Mitsubishi Eclipse

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Mitsubishi Eclipse
Manufacturer:Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Class:Sports car
Body Styles:2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Predecessor:Mitsubishi Starion
Also known as:Plymouth Laser (1990–1994)
Eagle Talon (1990–1998)
Shares components with:1st Generation:
Plymouth Laser
Eagle Talon
Mitsubishi Galant

2nd Generation:
Eagle Talon
Chrysler Sebring
Dodge Avenger
Mitsubishi GTO
Dodge Stealth

3rd Generation:
Chrysler Sebring
Dodge Stratus SE/RT
Similar models:Acura Integra
Acura RSX
Ford Probe
Hyundai Tiburon
Mazda MX-6
Toyota Celica
This article is part of the automobile series.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a two door, four seat sports coupe/convertible that has been in production since 1988 and sold as 1990–2004 models. The Eclipse is produced solely for the United States market, where it has also been built as the Eagle Talon and the Plymouth Laser through Mitsubishi Motors Corporation's close relationship with Chrysler (now DaimlerChrysler). Eclipses are popular among racers, ricers, and other automotive enthusiasts in part because of the car's low price and wealth of aftermarket parts.



Mitsubishi's experience with sports cars starts in the early 1980s with the development and sale of the Mitsubishi Starion. Up until this point, Mistubishi Motors had sold smaller keicars for the Japanese and American markets—although many were rebadged as American makes (such as the Dodge Colt). The Starion, similarly sold as the Chrysler Conquest, offered performance and features on-par with sports cars offered by Japanese makers with more experience in performance motoring. The Starion's main competitors were among the largest of the Japanese sports cars: the MkII Toyota Supra and the Nissan 300ZX.

During the Starion production run (1983-1989) Mitsubishi had no other true sports offerings for the US market. At the same time (specifically, in 1986), Chrysler was discontinuing their Laser sports coupe—a badge-engineered Dodge Daytona.

Mitsubishi Motors and Chrysler founded a new production division, Diamond Star Motors (DSM) in October of 1985. The DSM plant was situated in Normal, Illinois and eventually produced cars bound primarily for the US market. The first cars to roll off the lines at this facility were the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon, and Plymouth Laser.


The Eclipse has undergone three distinct generations: the first two (1G and 2G) are closely related and share many parts, whereas the third (3G) is based on a new platform and most parts are incompatible with 1G and 2G Eclipses. The fourth generation (4G) Eclipse is still in development and is not yet available.

1990–1994 (1G) Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon, and Plymouth Laser


The first generation Mitsubishi Eclipse was sold as an entry- to mid-level four-cylinder sports coupe. Four trim levels were available: the bottom three were FWD and the very top was AWD. The top FWD and the AWD model were equipped with turbocharged engines.

Although the car underwent minor changes throughout its production, 1993-and-later models have updated sheetmetal and are easily distunguishable from previous vehicles. The Eclipse was revised into a new vehicle for 1995 (described below in the 2G section).

Trim levels

The Eclipse was available in four trim levels during its first-generation production run. AWD models were not available until halfway through the first model year.

* 1990 manual transmission turbo models were rated at 190hp, whereas 1991 and later manual transmission turbo models were rated for 195hp. Turbo models with automatic transmissions were equipped with smaller turbochargers and fuel injectors, and were rated for 180hp for all years.

These models varied significantly in drivetrains, available options, and—to an extent—appeareance. The Eclipse GSX, for example, was sold with different plastic body cladding than the base Eclipse.

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The basic driveline layout of the Eclipse is a transverse-mounted 4-cylinder Mitsubishi 4G37 or 4G63 engine situated on the left-hand side of the car driving an automatic or manual transmission on the right-hand side. AWD models have a different transmission which includes a limited-slip center differential and output shaft for a transfer case, which drives the rear differential (also availble as limited-slip) and halfshafts.

The 4G37 and 4G63 engines are both inline 4-cylinder gasoline engines. The 4G63 is composed of an iron engine block and aluminum cylinder head and is equipped with balance shafts for smooth operation. The turbocharged version of the 4G63 (sometimes referred to as the 4G63T) is equipped with a lower compression ratio (8.0 vs. 9.0 in the naturally aspirated version) and oil squirters under the pistons in order to better cope with the stress and extra heat caused by forced induction.


The Eclipse Turbo was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1989 through 1992.

