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By Mike Hanley
April 14, 2008
Vehicle Overview The Eclipse is Mitsubishi's performance two-door sports car and is offered in coupe and convertible Spyder form. The 2009 version receives some styling tweaks, and the GT trim level gains some new features, but besides these changes the car is much like it was previously. Competitors include the Ford Mustang, Honda Civic Si and Hyundai Tiburon.
Exterior The major difference between the new Eclipse and its predecessor can be seen at the front of the car. A new grille and bumper design make the front look much more intimidating, as both parts are now finished in black. V-6 GT models now have twin tailpipes, and their appearance brings to mind the pipes on the Nissan 350Z. The big rear wing on the coupe is also new.
Base GS trim levels feature 17-inch alloy wheels, while the GT has 18-inch rims. GT trim levels also have high-intensity-discharge headlights.
Interior Mitsubishi says new fabric is used in the cabin in order to enhance the appearance of the car. Standard features include air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry and a 50/50-split folding backseat (coupe only).
The optional Sun and Sound Package for the coupe includes a Rockford Fosgate audio system, aluminum pedals, a power moonroof and audio controls on the steering wheel. The GT Premium Sport Package for the coupe, as its name implies, is only for GT trim levels and includes Rockford Fosgate audio, automatic air conditioning, heated front seats finished in leather and a power moonroof.
Under the Hood GS models are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 162 horsepower and 162 pounds-feet of torque. Stepping up to the GT trim brings a 3.8-liter V-6 that delivers 265 hp and 262 pounds-feet of torque. That's slightly more horsepower and torque than the V-6 made last year.
Both engines are available with either a manual or automatic transmission, though the transmissions used with the V-6 each have one more gear than the five-speed manual and four-speed automatic that are used with the four-cylinder.
Safety Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard. The coupe also comes with side curtain airbags, and GT trim levels feature a standard electronic stability system that's new for 2009.