Supercars are our bread and butter. They are not only super-fast, but they also look amazing and are very rare. With all of those awesome features also comes a super price. This means that the normal person that reads about them can’t pull off the kind of financial gymnastics to afford one.
For these people (us included), we have a special list of sports cars that you can typically find for $9,999 or less, making them an obtainable goal. This may require dipping back a few years, but you’ll still get yourself a nice car that is both quick and agile. Sure, it may not have fancy leather, a killer stereo system, navigation, Bluetooth, or any other modern features, but you will get yourself a true sports car.
There are literally thousands of cars we can choose from in this group, so we have to make some tough decisions on who gets in and who’s left out.
Click past the jump to read our complete list and see where we rank each car.
We tend to keep our focus on cars that run in excess of $100K and fly to 60 mph in sub-3-second times. What about those that can’t pull off a $2,000-per-month car payment and don’t need to get to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds? Well, this one’s for you.
We are going to take a look at the top budget sports cars in the automotive realm today and tear them apart to find out what’s good about them and what’s not so hot about them. After that, we’ll input all of that data into the "patented" TopSpeed top-pick machine and spew out which of these cars offers the best bang for its customer’s buck. Keep in mind that we are looking at driving factors only, option and equipment have no bearing on making a budget sports car more fun in this competition.
We’re only looking at new cars here, so that eliminates my personal favorite, the Mazdaspeed Miata. The Miata will, of course be in the competition, but its facing cars that are equally, if not more, powerful and that rival it in handling performance. So, who takes home the title?
In early 2011, Mitsubishi announced that it will be discontinuing one of the marquis economy sports cars of the last two decades, the Eclipse. The Eclipse lived a rather odd life, starting out with two nearly identical siblings in the Plymouth Laser and Eagle Talon. After the elimination of the Laser, the Eclipse and Talon remained, turning into two of the most beautiful economy sports cars ever built, in 1995.
In 1998, Eagle folded and only the beautiful Eclipse remained, but the death of its sibling didn’t set too well with the Eclipse, as after just one year of being on its own, it morphed into a rather ugly and over-styled pig that required a V-6 engine to be even remotely fun to drive.
In 2006, Mitsubishi finally came to its senses and realized that the new body style just wasn’t doing the “Eclipse” name justice, so they went back to the drawing board and created a rounder Eclipse that more closely resembled the one from the late-90s. Oddly enough, this new sportier Eclipse is actually heavier than its predecessor, but that certainly does not take away from its beauty.
In the earlier years, when a car was on its last production year, the final model to roll off of the production line was kept by the manufacturer and stored. In more recent years, the last model typically ran off of the production line like any other model and became lost in the sea of models. Mitsubishi seized this opportunity to fully customize the final Eclipse, which is an SE model, so that it was truly a one-of-a-kind vehicle. Now this brand new Eclipse is up for sale by RK Motors Charlotte.
Click past the jump to read about this custom 2012 Eclipse SE final model.
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.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI may have been saved from the chopping block, but at least one Mitsubishi sports coupe is on its final dregs and will soon ride off into the sunset. For the record, the Eclipse, has been one of our favorite Japanese sports coupes in recent times so it goes without saying that we’re pretty bummed out that the line will officially end after the 2012 model year.
On that note, Mitsubishi has prepared a new mode of the Eclipse, called the ’Eclipse SE’ to give the car the proper send-off it deserves. Slated to be the last Eclipse model to be built, the Eclipse SE comes with some new details and features to make the last one a pretty memorable one, too.
Make no mistake, it’s a sad time to be a Mitsubishi Eclipse fan, but as the scribes always used to say, “all good things must come to an end”. And if this is the send-off that Mitsubishi is giving to their once-beloved sports coupe, then we expect the car sell like ice cream on a hot summer day.
Details on the Mitsubishi Eclipse SE after the jump.
