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 Eclipse Spyder GT challenges more expensive sports models 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 Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and Electronic lift Control (MIVEC) technology 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 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.
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.
While the racy Lancer Evolution sedan clearly represents Mitsubishi’s flagship performance standard, the Eclipse has always stood for affordable performance, without the bone-jarring ride and boy-racer equipment of the Evo. Now it has gone upscale in many respects, and Mitsubishi claims its new 2007 Eclipse Spyder is a “reward car” built for “Gen-E” (for everyone), but we disagree. We still see it as a boy- or girl-racer ragtop, a car sold on good looks and Mitsubishi’s hip Japanese-cool advertising imagery. But hey, sometimes distinctive styling and a catchy ad campaign are all you need to sell affordable performance to the masses.
Mitsubishi expects to sell equal numbers of GS and GT models, and hopes that the addition of the Spyder to the Eclipse lineup helps bolster this Asian automaker’s bottom line. Speaking of the bottom line, we found the Spyder’s quite favorable. The base price for the 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS is $25,984 – a bit higher than a Ford Mustang V6 Premium Convertible – while the uplevel GT model starts at $26,864 – lower than a Ford Mustang GT Deluxe Convertible. Those prices include Mitsubishi’s $595 destination charge. Eclipse Spyders will appear in dealerships as 2007 models at the end of March, 2006, just in time for spring.