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.
Exterior and Interior
To give the Eclipse a proper send-off, Mitsubishi is introducing a special edition trim package for the sports coupe. The package is going to be available for both the coupe and spyder versions of the car and will come with HID headlights, black side mirrors, special edition badging, a set of 18” alloy wheels, heated leather seats, a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system, and Bluetooth connectivity.
On top of the aesthetic package, the Eclipse SE will also come with two engine options: a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine with 162 horsepower and 162 lb/ft of torque and a more powerful 3.8-liter V6 engine with 265 horsepower and 262 lb/ft of torque.
No word yet on how much the 2012 Eclipse SE is going to cost, but at least we know that it won’t be any less than the $19,499 base price the standard 2012 Eclipse comes in.
Sentimentally speaking, there’s something really appealing about a car model that’s on its last legs. So for that purpose, it seems appropriate to send off the Eclipse against a car that, if Mitsubishi played it right, should have been the Eclipse’s competition all this time: the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
But alas, the two cars couldn’t be any more different today, the MX-5 Miata has never been stronger, even recently celebrating its 900,000th built model. In terms of performance, the Eclipse and the MX-5 are similar in a lot of ways in that they both have engines - 2.4-liter four cylinder engine and a 2.0-liter four cylinder, respectively - that are on the same level as one another. Similarly, the output - 162 horsepower for the Eclipse / 167 horsepower for the MX-5 - are also close to one another.
But what Mazda did was market the MX-5 so beautifully that it has lasted the test of time. It’s a car that can be considered an ’icon’ of its generation for not only lasting this long - 22 years since it was born in 1989 - but for still being as popular today as it once was back in time.
While the Eclipse still had its fare share of popularity over the years, Mitsubishi’s steady decline in the past few calendars has relegated the Eclipse into a generational sports car, enjoyed by a certain demographic, but lacking the timeless appeal that a Mazda MX-5 Miata can boast of.
Nice way to end Eclipse production
A sports car that deserves a proper send-off
The last of a dying breed
Mitsubishi could’ve done more for the model
Won’t be missed by some people
More powerful engine would’ve been nice