A Bold Retrospective: The Fall of the Mitsubishi Eclipse
Ah, the 90's. They were simpler times. Power windows were still a luxury item and your music resided in books of CDs. It was a time when car design flourished, even in spite of production methods that we would consider archaic by modern hydroforming standards. It was a time of great cars like the '93 Lexus ES 300 and the '94 Toyota Camry- perhaps the best family sedan ever made. PHOTOS: See more of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Also in that automotive renaissance was the explosion of the Japanese sportscar market. High-revving runabouts like the Mitsubishi 3000GT, Toyota Supra, and the occasional gray-marketed Nissan GT-R. It was a great time for sportscars, as the tuner sensation started pushing the bounties of turbocharging. Arguably, no other car was more ubiquitous during this period as the Mitsubishi Eclipse. It was attractive, (relatively) light, and the inline four cylinder engine could be turbocharged into the stratosphere. The turbocharged, all-wheel-drive GSX model was one of the more formidable performance vehicles of its time…and then it all went to shit.
The second generation was the height of the Eclipse, but its replacement, the ugly-as-shit 2000-2005 Eclipse became one of the early victims of generation bloat. The adding of weight, via safety features that would eventually plague the rest of the auto industry found an early victim, and the car suffered. It lost any of its performance luster and was just an unforgivable design. The Eclipse was discontinued this summer, and I don't think anyone noticed it was gone.
This is what happens when a brand is not left in competent hands, and board members rely on a car's previous reputation to sell cars rather than try and make it better. Time leaves you in the dust, and a car goes off the market, and no one is their to weep for its demise.