1995–1999 (2G) Mitsubish Eclipse, (1995–1998) Eagle Talon


The second generation car maintained the market focus of the 1G car, but had a major update in styling and had different engines between trim levels. New to the line was a convertible model, the Spyder.

The turbocharged motor was a more powerful version of the previous one (210hp vs 195hp). The non-turbo motor was a version of the Chrysler Neon engine, manufactured by Chrysler and delivered to and installed at the Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, Inc (formerly Diamond Star Motors) facility in Normal, Il.

The Talon was dropped in 1998.

Trim levels

The Eclipse was available in seven trim levels: Base, RS, GS, GS Spyder, GS-T, GS-T Spyder, and GSX.

  • Eclipse RS: Equipment upgraded FWD model equipped with a 140hp 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC Chrysler 420A engine
  • Eclipse GS: Equipment upgraded FWD model equipped with a 140hp 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC Chrysler 420A engine
  • Eclipse GS Spyder: Convertible FWD model equipped with a 141hp 2.4l 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G64 engine

The models had different trim acoutrements:

  • Base - No tachometer, standard antenna, no driving lights, 14" steel wheels with covers
  • RS - Tachometer, 14" alloy wheels
  • GS / GS Spyder - Power antenna, driving lights, cruise control, body coloured door handles, 16" alloy wheels, lower body cladding, spoiler, rear windshield washer (except Spyder)
  • GS-T / GS-T Spyder - 16" 'swirly' wheels, larger spoiler
  • GSX - 17" wheels, larger spoiler

There was a freshening of the style for the 97 model year. The front grille opening was made less 'classic' and more 'aggressive' with regards to the radiator opening. The slightly reshaped headlights acquired black areas internally. The driving lights became smaller and round. The rear bumper cap was altered and had the reverse lights moved away from their original central position, presumably to reduce the 'ponderous-ness' or the rear view of the car.

The Talon was available in four trim levels, Base, ESi, TSi and TSi AWD.

  • Talon Base: Equivalent to Eclipse Base
  • Talon ESi: Equivalent to Eclipse RS & GS
  • Talon TSi: Equivalent to Eclipse GS-T
  • Talon TSi AWD: Equivalent to Eclipse GSX

There were similar alterations to the styling of the Talon as there was for the Eclipse.

There was a unique version of the 2G Eclipse sold in some European countries. It used a normally-aspirated Mitsubishi 4G63 motor, similar to what was available in the 1G.


The basic driveline layout of the Eclipse is a transverse-mounted 4-cylinder Chrysler 420A, Mitsubishi 4G64 or 4G63 engine. The Mitsubishi motors are mounted in the same orientation as for the 1G cars. The 420A-powered cars had the engine mounted on the right side of the car, and further back in the chassis. AWD models had a similar transmission to the 1G car.

All motors are inline 4-cylinder gasoline engines. All have iron blocks with aluminum cylinder heads. The 4G63/4G64 motors retain the balance shafts for smoother operation, while the 420A does not use them. The turbo motors had an increase in compression ratio to 8.5:1 (from 7.8:1).


The AWD turbo versions came with a brake upgrade to dual piston calipers and thicker rotors. ABS was not available on the non-turbo models.

2000–2005 (3G) Mitsubishi Eclipse

3rd generation: The Eclipse underwent a change into its current generation in 1999. The 4G63 was replaced by the less powerful and less durable 4G64 in some versions and a V6 6G72 in others. The AWD transmission available in prior versions was discontinued, ostensibly due to high cost and poor sales. This time, the Chrysler version is the Chrysler Sebring coupe, and the Dodge version is the Dodge Stratus SE/RT coupe.

2006–? (4G) Mitsubishi Eclipse

4th generation: Details of the fourth generation Eclipse were revealed during late 2003 and 2004, and the car was shown at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show. Features of the new model include a 260 hp (193.9 kW) 3.8 L V6 and a 165 hp (123 kW) 2.4 L I4, both derived from the 2004+ Mitsubishi PS platform family, with which the Eclipse shares many mechanical components. Like the 2004 Galant, the new Eclipse will be FWD only. The V6 will produce 260 hp and 260 ft.lbf.


Mitsubishi Eclipses were featured prominently in the films The Fast and the Furious (1999 Eclipse coupe), its sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003 Eclipse Spyder), and The Last Ride (2005 coupe).

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