Mitsubishi has introduced the all-new 2007 Eclipse Spyder, which arrives in Mitsubishi dealerships in Spring. Based on the fourth-generation Eclipse coupe introduced in 2005, the new Eclipse Spyder combines "Driven to Thrill" design and performance with a high-tech convertible top and outstanding value.
Designed to appeal to convertible and sports car enthusiasts of all ages, the 2007 Eclipse Spyder echoes the concept-car design of its coupe sibling with sleek, taut, muscular lines and engaging details such as bright finish LED tail lamps and monocle-lens head lamps.
"The new Eclipse Spyder captures the essence of Mitsubishi by offering customers a stand-out design and performance at an affordable price," said Rich Gilligan, co-president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. "Its high-quality automatic top makes Eclipse Spyder a convertible for all seasons and has features you would expect to see on a $40,000 car rather than one that starts under $26,000."
The 2007 Eclipse Spyder is the third in a series of six new Mitsubishi vehicles to be introduced in less than three years. The first of these was the 2006 Eclipse coupe introduced in June 2005, followed by the all-new mid-size Raider pickup truck. Upcoming new models include a second-generation Outlander SUV, the Lancer sedan and the tenth version of the legendary Lancer Evolution.
Like the Eclipse coupe, the Eclipse Spyder will be offered in two trim levels. The GS model is powered by a 162-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic transmission is available as an option.
The Eclipse Spyder GT challenges more expensive sports cars with its 260-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine mated to either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. The GT’s 258 lb.-ft. of peak torque gives this model "right now" off-the-line response. With the standard six-speed manual transmission, the Spyder GT can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about seven seconds.
Both the four-cylinder and V6 engines feature the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) to help optimize engine efficiency and power across a broad engine speed range. The exhaust systems for both Eclipse Spyder models have been specially tuned to project a powerful, deep note through the oversize tailpipe (chrome on GT). The Eclipse Spyder GS is rated to achieve 29 mpg on the EPA highway test cycle. To offer the driver a more lively driving experience, both Eclipse automatic transmissions feature Sportronic shifters to allow manual gear shift control.
Premium-Level Automatic Top
Perhaps most impressive about the Eclipse Spyder’s automatic top is that it folds completely out of sight under a flush-fitting powered tonneau cover in about 19 seconds. This premium-level design eliminates a visible top stack that gives some convertibles a "baby buggy" look.
The Spyder’s top is made of cloth, compared to vinyl used on some cars in this price segment. Its advanced multi-layer construction includes a full headliner to provide the quiet, snug interior feeling of a coupe when it is raised. When raised, the top design lends the Eclipse a distinctive "chopped" speedster appearance. The top is designed to resist "ballooning" at highway speed, and the glass rear window features a defroster.
Interior Design Worth Showing Off
Mitsubishi designers in Cypress, California, recognized that many convertible owners expect interior styling to be attractive in its own right - something to enhance pride of ownership when driving top-down. To that end, the 2007 Eclipse Spyder’s "attainable exotic" design theme continues inside. The wave-form instrument panel houses easy-to-reach controls and features distinctive motorcycle-inspired gauges and ice-blue nighttime illumination.
The customer can choose from three available color schemes: Techno-Sport (charcoal), Hi-Q Sport (medium gray) and Avante Garde (terra cotta). The leather-wrapped steering wheel features audio system remote controls. One-piece high-back front bucket seats inspired by Mitsubishi rally cars feature open headrests for a sporty look and enhanced rear visibility.
The 2007 Eclipse Spyder continues the brand’s renown for providing excellent value. On both the GS and GT models, the long list of standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, air conditioning, advanced dual-stage front air bags and seat-mounted side air bags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), cruise control, engine immobilizer, keyless entry and power windows, locks and mirrors.
In addition to GS-level equipment, the V6-powered Eclipse Spyder GT features electronic traction control, fog lamps and a standard outside temperature and compass display.
Ready to Rock
Underscoring the Eclipse Spyder’s "Driven to Thrill" mission and value, both models feature as standard a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with a six-disc, in-dash CD changer that can play MP3 CDs. The system has been specifically engineered for the Eclipse Spyder and provides unique automatic sound equalization for top-up or top-down driving. The eight-inch subwoofer is integrated into the rear seat area as a design element.
The Eclipse GS and GT models each offer an option package that enhances interior comfort. The Leather Package for the Spyder GS combines leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and heated exterior mirrors, along with the outside temperature and compass displays that are standard on the GT.
The Eclipse Spyder GT’s optional Premium Sport Package lives up to its "premium" label by equipping this model with 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/45 R18 tires, a six-way power driver’s seat, leather seating surfaces, aluminum pedals, automatic climate control system, heated front seats and heated exterior mirrors.
Rigid Body Structure, Sporty Chassis
Mitsubishi engineered the new Eclipse platform to be built as a coupe or convertible. And improvements to the all-new 2006 Eclipse body structure resulted in an enhanced Spyder version. The rigid platform enables the four-wheel independent suspension to give the Eclipse Spyder both sporty road manners and a compliant, comfortable ride.
