Production of Mitsubishi’s Eclipse coupe, Eclipse Spyder and Endeavor crossover will stop at the carmaker’s plant in Normal, Illinois, this August. However, the Galant sedan will still be built there. Yoichi Yokozawa, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, said that the company will decide when to cease Galant production later. Mitsubishi is retooling this plant to build the Outlander Sport beginning 2012.
Last February, Mitsubishi said that it intends to produce about 50,000 units of the crossover each year at the plant and export approximately half of this figure.
Before announcing the production changes in the plant by August, Mitsubishi had only revealed that these vehicles would be phased out by 2013 but hadn’t provided a timetable. Yokozawa claims that this move will not affect dealers since there is a sufficient supply of these canceled vehicles.
The Automotive News Data Center stated that as of April 1, Mitsubishi had more than a 180-day supply of the Eclipse and Spyder, about a 23-day supply of the Endeavor and a 27-day supply of the Galant. The Illinois plant produces about 20,000 vehicles each year.
Mitsubishi is offering the Eclipse Spyder in two variants – the GS and the GT. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS is powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine – with an output of up to 162 hp – mated to a five-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatic gearbox.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT, meanwhile, is powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 engine – with an output of up to 265 hp and a torque of up to 262 lb.-ft. – paired to a six-speed manual transmission or optional 5-speed automatic gearbox.
Both the 4-cylinder and the V-6 engines are blessed with the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) that could help optimize power and efficiency across a wide engine speed range. Likewise, automatic transmissions for the Eclipse Spyder come with Sportronic shifters for manual gearshift control. Contributing greatly to the Eclipse Spyder’s superb handling and ride is its rigid platform and a four-wheel independent suspension, as supported by standard 18-inch alloy wheels (GT variant only).
While all variants come with four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), the GT is given larger, ventilated rear discs. Inside, the Eclipse Spyder features a wave-form instrument panel that accommodates easy-to-reach controls and unique motorcycle-inspired gauges as well as ice blue LED nighttime illumination. Customers could choose from three available interior color schemes: Techno-Sport (dark charcoal), Avante Garde (terra cotta) and Hi-Q Sport (medium gray).
Passengers are treated to high-back front bucket seats with open head restraints for improved rear visibility while the driver is provided with a steering wheel with audio system remote controls. All models are endowed with a standard 650-watt (max) Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 playback capability, as well as a six-disc, in-dash CD changer. SIRIUS Satellite Radio with a six-month pre-paid service subscription is also included.
This Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system has been engineered especially for the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, offering automatic sound equalization either during top-up or top-down driving. This system is complemented by an 8-inch subwoofer integrated into the rear seat area.
One of the remarkable elements of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is its automatic cloth top that folds to be placed under a powered cover in just 19 seconds. When deployed, the top’s multi-layer construction allows for a full headliner that provides a quiet, tight fit similar to that of a coupe. Moreover, the Eclipse Spyder features glass rear window with a defroster.