January 11, 2006 Mitsubishi unveiled the all-new 2007 Eclipse Spyder at the North American International Auto Show this week and in so doing, promised a showroom floor (due in April) model of modest price and exotic capability. Based on the fourth-generation Eclipse coupe introduced in 2005, the GT specification Eclipse Spyder combines 260-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 performance with a convertible top and outstanding value. The 2007 Eclipse Spyder arrives in Mitsubishi dealerships in April.
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, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America. "Its high-quality automatic top makes Eclipse Spyder a convertible for all seasons and is more like a top you would expect to see on a US$40,000 car than one that starts at under US$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 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. 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.
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