The multi-link rear suspension is equipped with either a 20-mm (GS) or 21-mm (GT) rear stabilizer bar. Commensurate with its higher performance potential, the Eclipse Spyder GT also gains larger ventilated rear disc brakes in place of the GS model’s solid rear brake discs.
Body Structure and Passive Safety
The unibody construction of the 2007 Eclipse Spyder is built upon Mitsubishi’s versatile PS platform. As with previous-generation Spyder models, this platform was engineered from the start for coupe and convertible body styles. Four-wheel independent suspension attaches to flex-resistant reinforced steel front and rear subframes that are joined by supports spanning the length of a reinforced floorpan.
This all-steel structure is made even stronger with strategically placed support members that help create a stiffer, safer unibody. Modern construction techniques include MASH seam welding to improve structural rigidity. Larger side member reinforcements absorb impact energy, dissipating the load toward the rear of the side members.
Strategic reinforcements applied to the main body joints result in an overall increase in bending and torsion resistance compared to the previous-generation Eclipse Spyder. As an added benefit, these reinforcements also help yield higher-quality audio output and solid bass response from the standard high-powered Rockford Fosgate premium audio system.
The Eclipse Spyder meets or exceeds the federally mandated performance criteria in the 30-mph frontal crash test and is anticipated to perform well in other crash tests.
All Eclipse models come equipped with dual-stage front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with front passenger occupant sensors. In addition, the Eclipse Spyder features front seat-mounted, side-impact air bags. (Eclipse coupe models also feature curtain side air bags.) Front seat belts are equipped with pretensioners and force limiters to help control occupant motion during a collision and to help to minimize the potential for serious injury.
The Eclipse Spyder’s bumpers utilize highly rigid steel bumper beams covered with energy-absorbing foam to enhance the energy absorption in minor impacts. The material’s effectiveness at protecting the structural integrity of the rigid steel bumper beams can help reduce body deformation - and thus potentially costly repairs - in the event of a 5-mph or similar low-speed collision.
Enhanced corrosion-protection techniques are used on the Eclipse unibody and undercarriage. Galvanized, rust-resistant steel is used for all exterior and unibody structure below the vehicle’s beltline. Water drainage channels in the vehicle’s body have been carefully designed to minimize the possibility of blockage by debris that could lead to an accumulation of moisture and result in rust formation.
Like the new-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe, the 2007 Eclipse Spyder is available in two performance levels: The Eclipse Spyder GS is powered by a MIVEC-enhanced 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic¨ that allows the driver to select the shift points. The four-cylinder engine delivers 162 hp at 6,000 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm with the aid of its patented Mitsubishi Innovative Variable timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) system.
The Eclipse GT is powered by a 3.8-liter SOHC MIVEC V-6 engine mated to a choice of either a standard six-speed manual or optional five-speed Sportronicú transmission. The V-6 develops 260 hp at 5,750 rpm and 258 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,500 rpm. (Note: The Eclipse GT coupe is rated at a slightly higher 263 hp and 260 lb.-ft. due to differences in the two models’ exhaust systems.)
In addition to utilizing Mitsubishi’s Torque Roll Axis Mount system to help control engine movement, the 2007 Eclipse Spyder uses vibration-dampening fluid-filled mounts are utilized for all key engine and transmission mounting points.
Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control system (MVEC)
Many carmakers today equip their engines with some type of variable valve control system, which can optimize power and torque by changing valve opening times and/or duration. Another type of system controls valve lift or stroke, which affects airflow into to the combustion chamber. Some of these valve control systems optimize performance at low and mid-range engine speeds. Others focus on enhancing only high-rpm power.
The Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) system provides both of these benefits by controlling valve timing and lift. The Eclipse GS four-cylinder and GT V-6 engines both employ the MIVEC system.
In essence, MIVEC serves the same function as "swapping cams," something that car owners and racers might do when modifying older-design engines to produce more power. With MIVEC, the "swap" occurs automatically at certain engine rpm at wide-open throttle (4,300 rpm in the four-cylinder engine and 4,000 rpm in the V-6). The cam switch operation is transparent to the driver, who is simply rewarded with a smooth flow of power.
Despite its technological complexity, the basic operation of the MIVEC system can be expressed quite simply: MIVEC alters the cam profiles, tailoring engine performance in response to driver input.
Under low-rev conditions, MIVEC selects a smaller cam profile, yielding medium lift on the valves to provide stable combustion and lower emissions. When the throttle is opened wide and engine speed reaches the switchover point, MIVEC gives the intake valves a longer duration and higher lift, providing maximum and efficient power and torque over a broader range of engine speeds.
How MIVEC Works
In the MIVEC system, three distinct cam profiles are used to provide two engine modes: a low-speed mode, consisting of low- and mid-lift cam profiles; and a high-speed mode. The low- and mid-lift cams and rocker arms - which drive separate intake valves - are positioned on either side of a centrally located high-lift cam. The high-lift cam is directly connected to a T-shaped lever, which controls lift and duration of both intake valves in the high engine-speed mode.
