident driving experience in various road conditions. Much like the Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T and GSX, the Eclipse Cross is equipped with a turbocharged engine designed to optimize weight savings and fuel efficiency without compromising on performance.

While the original Eclipse coupes featured the Sportronic® transmission, the Eclipse Cross utilizes a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). However, the influence of the Eclipse’s sporty transmission is evident in the Eclipse Cross, which includes paddle shifters mounted on the steering column. These paddle shifters give the crossover a sportier feel, allowing drivers to manually shift gears and enjoy a more engaging driving experience. Additionally, the 8-step sport mode available in the Eclipse Cross lets drivers shift manually for maximum control, further enhancing the driving dynamics and providing a direct connection between the driver and the vehicle.

Where to Buy a Mitsubishi

When it comes to buying a Mitsubishi, there is no better place to do so than Jeff D’Ambrosio Mitsubishi of Downingtown! Located right next to Jeff D’Ambrosio Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram, you cannot go wrong with purchasing a vehicle from here.

Check out the new and the used inventory!

Wrap Up

In essence, the Mitsubishi Eclipse may no longer be produced as a sport coupe, but its legacy endures through the Eclipse Cross. This crossover SUV embodies the same principles of performance, style, and innovation that made the original Eclipse a beloved icon. Mitsubishi’s commitment to creating driver-centric vehicles is evident in the Eclipse Cross, ensuring that the spirit of the Eclipse continues to inspire and delight drivers around the world.

As Mitsubishi continues to evolve and adapt to changing market demands and environmental considerations, the lessons learned from the Eclipse’s development and success remain integral to the brand’s identity. The Eclipse Cross represents the future of Mitsubishi, blending the heritage of the past with the technology and design of the present. For drivers who admired the original Eclipse, the Eclipse Cross offers a new way to experience the excitement and satisfaction that comes with driving a Mitsubishi.

In conclusion, the Mitsubishi Eclipse’s journey from a sporty coupe to a crossover SUV exemplifies the brand’s ability to innovate and adapt while staying true to its core values. The Eclipse’s legacy is one of style, performance, and a passion for driving, qualities that continue to define Mitsubishi’s approach to vehicle design and engineering. While the Eclipse coupe may no longer grace the roads, its influence is unmistakable in the sleek lines and dynamic performance of the Eclipse Cross, ensuring that the Eclipse name remains synonymous with automotive excellence.