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Archive for May, 2012

Production of the Eclipse came to a halt August 2011, ending four generations of the Eclipse. The first two generations were closely related to the Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser and the third generation came out with an entirely new platform and new parts. The fourth and final generation came out in May 2005 and continued to be produced until now.

The first generation of the Eclipse was from 1990-1994, and was so as a mid-level four-cylinder sports coupe. There were four trim levels including an all-wheel drive option, all trim levels included a turbocharged engine. From 1992-1994 minor changes were added such as updated sheetmetal and pop-up headlights, making them distinctively different from previous models. This generation of the Eclipse made Car and Drivers Top 10 Best list from 1989-1992

The second generation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse, which ran from 1995 to 1999, had major updates in the styling and engine. In 1996 a convertible model was introduced and it was called the Spyder. The Spyder was available in two trims: the GS and the GST. The turbocharged engine option continued to be available with the Mitsubishi 4G63 engine but was modified to add more power. In 1997 the front grille was given an updated, more aggressive, profile and the headlights were again changed to be sharper. The chrome accented interior was changed to all black interior with chrome reflector inserts. Also from 1997-1999 the interior color choices were changed and black leather became an interior option in 1999. At the end of 1999 a special version of the Eclipse was released called the “10th Anniversary OZ Rally”, which had unique 16-inch wheels and OZ Racing logo. The special edition package was only offered with the 420A engine.

The third generation of the Eclipse ran from 2000-2005. The first Eclipse of this generation was very designed very similarly to the Mitsubishi SST concept car which Mitsubishi debuted in 1998. That was the first concept vehicle Mitsubishi had every shown. The newly updated Eclipse included new powertrain options: a 147 hp 2.4L 16-valve SOHC 4-cylinder 4G64 engine or a 205 hp 24v SOHC 3.0L V6. In 2001 the power was brought down to 200 hp due to changed emission standards. In mid-2002, the GTS trim was introduced for the 2003 model year and was given 10 additional hp and improved power curve. 2003 was also the year Mitsubishi introduced the GTS model and additional minor changes such as a new front bumper, fog lights, and recolored taillights were added. In 2001 the Mitsubishi Eclipse EV concept car was released and featured a lightweight electric motor and lithium-ion batteries.

The final generation of the Eclipse ran from 2006-2012, although production technically ended in August of 2011. The new styling mimicked the second generation models but with the front fascia from later generations. The drivetrains included a 263 hp 3.8L MIVEC V6 and 2009 and newer models have 265 hp. The fourth-generation Spyder convertible was released in 2007 at the North American International Auto Show. In 2009 the front fascia was changed and the rear Eclipse insignia was changed from indented to raised letters. There was also an optional dual exhaust and H.I.D headlights. The engine was updated to 265 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. In 2011 the Eclipse featured a “blackout” roof and lowered suspension. A backup camera and Bluetooth hands-free calling was also made available.

Finally in 2012 the last Eclipse was produced. There were three small changes from the 2011 model which included: brake override logic, a clear lip spoiler, and an additional exterior color was made available. The very last Eclipse manufactured was auctioned off for a final price of $35,000 and the proceeds were donated to the Japanese Red Cross to aid tsunami victims.

Check out your Mitsubishi Arizona dealer for more information on used Mitsubishi selections.

 

It is no secret that Americans are becoming more and more concerned with fuel economy and emissions, especially when it comes to urban driving. This is making electric vehicles more popular and more logical car choices, with that we introduce the Mitsubishi MiEV, or just i for short. It has been across shores for almost 18 months now but just now made its way over here to the U.S.

The i is completely battery operated and offers three different charging options: two with outlets located on the right of the vehicle and one on the left. The first right-side option is a 120-volt outlet created to be charged at home, taking about 22 hours to fully charge. The second right-side option is a 240-volt ESVE outlet, which can be fully charged in a mere seven hours. The final option is the left-side DC quick charging receptacle; this restores approximately 80 percent battery capacity in 30 minutes. At present charging stations are few and far between, so it was vital Mitsubishi made charging easy and quick. According to the EPA, the i has a comparable miles per gallon rating of 126 in the city and 99 on the open road.

The 2012 i was intentionally made wider for the U.S version due to the wants and likes of Americans, which sequentially gives the i exceptional space efficiency. There is room to fit four North American sized adults, an impressive 55.5 cubic feet with the seats folded down. Inside the car actually looks rather conventional, a normal dash, speedometer, the battery charge is even designed to look like a standard fuel gauge. With no complex button and meters the i can easily be maneuvered by the general public.

Another issue that is consistently seen with electric cars is their lack of luster to car enthusiasts; they usually just aren’t anything special to drive. The Mitsubishi i however changes this stereotype. Its rear-wheel drive and low center of gravity provide great stability, which allows the steering to be responsive and easy to handle.  The electric synchronous permanent magnet motor provides a maximum torque of 145 lb-ft that provides an obvious punch once you hit the throttle. There are three operating modes: regular, Eco, and Brake. The Eco and Brake mode are designed to conserve energy and enable a longer mileage range of about 68 miles per single charge. It’s comfortable and easy to forget its electric when driving at highway speeds or in the city. The maximum velocity is estimated to be about 81 mph.

The best part of the Mitsubishi i is that it offers keyless entry, adjustable driver and passenger seats, and 100-watt audio system all at very affordable price. The SE trim offers 8-speaker 360 watt stereo, 15-inch alloy wheels, two-tone interior accents, leather wrapped steering wheel, and higher quality seats for a bit higher but still reasonable price tag. The Premium package includes a navigation system, wheel mounted audio controls, and a FUSE hands free link communication system, which is still the lowest priced all electric vehicle on the market.

Overall the Mitsubishi i is definitely worth taking a look at and is a must see for any electric vehicle buyers. Come by your local Mitsubishi Phoenix or Mitsubishi Arizona dealer to check out the new i, or any of our used Mitsubishis selection!