At lower engine speeds, the T-shaped levers connected to the high-lift cams reciprocate freely without contacting intake-valve rocker arms, thus allowing the low- and mid-lift cam lobes to control corresponding intake-valve lift and timing. The intake rocker arms contain internal pistons, which are retained by springs in a lowered position while the engine speed is below the MIVEC switchover point, to avoid contacting the high-lift T-shaped levers.
The high-speed mode opens the valves longer due to its higher lift. At high engine speeds, the pistons within the rocker arms elevate when MIVEC sends increased oil pressure through an oil control valve. The high-lift cams’ T-shaped levers are then able to directly contact the elevated rocker arm pistons, overriding the low-speed cam lobes and fully controlling intake valve lift and duration.
In summary, MIVEC switches to the higher cam profile as engine speed increases, and drops back to the lower cam profile as engine speed decreases; the low-and high-speed modes overlap for a brief period, boosting torque.
Eclipse Spyder GT: 3.8-Liter MIVEC V-6 Engine
The 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT is powered by the transversely mounted 3.8-liter, 60-degree, SOHC, 24-valve V-6 engine introduced for the Eclipse coupe in 2006. This new engine was the first V-6 from Mitsubishi to be equipped with the MIVEC valve timing and lift system. Improved liquid-filled engine mounts help reduce vibration and harshness.
An oversquare 95.0 mm bore and 90.0 mm stroke yield the 3,828 cc displacement. In the interest of durability, the 3.8-liter V-6 uses high-pressure cast pistons, forged steel connecting rods and a heat-treated forged steel crankshaft. The durable high nickel content cast-iron engine block features revised oil passages for improved lubrication and durability. In addition, the 3.8-liter block is a new casting that has been structurally enhanced for additional cylinder-bore rigidity.
The aluminum cylinder heads employ single-overhead-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder valvetrains. The intake and exhaust port volumes and valve diameters have been designed to maintain optimal mixture velocity at low- to mid-range rpm to help deliver the best off-the-line and passing response. The new engine’s key friction surfaces — such as journals and ring surfaces — have been treated for lubrication or coated to reduce friction and help optimize fuel efficiency. The 3.8-liter engine’s oil pan features additional baffling to help control oil flow and ensure oil supply under high cornering loads.
With the help of the same MIVEC technology found on the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the V-6 engine produces a peak of 260 hp at 5,750 rpm and 258 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,500 rpm. Just as impressive, the V-6 is producing 220 lb.-ft. of torque before it even reaches 2,000 rpm, giving the Eclipse Spyder GT outstanding off-the-line response.
Fuel and air delivery to the combustion chambers of the Eclipse Spyder’s 3.8-liter V-6 is governed by a throttle-by-wire control system that eliminates the mechanical linkage between the accelerator pedal and the throttle plate. The throttle-valve-control microprocessor has been integrated into the vehicle’s main ECU. In this arrangement, inter-processor communication that would otherwise be transmitted by a complex body of harnesses and connectors is now handled by a circuit board, improving the system’s reliability.
Acting in conjunction with traction control - a standard feature on the Eclipse Spyder GT - the throttle control computer receives data from wheel speed sensors to govern engine speed to help regain traction when necessary.
The V-6 engine achieves its excellent throttle response characteristics thanks in part to a tuned intake manifold and modified throttle body assembly. Port diameters, runner lengths, and plenum volume were optimized for mid-range power and responsiveness. The electronically controlled throttle body assembly features a double-sided cut throttle shaft for improved airflow.
Cold Air Intake System
All Eclipse models are equipped with a cold-air induction system that feeds ambient air to the intake manifold. The shape of the air inlet duct is designed to draw large volumes of cool, dense, onrushing air from the grille opening while guarding against the intake of water or snow. A sound-absorbing resonator attached to this intake helps reduce intake suction noise. A resonator is also used on the injection-molded thermoplastic intake hose that leads from the air cleaner assembly to the engine. The cold air intake system on the 3.8-liter V-6 engine is designed with a smaller secondary air intake port to capture additional cold ambient air while controlling intake noise.
A sophisticated electronically controlled multi-point fuel injection system ensures precision fuel delivery. Six injectors mounted in a lower injection manifold are fed pressurized fuel by a plate-style delivery rail. The plate-style fuel rail design absorbs fuel pulsation and helps generate consistent fuel spray patterns for better atomization. Compared to previous fuel injectors, the new injectors are designed with additional tiny nozzle holes that help decrease mean droplet size, improving fuel atomization by fifty percent.
The electric fuel pump module integrates the fuel filter and high-volume/high-pressure pump into one assembly, reducing the number or parts and connections and enhancing reliability. Carbon, rather than copper, is used for the commutator’s brushes to improve the fuel pump’s durability. A return-less fuel system minimizes heat transfer to the fuel, which in turn reduces vapor emissions.