Now that the clock has finally run out and just hours away from the first showing of Fast Five - the fifth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise - we felt like it’s the right time to give proper respect to the characters that have made this movie franchise as fun as it has been since the first movie came out in 2001.
And if you think that we’re talking about resident leading men, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, guess again. This list has very little to do with them, or their other co-stars for that matter, but more so about what they were driving during the first four movies. Yes, dear friends. This is a list to honor the Top 10 cars of the Fast and Furious franchise!
Do take note that we compiled this list based on our opinions so if you have any sort of reaction on the cars we chose and the number we gave them, you have the floor in the comments section to let us hear about it.
Apparently, Mitsubishi has decided to give the Eclipse one last chance before deciding if the sports coupe will be dropped or not. For 2011, the sports car gets a new black painted roof, new design elements, and expanded equipment. Customers will have to choose from three trim levels: GS, GT, and GS Sport.
The new black painted roof pays tribute to the highly-successful original first-generation Eclipse Coupe that possessed a similarly dark-colored dome. For 2011, it also gets a ride height that has been lowered by over half an inch (15 mm) and a 12V accessory power outlet.
The 2011 Eclipse is powered by a 2.4-liter SOHC 16-valve normally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine that delivers 162 HP at 6,000 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque at an even 4,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a crisp-shifting 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment list includes: leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and side view mirrors, power driver seat, aluminum pedals, a strut tower brace, aluminum entrance sill and a tidy-looking clear lip spoiler.
We all know that Mitsubishi is having some trouble with their American car line-up and we also know that it’s due to have some serious work done to it. It seems while part of that work is a global small car, the other part is the deletion of a few well known vehicles, at least that’s what Autoweek believes.
The aging machines, the Galant and the Eclipse, won’t be getting any new updates until 2012, as the company looks to create a new global small car. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. With those models gone, that would leave the Japanese automaker with only the new small car, the Outlander Sport and the i-MiEV to bring to its already small lineup.
We have all known about this small car for a while now and we can guess what it will feature upon its release. Under the hood will probably be a 1.0-liter or a 1.3-liter four-cylinder motor and for the company’s sake, we hope that America loves the small car by its release in 2012 or 2013, because an engine that big won’t sell well in a power obsessed culture.
We’re still not sold on the idea of dropping a few of the core models because what will dealers have to sell to people? The Outlander and the Lancer are good vehicles, but their sales aren’t that impressive, and the small car and the i-MiEV might not be what Americans are looking for.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse receive a minor face lift in 2009, and the diamond star brand from Japan is continuing the trend with with an even more drastic makeover in 2010. The latest version of the fourth generation Eclipse features restyled front and rear fascias. The 2010 Eclipse gets a new monochromatic with a two tone bumper insert while the GT variant features a large rear spoiler and a few new exterior hues, Carbon metallic and Solar vibrant yellow. The GS Sport model combines the aggressive exterior appearance of the GT with the fuel economy of the four cylinder GS model and Eclipses equipped with the standard cloth interior feature upgraded fabrics.
The GS version is powered by a 2.4 Liter four cylinder engine making 162 HP, while the GT variant gets a 3.8 Liter V6 that pumps out a total of 265 HP and can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in about six seconds.
After it received a few minor adjustments for the 2009 model year, the Mitsubishi Spyder continues to improve for 2010: the four-cylinder Eclipse Spyder GS adopts GT styling cues, including a two-tone front and rear bumper fascias and dual exhaust outlets. For 2010 the GS version is priced at $27,799 and the GT at $32,599.
The Eclipse Spyder GS features a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 162 hp and 162 lbs-ft of torque and mated to a 4-Speed Sportronic gearbox. The GT version gets a 265-hp 3.8-liter V-6 engine mated to a 5-Speed Sportronic gearbox.
For 2010 the Eclipse GS will get Active Stability Control (ASC) as standard equipment, while both version got a rearview camera, stability control, Bluetooth and system with voice recognition and rearview camera system.