NEW FOR 2009:

– New monotone front and rear fascias for GS Coupe and Spyder, new two-tone front and rear fascias for GT-P Coupe and Spyder
– Large body-coloured rear spoiler for GT-P Coupe
– GT-P V6 models receive power increase, dual exhaust, Xenon headlamps and active stability control
– Exterior colours: Maizen Blue Pearl, Quick Silver Metallic and Solar Yellow added

For 2009, the Mitsubishi Eclipse receives some changes, especially to the GT-P V6 model, which gets a horsepower increase from 260 to 265, and a torque increase from 258 to 262 ft-lbs, along with a new dual exhaust for better sound and standard stability control. All models receive new fascias at the front and rear.

The Eclipse comes as a Coupe or Spyder (convertible). Each is available as the GS, with 2.4-litre four-cylinder, or as the GT-P, with 3.8-litre V6. The four-cylinder comes with a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic, while the V6 uses a six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic.

Features on the GS include 17-inch alloy wheels, manual climate control, fog lamps, variable intermittent wipers, heated mirrors, LED taillights, tilt leather-wrapped wheel, cruise control, floor mats, power windows with driver’s side auto-down, hard tonneau cover, heated cloth seats, keyless entry, anti-theft alarm, and CD/MP3 stereo. The Spyder includes wheel-mounted audio controls and a tire pressure monitoring system, while the Coupe includes a split-folding rear seat.

The GT-P adds 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, Xenon headlamps, two-tone colour-keyed bumpers, large rear spoiler, dual exhaust, front strut tower bar, aluminum scuff plates, wheel-mounted audio controls, auto-dimming rearview mirror, six-way power driver’s seat, stability and traction control, premium Rockford Fosgate stereo, Sirius satellite radio, exterior temperature display, compass, and leather seats. The Coupe adds a power sunroof, while the Spyder adds aluminum pedals.

Depending on the model, available options include a body kit, rear wing spoiler, cargo organizer, iPod interface, and wheel locks.

With aggressive styling and a sports car stance, the Eclipse is a “looker”, whether with a roof or not, but it’s a tight fit inside, and considerable torque-steer and a wide turning circle detract from the driving experience. Both engines are well-done, especially the more powerful V6; should you prefer a manual, this one is fun to drive, although those who prefer automatics will be happy with this one’s smooth operation.

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