The Eclipse 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine uses a high-flow, welded tubular exhaust manifold. Dual catalytic converters are integrated into the tubular steel assembly near the cylinder heads to more quickly reach operating temperature, thereby promoting quicker, more efficient catalyzation. The stainless steel exhaust system uses a minimum number of hanging points to help reduce vibration transmitted to the body. A high-flow muffler minimizes backpressure while also producing a deep, sporty exhaust note.
The Spyder GT V-6 engine features efficient, clamshell-type exhaust manifolds. A catalytic converter housed within the clamshell of each manifold helps improve exhaust emissions performance, particularly under cold start conditions.
Four Different Transmissions
The 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder uses four different transmissions across the GS and GT trim levels. The Eclipse GS comes equipped with a standard five-speed manual transmission and offers an optional four-speed automatic transmission.
The Eclipse Spyder GT offers the performance of a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. The six-speed transmission features triple synchronizers on the first three forward gears for smoother engagement. The six-speed shifter utilizes a dual cable linkage for easy, smooth and quick shifting performance. A dual-mass flywheel assembly helps suppress driveline vibration, which along with a self-adjusting clutch, helps to extend clutch life. In addition, a hydraulically operated clutch contributes to smooth, easy and rewarding shifting feel.
Eclipse Automatic Transmissions
The automatic transmissions used in Eclipse models are equipped with a Sportronic¨ mode that offers dynamic manual shifting. Simply moving the shift lever into the sports mode gate gives the driver more fun-to-drive control of manual gear selection.
In both the four-speed automatic (Eclipse GS) and five-speed automatic (Eclipse GT), the latest version of the INVECS II processor helps the transmission match its shifting actions to road conditions and driver input. The INVECS II processor executes optimal shift points. A "learned control" function in the computer measures the timing of the driver’s accelerator inputs and tailors shift action accordingly for softer or firmer shifts.
The 2007 Eclipse Spyder employs four-wheel independent suspension to provide both taut, responsive handling and comfortable ride quality. A wide track (61.8 in. front and rear) and longer wheelbase than before (101.4 in.) contribute to a secure, comfortable, and responsive ride, even over harsh road surfaces.
The Eclipse’s front wheels utilize a proven MacPherson strut-type front suspension design featuring large-diameter strut tubes and coil springs. Each strut uses a gas-charged damper insert, and a large urethane bump stop helps to absorb road shock and keeps the suspension from bottoming out.
The front coil spring rates are optimized to strike an ideal balance between ride compliance and responsive, sporty handling. The front strut assemblies attach to large, reinforced steel lower control arms. These stout control arms are supported by a rigid, steel crossmember that spans the control arm mounting points, eliminating lateral movement of the arms and helping to maintain consistent suspension geometry. This large low-profile crossmember was designed without a "kick-up" in its main section and increases rigidity at the suspension mounting points while helping to reduce weight.
The flat suspension crossmember also allows for an optimized, lower steering box mounting position that contributes to more linear toe changes and improves the vehicle’s straight-line handling on uneven surfaces. The low positioning of the steering assembly also helps improve steering feel and response by providing a more linear path for the control links to the knuckle arms and front hubs.
The lower control arm bushings feature more compliant material in the top half of the bushing shell to reduce impact harshness. A harder rubber material maintains the shape of the lower half of the bushing shell to help improve cornering performance.
The movement of the long control arms was engineered to provide 7.5-in. (190 mm) of wheel travel. This configuration enables more effective and predictable toe and camber changes across a given range of movement for superior traction and control on uneven surfaces. All Eclipse models are equipped with a 22-mm front stabilizer bar that is attached to the struts using ball joints; the bar’s friction surfaces are Teflonú coated, which helps the stabilizer respond quickly to suspension changes with smoother movement. In addition, the hub units use angular contact wheel bearings that help reduce friction and noise and improve ride.
The sophisticated low-mount, multi-link rear suspension helps the Eclipse provide excellent ride quality and handling stability while offering a low cargo floor in the trunk. The low-profile positioning of the entire rear suspension - with its strategic location of coil springs, control arms, gas-charged shock absorbers, links, and lowered mounting point height - helps to position the vehicle’s mass lower in the chassis, optimizing the center of gravity for handling.
Strong rear trailing arms mounted with large, vibration-absorbing rear bushings and rigid upper arms help provide increased stability. The reduced height of the insulation system atop the shock and coil spring units helps reduce the suspension’s intrusion into the trunk area. A large steel lattice subframe increases suspension rigidity and helps to reduce noise and vibration transmitted into the passenger cabin.
The long rear suspension control arms provide generous wheel travel and allow for optimal toe and camber changes over uneven surfaces. Large-diameter rubber bushings located at the friction points of the lower arms and upper arms also help reduce transmission of vibration and road noise. An eccentric cam in the lower arm mounting points and the toe control arm allows for the slight tuning of toe and camber.
As with the front suspension, the Eclipse Spyder incorporates a stabilizer bar that attaches to the rear lower control arm (20 mm on GS model and 21 mm on GT) and uses ball joints for less restricted movement. The suspension bump stop is made of a resilient urethane to offer superior shock absorption properties.
