"The Eclipse Concept-E suggests that performance and fuel efficiency need not be mutually exclusive," said Ulrich Walker, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. "E-Boost is environmentally friendly technology, but it’s also pure driving fun. The Concept-E is proof that hybrid technology can do as much for power and performance as it can for fuel consumption," Walker said.
Besides raw speed, the hybrid powertrain also improves fuel economy and lowers emissions when compared to vehicles with engines that develop in excess of 450 horsepower. And when value is added to the equation, the Concept-E is at least equal to its mass times the speed of light, squared.
While the two-plus-two seating configuration is carried into this preview of the fourth-generation Eclipse, that’s where most similarities end. Inside, the Wave Line design theme includes an instrument panel that combines shadow and light, hard lines and soft curves, to create an elegant, relaxing an thoroughly modern environment.
"The Concept-E makes use of traditional Japanese design - the incorporation of paradoxically complex elements in a simple manner," said Olivier Boulay, general manager of the Mitsubishi Motors Product Design Office.
Light and shadow seem to merge inside the Concept-E, but the design cohesiveness goes further: Raindrop-shaped door panels, which resemble the shape of the exterior mirrors, give the interior a cohesive look and feel, and metallic-toned leather performance seats appear to conduct an electricity of their own.
Rear seat passengers benefit from the side-hinged hatch. Moving the hinge away from the roof saved nearly two inches of rear headroom.
Deep Video Imaging and Multi-Layer Display(TM) (MLD) technology provide the driver and passengers with simulated gauges, diagnostic information and interactive displays in an intuitive, multidimensional format.
The Concept-E presents a distinctive front visage featuring the new Mitsubishi Motors corporate identity crafted around a prominent three-diamond logo. The front grille vent and integrated front spoiler evoke the image of a jet fighter. The long wheelbase, short overhangs and cab-forward layout create a highly integrated form which, combined with the raindrop design side window, gives the Concept-E an aggressive, ready-to-pounce profile.
The Eclipse Concept-E’s hybrid electric drivetrain had its own influence on design. As designer Mike Desmond explains: "Functional design elements include the side exhaust ports, which allow the electric motor’s batteries to be placed down the center of the vehicle.
"The front of the door is raked back at an almost impossible angle, to make the door cut lines accentuate the fenders. To do that, a special lower door hinge had to be designed. The hinge is hidden by a mechanically operated trap-door that folds open when the door opens. And that elliptical shape, in turn, is reflected in the shape of the side exhaust exits. Once again, we were able to integrate complex design elements in a simple manner."