The History Of Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a four-seat sports coupe that has been in production since 1989 for left hand drive markets. It was named after an eighteenth century English racehorse which won 26 races, and has also been sold as the Eagle Talon and the Plymouth Laser captive imports through Mitsubishi Motors' close relationship with the Chrysler Corporation. Their partnership was known as Diamond-Star Motors, or DSM.
As of 2009, the Eclipse is officially available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, China, South Korea, the Philippines, and Brazil.
The Eclipse has undergone four distinct generations: the first two generations (1G and 2G) are closely related and share many parts, whereas the third generation (3G) is based on a new platform and most parts are incompatible with 1G and 2G Eclipses. The fourth generation (4G) Eclipse was made available in May 2005.
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 front wheel drive and the very top was all wheel drive. The top FWD and the AWD model were equipped with turbocharged engines.
The car underwent minor changes throughout its production; 1992–1994 models (1Gb) have updated sheetmetal and are easily distinguishable from previous vehicles (1Ga). The most notable of these changes is that the 1Ga models have pop-up headlights. The Eclipse was revised into a new vehicle for 1995 (described below in the 2G section).
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.
- Eclipse: Base FWD model equipped with a 92hp naturally-aspirated engine 1.8L 8-valve SOHC 4G37 engine
- Eclipse GS: Upgraded FWD model with slightly more equipment
- Eclipse GS DOHC: Upgraded FWD model equipped with a 136hp (101kW) naturally-aspirated 2.0L 16-valve DOHC 4G63A non-turbocharged variant of the 4G63T engine**
- Eclipse GS-T: Top FWD model equipped with a 125-145hp* turbocharged 2.0L 16-valve DOHC 4G63T engine
- Eclipse GSX: AWD model equipped with a 125-145hp* turbocharged 2.0L 16-valve DOHC 4G63T engine
* 1990 manual transmission turbocharged models were rated at 190hp, whereas 1991 and later manual transmission turbo models were rated for 195hp (145kW). The automatic models were rated at 180hp (130kW) due to smaller fuel-injectors and turbocharger.
** 19901994 DSMs did not come with the 420A engine, which was not added until the second generation.
These models varied significantly in drive trains, available options, and—to an extent—appearance. The Eclipse GSX, for example, was sold with different plastic body cladding than the base Eclipse.
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 available as limited-slip) and half-shafts.
The 4G37 and 4G63 engines are both I4 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 (7.8 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.
There is also a difference between rear axle/ rear ends on all wheel drive models. 1990-early 1992 cars have 3 bolts attaching the axle to the wheel hub. Late 1992–1999 have larger diameter axles and attach to the hub with bigger, 4 bolt axle cups.
The Eclipse Turbo was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1989 through 1992.
1995–1999 (2G) Mitsubishi Eclipse
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, introduced in 1996. The convertible was available in two trims: The GS and the GS-T. The first is powered by the non-turbo 4G64 engine, and the latter by the turbo 4G63 found in the GS-T (turbo) and GSX (all-wheel-drive) hardtop models. There was no convertible model powered by the Chrysler 420a.
The turbocharged motor was a more powerful version of the previous one (210hp vs 195hp). The non-turbo motor found only in the hardtop RS and GS trims was a version of the Chrysler Neon engine, manufactured by Chrysler and delivered to and installed at the Diamond Star Motors facility.
The Talon was discontinued in 1998 because lack of sales in previous years.
The Eclipse was available in seven trim levels: Base[Only available in 1996.5 (mid-model year)], RS, GS, GS Spyder, GS-T, GS-T Spyder, and GSX.