The hydraulic rack and pinion power steering system provides the direct, responsive steering feel and control that drivers expect from a sporty car. The power steering box is attached to the crossmember using rubber bushings engineered with multi-directional hardness that offer support for front-to-rear movement and increased compliance for lateral movement. The speed-sensitive hydraulic power steering pump reduces its fluid flow to increase the steering effort at highway speeds. This system maximizes power multiplication in slow-speed situations such as parking. A power steering ratio of 17.1 yields a tight 2.64 turns lock-to-lock.
The steering column shaft is secured by a fall-away bracket and a slide plate mounting system with ripping plates that allows the column to better absorb impact energy in the event of a collision.
The Eclipse is equipped with a vacuum-assisted four-wheel-disc braking system. The ventilated front rotors measure 11.6 in. in diameter for both the Eclipse Spyder GS and GT models. The GS uses 10.3-in. solid rear discs, while the GT features 11.2-in. ventilated rear discs for enhanced braking performance in line with its higher power and vehicle weight.
The front brakes utilize a powerful dual-piston caliper design, with single-piston calipers at the rear. The standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) incorporates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) on all Eclipse models.
Wheels and Tires
The 2007 Eclipse Spyder GS and GT both come equipped with standard 17-in., five-spoke aluminum wheels. An optional 18-in., seven-spoke aluminum wheel is available on GT models as part of the Premium Sport Package. Eclipse models equipped with 17-in. wheels feature P225/50R17 all-season radial tires, and the 18-in. wheel combination includes 235/45R18 V-rated tires.
To many convertible buyers, the car’s interior design should be an extension of the exterior. That is, the interior should not only be attractive, but also should by itself attract attention and be something the owner can show off with pride.
To that end, the 2007 Eclipse Spyder’s "attainable exotic" design theme continues inside. The wave-form instrument panel houses easy-to-reach controls and features distinctive motorcycle-inspired gauges and ice-blue nighttime LED illumination.
The customer can choose from three available color schemes: Techno-Sport (dark charcoal), Hi-Q Sport (medium gray) and Avante Garde (terra cotta).
The steering wheel features audio system remote controls. One-piece high-back front bucket seats inspired by Mitsubishi involvement in motorsports feature open headrests for a sporty look and enhanced rear visibility.
Designers carefully matched the "mood" of the interior with the excitement of the exterior, yet were careful to avoid style for its own sake. As striking as the interior design is, it remains comfortable and functional, yet with a distinctly sporty character. The contemporary surroundings offer a refreshing alternative to the subdued, retro, or unimaginative interior designs of some competitors. Surfaces are covered with soft-touch textured materials that emulate modern furniture.
Increased Passenger Volume
The Eclipse Spyder offers four seats and, due to its taller, wider body and longer wheelbase, a gain in overall interior room. Front-seat occupants gain more than half an inch of headroom at 38.5-in., and half an inch more legroom at 42.8-in. Front seat occupants also benefit from the class-leading 54.2-in. shoulder room (an increase of 1.9-in.) and 53.7-in. of hip room (an increase of 1.8-in.).
Eclipse Spyder Seating
The Eclipse Spyder"s front one-piece sport bucket seats are designed to evoke the brand"s motorsport heritage, but even customers who don"t follow racing will find their style arresting. The stylish Eclipse seats are designed to provide long-distance comfort, with bolstering to hold occupants snugly in place when cornering. The high back-style seats feature integrated head restraints, high-density side bolster padding, and standard front-seat side-impact air bags for safety.
The front seat belt systems also include pretensioners and force limiters to help control occupant motion during a collision to minimize the potential for serious injury. A new passenger-side weight sensor acts in concert with the advanced airbag system. If less than approximately 66 lbs. is detected in the front passenger seat, the passenger-side front airbag is turned "off" and will not deploy.
With dense foam material construction, the Eclipse Spyder seats offer improved support and durability. The seats are covered in a durable new fabric, and heated front seats with leather seating surfaces are available in option packages for both the Spyder GS and Spyder GT models. A new adjustable lumbar support in the driver"s seat replaces the old "step" adjustment mechanism, allowing for greater fine-tuning. The driver’s seat is height-adjustable, and the optional GT Premium Sport Package includes an six-way powered driver’s seat.
The lower cushion of the rear seats include the anchor points for the child restraint system, fixed into the body structure. The two rear seating positions feature three-point seat belts for each occupant.
In both the Eclipse Spyder GS and GT models, the standard four-spoke steering wheel features tilt adjustment and is wrapped with "sport touch" (leather-like) material. In both Spyder models, the back of the steering wheel integrates convenient controls for the Rockford Fosgate premium audio system. The easily accessible cruise control stalk is mounted behind the steering wheel.
The Eclipse instrument panel makes a strong visual statement while at the same time enhancing functionality. A wave-shaped horizontal soft-touch pad improves the look and feel of the dash. Silver-finished surrounds for the gauges, center panel and air outlets add a sporty flair. The dark gray upper panel was designed to resemble the housing of modern high-end home entertainment systems.
