Mitsubishi Eclipse to Say Goodbye with Special Edition
2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE
2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor
To cap off a long, successful run in the U.S. marketplace, Mitsubishi has launched a bold new appearance package for both the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe and the drop-top Spyder. These new special edition models will be the last to come down the line before Mitsubishi stops Eclipse production in August.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse SE upgrade brings unique exterior accents'”like special decals, black side mirrors and 18-inch dark-finish alloy wheels'”to the strong package of features already offered on the Eclipse GS Sport models, which include:
- A 2.4-liter I4 engine that makes 162 hp/162 lb.-ft. of torque
- A four-speed automatic transmission
- Leather seating with heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat
- Rearview camera
- Bluetooth compatibility
- HID headlights with fog lamps
- Heated side mirrors
- A premium 9-speaker, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system
- A sunroof (on coupe models)
The SE vehicles will join a lineup that will finish its life cycle offering the standard Eclipse GS, the mid-level GS Sport and the high-performance GT, which packs Mitsubishi's 3.6-liter, 256-hp V6 engine for added power.
The Eclipse's demise had been announced earlier this year, but with no date given, and while the August deadline may seem as if it would leave dealers in the lurch, high inventory levels of the Eclipse should mean a more gradual affect on dealership sales than one might otherwise think. Also, as a peek at recent sales numbers indicates, the slow-moving Eclipse hasn't been hampering Mitsubishi's performance this year.
The car attracted only 4,282 new customers in 2010, and has earned a mere 772 sales in the first quarter of 2011, yet Mitsubishi as a whole has been on a bit of a run lately. Sales were up a healthy 39 percent in March, and the monthly total of 7,560 units was the automaker's highest volume since August of 2008. On a quarterly basis, Mitsubishi's growth of 49 percent through the first three months of 2011 was its largest Q1 jump in a full 21 years.
Driving this performance, and effectively responsible for the Eclipse decision, is the new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Teamed with the slightly larger Mitsubishi Outlander, the two vehicles have combined to raise overall Outlander sales by 90 percent in March and 94 percent for Q1. Volume-wise, the duo found nearly 2,400 new buyers last month, somewhere between the Honda Element and Nissan Pathfinder.
The Outlander Sport will begin production early in 2012 at the same Normal, Ill., plant that now builds the Eclipse as well as the Mitsubishi Galant and Mitsubishi Endeavor, two more vehicles slated to be retired by the automaker. The latter also will cease production in August, while plans for the former have yet to be announced.
And with the all-electric Mitsubishi "i" also slated to go on sale in the U.S. later this year, it's no wonder Yoichi Yokozawa, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, is reporting that "Mitsubishi dealers have not had this much excitement and showroom traffic since the federal cash for clunkers program in 2009."
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