Second generations (1995–99) cars:
- Eclipse: Base FWD model equipped with a 140hp 2.0L 16-valve DOHC Chrysler 420A engine
- Eclipse RS: Equipment Upgraded FWD model equipped with a 140hp 2.0L 16-valve DOHC Chrysler 420A engine
- Eclipse GS: Equipment upgraded FWD model equipped with a 140hp (100kW) 2.0L 16-valve DOHC Chrysler 420A engine
- Eclipse GS Spyder: Convertible FWD model equipped with a 141hp (105kW) 2.4L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G64 engine
- Eclipse GS-T: Hardtop FWD model equipped with a 210hp (160kW) turbocharged 2.0L 16-valve DOHC Mitsubishi 4G63 engine
- Eclipse GS-T Spyder: Convertible FWD model equipped with a 210hp (160kW) turbocharged 2.0L 16-valve DOHC Mitsubishi 4G63 engine
- Eclipse GSX: AWD model equipped with a 210hp (160kW) turbocharged 2.0L 16-valve DOHC Mitsubishi 4G63 engine
The models had different trim accoutrements:
- Base - No tachometer, standard antenna, No rear defroster, no driving lights, 14" steel wheels with covers or center caps
- RS - Tachometer, 14" alloy wheels, optional spoiler
- GS - Power antenna, driving lights, cruise control, body coloured door handles, 16" alloy wheels, lower body cladding, spoiler, rear windshield washer
- GS Spyder - Power antenna, driving lights, cruise control, body coloured door handles, 16" alloy 5 spoke wheels, lower body cladding, spoiler, double tipped stainless steel exhaust
- GS-T - 16" Alloy 5 spoke wheels, Grey painted panel around lower body paneling (1995–96), larger spoiler (ONLY on 1997–99), double tipped stainless steel exhaust
- GS-T Spyder - 16" Alloy 5 spoke wheels, double tipped stainless steel exhaust
- GSX - 17" wheels after 1997, 1995–96 cars had 16" alloys, Grey painted panel around lower body paneling (1995–96), double tipped stainless steel exhaust, larger spoiler (ONLY on 1997–99),
There was a freshening of the style for the 1997 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' of the rear view of the car.
The Talon was available in four trim levels, Base, ESi, TSi and TSi AWD. The Eagle Talon saw its production end in 1998 when Eagle went out of business.
- 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, unique sideview mirrors, and unique amber rear turn signals.
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. The 2G GSX also had a stronger carrier/ differential when equipped with the limited slip option.
All motors are 4-cylinder gasoline engines. All have iron blocks with aluminum cylinder heads. The 4G63/ 4G64 engines retain the balance shafts for smoother operation, while the 420A does not use them. The 1995-1999 turbo engines were given an increased compression ratio of 8.5:1, up from 7.8:1, and a smaller turbo, a Garrett T25 in place of the previous Mitsubishi TD04-13G (automatic cars) and TD05-14B (manual cars). This was done to minimize turbo lag, which was an undesirable trait for mass-market appeal in the US.
The 4G63-7Bolt (1992.5-1999) A select few of the 7-bolt engines built from 1995-1999 have had issues called "crankwalk", which refers to excess axial movement of the crankshaft. Most people suffering from Crankwalk had modified their engines for more power, therefore voiding warranties from Mitsubishi Motors. Although it is a known fact that the 7-bolt configuration is more likely to crankwalk vs. a 6-bolt configuration under more power than they were originally designed for, it does not mean that a rebuilt 7-bolt block is guaranteed to crankwalk. Albeit enthusiasts still recommend a 6-bolt block when rebuilding the 4G63. Note that it is possible for any engine to crankwalk, but because of the increased volume of enthusiasts rebuilding their 1G and 2G Eclipses, the community of DSM owners have noted that rebuilt 7-bolt blocks are more likely to Crankwalk over rebuilt 6-bolt blocks.
The 4G63 engines found in 1990-1994 models have a 60 mm throttle body compared to the 1995-1999 MY's 52 mm. The intake ports on the head and runners of the intake manifold are also larger. They also have larger crankshaft bearing journals to allow better lubrication.
The first-generation 4G63 head with its larger intake ports appears to offer better performance potential than the second-generation head due to its increased flow capacity in stock form. However, the second-generation head can be ported to increase the size of its intake ports similar to that of the first-generation head. Furthermore, the smaller ports provide greater velocity which aids in cylinder filling, and thus, as is the case with any head porting, port size is a compromise between air flow and air velocity.