Designers made improving occupant convenience a high priority for the new instrument panel. The sporty-looking round instrument panel gauges are easy to read and located to eliminate glare. The large, well lit, and easy-to-control switches and knobs put vital functions within easy reach. The dash panel’s low height also helps improve the driver’s sightlines.
The Eclipse instrument cluster groups the round gauges into a sporty display inspired by the look of motorcycle gauges. At night, the attractive gauge package is illuminated by ice blue LEDs that enhance style and help improve visibility. The large speedometer and tachometer dials are designed for easy viewing, aided by high-contrast registers. The metal bezels also are integrated into the instrument panel to help reduce glare or reflection. The warning lamps Surrounding the gauges are illuminated by LEDs, allowing them to be grouped more compactly.
The Eclipse GT Premium Sport Package enhances the interior’s sporty character by adding aluminum pedals featuring rubber "nubs" for better control and pedal feel.
Center Console and Door Panels
The center console incorporates several features into one unit, including storage pockets, coveredcup holders designed to accommodate extra-large drink cups, and multiple power outlets. The ideally positioned, cushioned armrest is wide enough to provide complete elbow support for the driver and front passenger. The console storage compartment with flip-up lid can hold CDs with their cases. A pair of 12-volt powerpoints, one of which is in the console compartment, can be used to charge cell phones or to power small electronic devices.
The Eclipse Spyder’s door panels were designed to accentuate the car’s width, giving it a more airy feeling even with the top up. The center of the door panel features premium metallic finishes on the latch handles and textured materials on trim components to augment the interior’s upscale appearance.
Rockford Fosgate Premium Audio System
Underscoring the 2007 Eclipse Spyder’s "Driven to Thrill" mission and its excellent value, both the GS and GT models feature as standard a total 650-watt (max.) Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 playback capability, including a six-disc CD changer and nine speakers. The system has been specifically engineered for the Eclipse Spyder and provides unique automatic sound equalization for top-up or top-down driving.
Even with the convertible top storage area, designers were able to integrate an 8-in., long-throw subwoofer in a fiberglass reinforced acoustic-suspension enclosure. Not only that, but the subwoofer was made into a design element.
A leader in aftermarket car audio systems for 25 years, Rockford offers Eclipse buyers the first OEM personal sound-setting memory option. The brand’s PUNCH(R) signature sound delivers dynamic output with the high-impact bass response of a premium aftermarket system.
In addition to the usual bass, midrange, treble, fader and balance controls, the Rockford Fosgate system’s advanced Digital Signal Processor (DSP) gives the user total control over the subwoofer output. It offers custom music genre equalizer settings and sound field image settings including: Normal, Stage, Live, and Hall. The audio system also offers an industry-first DSP sound setting memory function that allows users to configure all eight DSP settings and save them in six preset locations for their favorite CDs, artists, or music genres.
The efficient climate control system integrates the heating and cooling units and blower into a single component to enhance system reliability and help simplify assembly. A flow rate control valve helps provide a quicker temperature change by preventing cooled air from being reheated when the A/C is running at maximum capacity. The valve reduces variation in airflow volumes as well. Increased defroster airflow helps to clear the windshield quickly.
The Eclipse Spyder GS features a manual-control HVAC system, and the GT model with the Premium Sport Package steps up to an automatic climate control system. Both systems feature easy-to-use large black knobs with a knurled finish and chrome accent rings.
The available automatic climate control system in the Spyder GT regulates cabin temperature based on data received from an ambient sensor, an in-car temperature sensor and a sunlight measuring photo-sensor. A computer processes this data to control blower speed to match and maintain the temperature set by the user, who can also manually override the temperature setting at any time if desired.
The Eclipse is equipped with an engine immobilizing system that prevents the engine from starting if the ignition switch is turned by a key that is not electronically registered to that particular vehicle. The key ring antenna and immobilizer are integrated into a single reliable unit. This system has been proven to prevent thefts and, for some owners, may reduce insurance premiums.
Electric Time and Alarm Control System (ETACS)
All Eclipse models are equipped with the Electric Time and Alarm Control System (ETACS), Mitsubishi’s comprehensive vehicle body systems control computer. This adaptable system improves communication between car’s various computer sub-systems.
Working with the Smart Wiring System (SWS) - which is Mitsubishi Motors’ own body control communication system - and the Control Area Network (CAN) - the automotive standard for high speed automotive computer communications) - ETACS takes advantage of a wide variety of functions and makes them more convenient. ETACS is factory-programmed to execute many basic functions, such as regulating the timing of interior lights, as well as the setting for the interior buzzer, and it offers user customization.
The 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is unabashedly a car for people who enjoy being noticed. Like the Eclipse coupe on which it is based, the Eclipse Spyder originated in the Mitsubishi Design Studio in Cypress, California. Also like the Eclipse coupe, the new Spyder brings much of its original design concept into the showroom - a rare feat in the auto industry. Comparisons of concept drawings and the production model clearly show the lineage.
