New Mitsubishi president Rich Gilligan is confident that “Mitsubishi is here to stay.” Given huge losses, plummeting sales, and numerous high-level defections, that remains to be seen, but the new Eclipse is a step in the right direction for Mitsubishi, which hopes to recapture the younger buyers lost with the previous-generation car. Based heavily on last year’s Detroit concept, the fourth-generation Eclipse is longer, wider, taller, and more powerful. Where the concept was sleek and voluptuous, the styling of the production model seems a bit boring and blobby. Let’s hope it looks better on the road.
Interior features include a 10″ subwoofer powered by a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system. The subwoofer is cool, and undoubtedly thumpin’, but it eats trunk space. We love the terra-cotta leather cabin in the show car. The color insert on the dash looks and feels great, as do most other interior surfaces and switchgear.
The Eclipse GS will be equipped with a 2.4-liter, 165-hp four and either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. The GT will get one extra ratio per gearbox and a 3.8-liter, 260-hp V-6. The coupe is due in mid-2005 with the Spyder following in 2006.