2000–2005 (3G) Mitsubishi Eclipse
Third generation (3G): The Eclipse underwent a change into its third generation in 1999, closely aping the Mitsubishi SST design study which debuted at the 1998 North American International Auto Show. It was the first concept vehicle exhibited by Mitsubishi at an auto show in the United States.
The 4G63 was replaced by two powertrain options, a 150hp 2.4L 16 valve SOHC 4-cylinder 4G64 and a 205hp 24v SOHC 3.0L V6 (6G72). AWD was no longer an option. The suspension setup was adjusted to provide a softer and more compliant ride quality.
No longer considered to be a DSM, it shared its platform and powertrain with the 8th generation Galant. Weight was also up slightly from the previous year's model. In late 2001 power was lowered to 200hp (150kW) as a result of tightened emission standards forcing MMNA to adopt the California standards for all variants of the car.
In mid-2002, the GTS trim was introduced for the 2003 model year. This vehicle included an engine with a 10:1 compression ratio and an improved Mitsubishi Variable Induction Management (MVIM) air intake system that gave the car an extra 10hp (7.5kW) and a slightly improved power curve. The 2003-2005 GTS and GT/ GTS Spyder shared the new engine while GT models retained the 200hp (150kW) powertrain. From 2003-2005, the Eclipse Spyder V6 was sold in a left-hand drive version in Japan.
The Eclipse was available in 7 trim levels: RS, GS, GS Spyder, GT, GT Spyder, GTS, and GTS Spyder. All models were FWD. The GTS trims were introduced in 2003, and the RS trim was dropped in 2005.
Third Generations (3G)(2000–2005):
- Eclipse RS & GS: Base model equipped with a 147hp 2.4L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G64 engine
- Eclipse GS Spyder: Convertible FWD model equipped with a 152hp 2.4L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G64 engine
- Eclipse GT: Hardtop FWD model equipped with a 200 hp (205hp federal spec 2000-2001 only) 3.0L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine
- Eclipse GT Spyder: convertible FWD model equipped with a 200 hp (205hp federal spec 2000-2001 only) 3.0L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine
- Eclipse GTS: Hardtop FWD model equipped with a 210hp 3.0L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine with Mitsubishi Variable Induction Management (MVIM)
- Eclipse GTS Spyder: convertible FWD model equipped with a 205 lbs of torque/ ft 210hp 3.0L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G72 engine with MVIM
ECU trims for V6 models
- Fed Spec: Fed Specs only affect 2000 and some 2001 models, Manufactured from August 1999 to late October 2000, these GTs came with 205hp (153kW) and 205ft·lbf (278N·m). The Fed Spec GT is most recognizable for having one catalytic converter (cat) and two O2 sensors, with one sensor before the cat and the other after.
- Cali Spec: Cali Specs in 2000 were primarily shipped to California because of the more stringent emission laws; although other areas of North America received them as well. The Eclipse GT line was switched over for cost reasons to the Cali Spec, so only one version of the GT would be manufactured. Cali Specs came with 5hp (3.7kW) less and 5ft·lbf (6.8N·m) less. Cali Spec emissions control are three catalytic converters and four O2 sensors. After each exhaust header is a sensor followed by a pre-cat then the main cat after y-pipe then two more O2 Sensors.
2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse EV
The Mitsubishi Eclipse EV is a prototype electric vehicle with a lightweight electric motor and lithium-ion batteries in the chassis of a third generation Eclipse. It is powered by manganese lithium-ion batteries made by Japan Storage Battery Co., Ltd. which have 65-percent reduced charging time over nickel-hydrogen batteries.
It participated in the 2001 Shikoku EV Rally, a 780 km circuit around the perimeter of Shikoku, Japan, where it drove in excess of 400 km on a single battery charge.
