The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a two-door, four seat sports coupe/convertible that has been in production since 1989 and sold as 1990-2006 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 the Chrysler Corporation (now DaimlerChrysler) Their partnership is known as Diamond Star Motors, or DSM.
Eclipses are popular among racers, ricers, and other automotive enthusiasts in part because of the car’s low price and wealth of aftermarket parts.
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.
Although the car underwent minor changes throughout its production, 1992-1994 models have updated sheetmetal and are easily distinguishable from previous vehicles. 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 1.8 L 8-valve SOHC 4G37 engine
Eclipse GS: Upgraded FWD model with slightly more equipment
Eclipse GS DOHC: Upgraded FWD model equipped with a 135 hp naturally-aspirated 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC 4G63 engine
Eclipse GS-T: Top FWD model equipped with a 180-195 hp turbocharged 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC 4G63T engine
Eclipse GSX: AWD model equipped with a 180-195 hp turbocharged 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC 4G63T engine
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 in-line 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 (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 was also a difference between rear axle/rear ends. 1990-1991 had 3-bolt rear axle assemblies have 3 bolts attaching the axle to the wheel hub. 1992-1994 4-bolt axles have 4 bolts, as well as beefier axle cups, and are therefore far stronger.