With a definitive 22-year run and a recent termination of production, any news on the Mitsubishi Eclipse should be far and few between, or should it? At a recent media preview of the i electric car, Greg Adams, Mitsubishi Motors North America’s Vice President-Marketing and Product Planning was quoted saying that the Eclipse "always comes back around sooner or later."
Just when we were closing the book on the Japanese automaker’s mid-size sports car, all of a sudden there’s another chapter. According to Mitsubishi, the Eclipse was "the most-successful U.S.-market sports car from a Japanese auto maker in the past 20 years." It sold 982,024 units in the U.S. since the car’s 1989 launch and saw a 105.4% increase in sales through August 2011 compared to 2010. So why was it axed? As with any other automaker, Mitsubishi’s focus has switched to fuel efficiency, leading them to market their new i-MiEV extensively, so the extra work in trying to get the Eclipse to the next level was probably not worth it at the time. The Galant sedan will also be seeing its dreadful end by 2013, as will the Endeavor SUV. These deletions will leave Mitsubishi with three models in their lineup, and some room to grow when they’re ready.
Adams said that a future midsize sedan from Mitsubishi wasn’t off the table as long as the numbers worked out, so the Galant may still have its fair chance to come back. Our vote, though, is for the Eclipse.