The Eclipse Spyder was designed to make a bold, emotional statement, the kind of car that elicits the "gotta have it" reaction that helps turn onlookers into buyers. At the same time, the designers sought to give the Spyder classic forms that will ensure it still looks fresh in the years to come.
Mitsubishi designers also gave the Spyder two distinct looks: top-up "chopped" coupe and top-down speedster.
Athletic "About to Spring" Proportions
Compared to the previous-generation model, the 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is longer, wider and taller. The wheelbase has increased by a half-inch, to 101.4-in. The wheels have been pushed outward to the corners of the vehicle with a wider 61.8-in. track, which improves balance and handling stability.
At 179.7-in., the overall length of Eclipse Spyder has increased by nearly three inches. The longer wheelbase and 72.2-in. width endow the new Spyder with more athletic proportions than before and also contribute to increased interior room.
The teardrop-influenced body shape and "wasp waist" midsection suggest athletic performance, speed and agility. With its overall wedge shape and muscular haunches, the Eclipse mimics a crouching feline, making the vehicle appear smaller than it is.
"There’s a lot of tension inherent in the surface, so even when the car is standing still, it looks as if it’s just about to spring," said Dan Sims, general manager of Mitsubishi Research and Design North America.
On the surface, the Eclipse Spyder’s "skin" appears to be stretched tightly over a well-toned and athletic body. The short, broad hood and fast windshield were carried over from the original concept. The grill features jet nacelle-inspired grill intakes that suggest the performance potential. Bumpers flow smoothly into the fender metal. Teardrop detail is echoed through other parts, such as the door handles and fuel filler door.
The Eclipse Spyder’s proportions were designed to suggest a two-seat sports car while providing four seats. The car’s flanks are defined by strong shoulder lines that begin just aft of the A-pillars and extend the length of the vehicle. Viewed from the side, these shoulder lines flow upward toward the rear and help to create a sense of forward motion.
From its low front bumper to its high rear decklid, the Eclipse’s wedge shape helps optimize aerodynamic performance, which contributes to fuel efficiency and reduced wind noise. The windshield molding and side-view mirrors are designed to reduce turbulence and wind noise. A unique clear trunk spoiler that integrates a center-mounted LED brake lamp accents the sculpted "bobbed" rear.
The Eclipse Spyder GS is equipped with standard 17-in., lipless five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and colored-keyed side-view mirrors and door handles. The Eclipse Spyder GT adds a stainless steel exhaust tip and offers available 18-in., lipless seven-spoke aluminum alloy wheels as part of the optional Premium Sport Package.
Premium-Level Automatic Top
Mitsubishi designed the 2007 Eclipse Spyder to be a convertible for all seasons, and this becomes especially clear when examining the power convertible top. The previous-generation Eclipse Spyders featured high-quality convertible tops, but for the latest generation, the designers wanted to enhance the top’s style and function and take it to a level expected on more expensive cars.
The power-operated top features a multi-layer fabric with a separate polyester/cotton interior headliner and a heated glass rear window. A new hydraulic system reduces operating noise in comparison to the electric motors used in the previous model.
Perhaps most impressive about the Eclipse Spyder’s automatic top is that it folds completely out of sight under a flush-fitting powered tonneau cover in about 19 seconds. This premium-level design eliminates a visible top stack that can give some convertibles a "baby buggy" look.
The Spyder’s top features a cloth outer layer, compared to vinyl used on some cars in this price segment. The top’s full head liner provides the quiet, snug interior feeling of a coupe when the top is raised, and the top is designed to resist "ballooning" at highway speeds.
The acrylic cloth outer layer is solution-dyed before the threads are spun together. This coloring method helps ensure that the top’s color will remain consistent for years, even at high-wear points like the frame/bow connections and window seams.
Unlike convertible tops that are vat-dyed after they are woven, the Spyder’s top will not prematurely discolor at the wear points and start fading.
A natural rubber inner layer serves as a membrane between the acrylic outer and cotton inner lining, natural rubber being better than the commonly used butyl when it comes to severe weather. Rubber has a natural ability to hold its shape and resists shrinking and stretching after long exposure to extreme heat and cold. A convertible top lined with butyl can become difficult to close when it is cold and will eventually cause the "ballooning effect" of arching the top when it is up and the vehicle is moving at highway speeds.
The outer and inner materials of the Spyder’s top are individually lined with rubber in a process called "knife-over-roll" coating. Under oven heat, molten rubber is drawn across the material with a hot blade during a five-step/five-layer process. The outer and inner layers are then fused together and set aside to cure for six weeks. Lower-grade convertible top material is simply layered like a sandwich and pressed.
To check for durability, the Spyder’s top material then undergoes a Tabor Test, where sandpaper is ground into the fabric to simulate folding and unfolding a top stack covered with road grime. The fabric is also water-pressure tested and literally "cultured" to test for its resistance to mildew and fungus. The Spyder’s top material is made with a built-in mold inhibitor and fungicide.
