The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE will mark the end of a nameplate that first hit the U.S, market some twenty-one years ago.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse began production in 1989, as a replacement for Mitsubishi’s angular Starion coupe. When launched as a 1990 model, there was an Eclipse coupe for nearly every taste and bank account, ranging from an inexpensive and fuel-efficient entry level model all the way up to a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive sports car that soon dominated SCCA road racing. Mitsubishi kept the sports car theme going through two generations of Eclipse models, but when the third-generation Eclipse was launched as a 2000 model, Mitsubishi took the car in more of a grand-touring direction. Despite the change, the Eclipse continued to sell well enough for a fourth generation to be designed, and that model was launched in 2006.
Today, Mitsubishi calls their Eclipse a “sophisticated yet distinctive-looking two-door with available V-6 power”, which buyers can find in either coupe or convertible body styles. Twenty-one years is a good production run for any automotive nameplate, and changing times have forced Mitsubishi to end production of the popular coupe. The Eclipse name will be retired at the end of the 2012 model year, but not before Mitsubishi sends the Eclipse off with a special edition.
Available in either Coupe or Spyder body styles, the 2012 Eclipse SE (for “Special Edition”) will feature unique SE rocker panel graphics, black side mirrors, dark finish eighteen-inch wheels and a 162-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a four speed automatic transmission. Inside, buyers get leather seating, heated front seats, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone integration, HID headlamps, fog lamps and a 9-speaker, 650-watt premium audio system. Coupe buyers also get a power sunroof as part of the SE package.
If more power is your thing, Mitsubishi will continue to offer the 2012 Eclipse in GT trim, complete with a 265-horsepower V-6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Eclipse GT remains available in both Coupe and Spyder body styles, and Mitsubishi will publish pricing for all 2012 Eclipse models closer to launch.