PerformancePerformance Key Points:
With 263 horsepower on tap from its 3.8-liter V6, the 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe has ample grunt to help it pull hard throughout the rev range. That horsepower rating peaks at 5,750 rpm and is supported by 260 lb.-ft. of torque rolling on at 4,500 rpm, all pushed to the front wheels by a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode. With the six-speed, it’s easy to run the V6 up to redline, though the relatively quiet engine would hardly let the driver know. Instead, one needs to keep an eye on the tachometer or wait until engine power is automatically cut in an act of self preservation. It sounds like fun to an enthusiast, but peak power is achieved quickly and wringing out the motor can be short-lived. Leave the Eclipse GT in second for spirited runs between canyon corners only to be handcuffed mid-sprint by the sputtering engine’s need for third gear. Mashing the throttle also unleashes an abundance of torque-steer. However, the manual transmission’s shift knob is well-placed and precise, accented by a light-effort clutch.
Once you’ve determined how best to smoothly extract the 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT’s power, you’ll ultimately have to slow it all down. Saddled with that task are antilock brakes with ventilated discs and electronic brake-force distribution. The system is characterized by a touchy pedal with little effectiveness for the first half to one inch of progression followed by a rather abrupt unleashing of stopping power. Adjusting to the setup around town is quick; learning how to finesse the pedal during aggressive driving, when foot movement is faster and too much sudden brake pressure can be dangerous, takes a bit more time.