Self-sealing Short Stroke Window Mechanism
The Eclipse Spyder window glass regulators use a electronic short-stroke function to optimize the window seal and help reduce interior noise. The mechanism improves sealing between the door window glass and weather strip. When opening and closing a door, even with the ignition off, the window is self-sealing - it lowers slightly and then returns to the fully closed position.
This feature is more commonly seen on more expensive luxury brand models, including the Audi TT, BMW 3-Series, and Porsche Boxster. In addition, the use of double guide-rails to support the window glass helps to control window glass vibration when the door is closed.
Wind Deflector (late availability)
For the first time, the Eclipse Spyder will be available with an optional wind deflector, designed to reduce air turbulence during top-down driving. The deflector is included in the Premium Sport Package for the Spyder GT. The deflector weighs less than one pound, and installation is easy, requiring no tools. It can remain in place with the top up, if desired, or will fold to one-quarter its size for back seat or trunk storage when not in use.
Mitsubishi designers sought to make the Eclipse more "expressive" through its lighting design.
Eclipse head lamps employ an efficient double-filament lamp with a multi-parabola lens and a blue-tint "monocle" lens. By optimizing the shape of the multi-parabola lens to maximize the bulb’s projection, the beam pattern has been enhanced to help provide outstanding illumination. The front turn signal indicator, front side marker and front side reflex reflector have been integrated into the front lamp assembly to create an effective, compact, composite light unit. Both the GS and GT models include fog lamps as standard equipment, and all Eclipse models feature the battery-saving auto-off head lamp feature.
The rear lamps combine the rear turn signal, rear tail and brake lamp, reverse lamp and reflex reflector in a compact size. The LED light source eliminates the need for red lenses and combines with the clear outer lens to create a fresh high-tech look that some owners might otherwise seek in the aftermarket for added expense and with unknown quality. An aluminized reflector adds brightness to the beams and improves illumination. Adopting LEDs also improves stop lamp illumination response time.
The Eclipse Spyder’s color palette accentuates the concept car styling. Available colors combine a mechanical, metallic tinted effect with warm earth tones to create a rich, upscale appearance. The seven exterior colors are Liquid Silver, Ultra Red, Pure Red, Kalapana Black, Frost White Pearl, Satin Meisai and Sunset Pearlescent.
With a starting price of $25,389, the Spyder offers premium features reserved for convertibles costing thousands of dollars more. A premium GT edition, featuring a more powerful engine capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in about seven seconds, begins at $28,269. All-new Spyders will arrive in dealerships this week.
"Our dealers are excited to receive the new Eclipse Spyder," said Dan Kuhnert, MMNA vice president of sales. "With premium features at an affordable price, this vehicle should compete well in the convertible market."
Based on the fourth-generation Eclipse coupe introduced in spring 2005, the new Eclipse Spyder features a high-tech cloth convertible top that folds completely out of sight under a flush-fitting powered tonneau cover in about 19 seconds, and a standard 650-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system specifically engineered for the Eclipse Spyder that provides unique automatic sound equalization for top-up or top-down driving.
The vehicle’s styling is designed to appeal to convertible and sports car enthusiasts of all ages with sleek, taut, muscular lines and engaging details such as bright finish LED tail lamps and monocle-lens head lamps.
The 2007 Eclipse Spyder is the third in a series of six new Mitsubishi vehicles to be introduced in less than three years. The first of these was the 2006 Eclipse coupe introduced in June 2005, followed by the all-new mid-size Raider pickup truck. Upcoming all-new models include a second-generation Outlander SUV, the Lancer sedan and the tenth version of the legendary Lancer Evolution.
Like the Eclipse coupe, the Eclipse Spyder is offered in two trim levels, a well-equipped GS model and a GT which challenges more expensive sports models.
The 2007 Eclipse Spyder GS edition starts at $25,389, manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), and features a 162-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The Eclipse Spyder GT, with a 260-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, begins at $28,269 MSRP. Both the four-cylinder and V6 engines feature the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) to help optimize engine efficiency and power across a broad engine speed range. An optional Sportronic¨ automatic transmission, four-speed for the GS and five-speed for the GT, is available for an additional $900.
Both the GS and GT models offer a long list of standard equipment including 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, air conditioning, advanced dual-stage front air bags and seat-mounted side air bags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), cruise control, engine immobilizer, keyless entry and power windows, locks and mirrors. The Eclipse Spyder GT adds standard electronic traction control and an outside temperature and compass display to the GS-level equipment.
An optional Leather Package is available on the Eclipse Spyder GS for $980 MSRP that combines leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and heated exterior mirrors with the outside temperature and compass displays that are standard on the GT.
The GT Premium Sport Package at a $1,730 MSRP equips the GT model with 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/45 R18 tires, a six-way power driver’s seat, leather seating surfaces, aluminum pedals, automatic climate control system, heated front seats and heated exterior mirrors.
An accessory package is available for each model that includes an alloy fuel door, wheel locks and two sport floor mats for $179 MSRP. A five-piece aero kit is available for $1,820.