Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder – Cold Weather Intro for Warm Weather Ride

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Mitsubishi will unveil the latest Eclipse Spyder at the 2006 Detroit auto show this January. Sales are likely to start in spring 2006, in time for summertime top-down motoring. While unveiling a convertible in the Midwest in January may seem an unlikely venue, Mitsubishi has a history of launching Eclipse production and concept models in Detroit. The all Eclipse coupe was released early in 2005 and has been a moderate success in the American market to date. VehicleVoice (http://www.vehiclevoice.com) styling research has the styling of the Eclipse rated very strongly.

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Spyder Lineup Mirrors Eclipse Coupe
The Spyder’s powertrain lineup will mirror that of the coupe, as will the available trim levels. The convertible will be offered in GS and GT models, with an optional Rockford Fosgate premium audio system. Mitsubishi promises some surprise features as well, though a retractable hardtop is not likely to be among them. Look for a base 162HP 2.4L DOHC 16v I4 along with a 260HP 3.8L DOHC 24v V6. The V6 is the same as that in the Galant, tuned for more power. Standard transmission for the 2.4L I4 will be a five-speed manual with optional four-speed automatic, while the V6 is offered with a standard six-speed manual and optional five-speed automatic.

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As with prior Eclipse coupe and Spyder offerings, the interiors will be similar. The convertible is expected to share the driver-oriented layout of the coupe, which is a relatively clean look compared with many sporty entries. The gauges are said to be motorcycle-inspired and backlit with a color called Ice Blue, a refreshing change from the oft-used red and orange backlights.
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For those worried about buying American, yet still lusting after an Eclipse Spyder, take heart. Both the coupe and Spyder are built at Mitsubishi’s facility in Normal, Illinois. The facility opened in 1988 as a joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi, though in later years Mitsubishi bought out Chrysler’s stake.

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