Issues with clearcoat and paint
Many owners of the 2000-2006 models have experienced issues with the clearcoat separating from the paint. This is especially prevalent on cars with black paint. To date Mitsubishi has not acknowledged this as a problem.
2006–Current (4G) Mitsubishi Eclipse
Features of the new model include a 265hp (193.9kW) 3.8L MIVEC V6 and a 163hp (123kW) 2.4L MIVEC I4, both derived from the Mitsubishi PS platform family, with which the Eclipse shares many mechanical components. Like the 2004 Galant, the new Eclipse is FWD only, although a concept model has been produced by Mitsubishi and Ralliart with a MillenWorks designed hybrid-electric AWD platform, the 4G63 engine from the Lancer Evolution, and more aggressive body styling with imitation carbon fibre accents. The V6 produces 263hp (196kW) and 260ft·lbf (350N·m) of torque.
The fourth-generation Spyder (convertible) Eclipse was released for the 2007 model year at the North American International Auto Show.
In the United States, its primary market, the Eclipse is available in four trim levels: GS, GS Spyder, GT, and GT Spyder. In Mexico, the GT Spyder is known as the Eclipse Convertible. In Canada, the GT trim is known as the GT-P.
4th gen (2006–present) cars:
- Eclipse GS: Base FWD model equipped with a 162hp (121kW) 2.4L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G69 engine
- Eclipse GS Spyder: Convertible FWD model equipped with a 162hp (121kW) 2.4L 16-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 4G69 engine
- Eclipse GT: Hardtop FWD model equipped with a 263hp 3.8L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G75 engine
- Eclipse GT Spyder: Convertible FWD model equipped with a 260hp 3.8L 24-valve SOHC Mitsubishi 6G75 engine
The models and standard / optional equipment:
- GS Standard- Choice of five-speed manual or Sportronic automatic transmission, a 140-watt (max.) Mitsubishi CD/ MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers, 17-inch alloy wheels, an anti-theft immobilizer, auto-off halogen headlamps, power windows/ locks/ mirrors, air conditioning, a split fold-down rear seat, two 12-volt accessory outlets, anti-lock brakes, a rear spoiler, and a six airbag safety system.
Options Include- Sun & Sound package with a power sunroof is paired with a 650-watt (max.) Rockford Fosgate audio system. Boasting nine speakers including a 10-inch (250mm) trunk-mounted subwoofer, a 6-CD in-dash changer, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls, the package also includes a center display with outside temperature and compass readings and an electrochromic rear-view mirror. A four piece body kit comes as an optional "aero kit" package for all models.
- GS Spyder - available for sale for the 2007 model year.
Options Include - GS Deluxe Leather Package: Leather front seating surfaces. Heated front seats. Heated side mirrors. Outside temperature indicator and compass in center dash display.
- GT Standard- Choice of six-speed manual or a five-speed Sportronic automatic transmission, a 140-watt (max.) Mitsubishi CD/ MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers, 17-inch alloy wheels, an anti-theft immobilizer, auto-off halogen headlamps, fog lamps, power windows/ locks/ mirrors, air-conditioning, a split fold-down rear seat, two 12-volt accessory outlets, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, a rear spoiler, dual-stage six airbag safety system, traction control, a front strut tower bar, and a center display with outside temperature and compass readings.
Options Include- Premium Sport Package with 18-inch (460mm) seven-spoke alloy wheels, leather front seating surfaces, a power sunroof, an eight-way-adjustable (six power) driver's seat, alloy pedals, heated front seats, heated door mirrors, automatic dimming rear-view mirror, air-conditioning and a 650-watt (max.) Rockford Fosgate audio system with nine speakers, including a ten-inch (254 mm) trunk-mounted subwoofer, a 6-CD/ MP3-compatible in-dash changer, steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
- GT Spyder - available for sale for the 2007 model year.
Options Include - GT Premium Sport Package: 18" Alloy wheels. Leather front seating surfaces. 6-way power driver's seat. Heated front seats. Heated side mirrors. Aluminum pedals. Automatic climate control. Wind Deflector
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