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2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT-P Review

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Charles Renny
I find it amusing that Mitsubishi has a colour on the books called Solar Yellow. A few years ago, no one would consider buying a car with such distinctive paint because all it did was attract attention. I guess stealth is out and peacock bright is in.

The car is built on curves.

Colour isn’t the only reason that the Eclipse stands out. The body design looks like you deserve a ticket even when you are parked. The car is built on curves. At the front, the hood curves up to the windshield which takes a different arc to go up and over the passenger compartment and then smoothes out to carry on to the rear of the car where the body arcs down into the rear. At the same time the sides have compound curves in the wheel arches and doors. Even the door glass curves from the door up to the roof.

Panel gaps on the Eclipse seemed to be a bit large at first glance. The giveaway that this was part of the build plan comes from the fact that the gaps are even all down the seam and not every panel has a large gap. It seems that where plastic trim meets metal, the gaps are a touch larger than average. Where metal meets metal, the panel gap is quite small.

Lest you think the Eclipse is just another boulevard queen, Mitsubishi has put their 3.8 litre V6 with variable valve timing and 265 horsepower under the hood. In addition you can choose between a five-speed automatic and a six-speed manual gear box which my tester came with. To help get the power of this engine to the ground through the front wheels, Mitsubishi adds a strut tower brace that runs from shock tower to firewall and then over to the other shock tower.

With the front wheels doing the moving, traction control becomes quite important when you get all 265 horses whipped into a lather. The car is marginally quicker with the traction control off, but you have to be quick enough to control the ensuing torque steer. Even on pavement, which if it is clean enough has little torque steer, the car will move about half a metre to the side if one wheel starts to slip.

Interestingly enough, when I was driving the car hard into corners and powering out of them, torque steer didn’t enter into the equation. Once I set my line through a corner, the car would stay on it unless I changed speed. The Eclipse was a lot of fun to drive up to about 9/10ths and this could be done quite easily.

Even more fun than driving hard was just going for a cruise at about 50%. Sitting back and relaxing, knowing that you can pick the space in the lane or that you have plenty of room to pass on the highway is always relaxing. The kilometres just roll on by when you do this.

Mitsubishi has put their 3.8 litre V6 with variable valve timing and 265 horsepower under the hood.
Charles Renny
Charles Renny
Automotive expert