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An Eclipse to watch

Yellow sports cars. Always seemed like overkill to me. Gilding the lily. Clamouring for attention. Unnecessary.

Yellow sports cars.

Always seemed like overkill to me. Gilding the lily. Clamouring for attention. Unnecessary. An extrovert’s exercise in ego-boosting.

I mean, having a sports car should be statement enough. Do you really need it in “hey, look at me!” yellow just in case nobody notices?

So maybe I was a little dubious as I took my first walk around the car. Or maybe I’d just got out of bed on the wrong side that morning because, as I circled the car, I grudgingly came to admit that the 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe looked pretty damn fine after all. Even in yellow.

Solar yellow is one of three new colours for the Eclipse this year, along with Maizen Blue pearl and Quick Silver metallic.

Personally, I’ve always been partial to the burnt orange shade of Sunset Pearlescent, particularly handsome on this car. But almost any colour seems to compliment the play of light along the curvaceous lines and sinuous flanks of this fourth generation Eclipse.

For 2009, the front and rear bumper fascias have had a facelift. The aggressive front end adopts the gaping grille ‘jet fighter intake’ design cue from the popular Lancer Evolution, a look that is spreading across the Mitsubishi lineup.

There are two model choices within the Eclipse Coupe lineup — a four-banger base GS and an upscale V6-powered GT-P version. We’ll leave the Eclipse Spyder convertibles for another story.

Under the hood, the base Eclipse GS starts things off with the standard 2.4-litre, 16-valve, SOHC four-cylinder engine equipped with Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control (MIVEC) technology, making 162 hp at 6000 rpm and 162 lb/ft of torque at 4000 rpm. This engine is unexciting but fairly frugal, rated at 10.5/7.3L/100km (city/hwy)(manual).

As tested here, the GT-P’s six-cylinder engine, also enhanced by the MIVEC system, ups the power ante significantly, adding over a hundred more horses with a corresponding increase in torque. Officially, the 3.8-litre, 24 valve, SOHC V6 harnesses 265 hp at 5750 rpm and 262 lb/ft of torque at 4500 rpm. Fuel economy is rated at 13.1/8.0L/100km (city/hwy)(manual).

This was a fun engine to row through the gears, powerful and responsive.

Inside, the Eclipse Coupe is comfortable for two.

The one-piece highback front buckets feature open headrests for a sporty look and enhanced rear visibility and were inspired by Mitsubishi rally cars.

Although officially rated as a four-seater, the rear seat in the Eclipse, as is the case in most 2+2s, is an afterthought, suitable only for occasional torture and more usually used as a receptacle for briefcases, purses and other odds and ends.

2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe
Type: Four passenger, two-door sports coupe
Price: GS $25,998; GT-P $34,798
Engine: GS 2.4-litre four-cylinder (162 hp, 162 lb/ft); GT-P 3.8-litre V6 (265 hp, 262 lb/ft)

Highlights
• New colour options
• Fun to drive
• Impressive redesign

 
 
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