Traditionally, those buyers have been women, but Mitsubishi thinks the latest iteration of the Eclipse Spyder will also appeal to men. Why? It’s not a “chick car.” Rather, the redesigned Eclipse Spyder has been boldly styled and engineered for truly responsive sports car handling, and even though it has seats for four and is heavier than pure performance machines like the Mazda MX-5 Miata or Honda S2000, it’s up to the task – especially in GT attire. As for the styling, during a test drive of nearly 200 miles, it attracted plenty of attention among onlookers – from both Mars and Venus – who gave a thumbs-up for its alluring appearance, which looks more like a pricey Lexus SC430 or Audi TT than a mainstream Mitsubishi.
While the racy Lancer Evolution sedan clearly represents Mitsubishi’s flagship performance standard, the Eclipse has always stood for affordable performance, without the bone-jarring ride and boy-racer equipment of the Evo. Now it has gone upscale in many respects, and Mitsubishi claims its new 2007 Eclipse Spyder is a “reward car” built for “Gen-E” (for everyone), but we disagree. We still see it as a boy- or girl-racer ragtop, a car sold on good looks and Mitsubishi’s hip Japanese-cool advertising imagery. But hey, sometimes distinctive styling and a catchy ad campaign are all you need to sell affordable performance to the masses.