If you ask people what Mitsubishi sports car is most memorable it wouldn’t be a surprise if they answered Mitsubishi Eclipse. In fact, the Mitsubishi Eclipse began its production in the U.S. back in 1989 as the replacement to the Starion coupe. The Eclipse quickly got the reputation for being a coupe that could satisfy nearly every budget with models ranging from the entry-level four banger to the turbocharged all-wheel drive version. There was even that brief stint with the Eagle brand and the Talon—a car that was really just beefed up with additional body cladding. 2012 will mark an end of the era with the announcement from Mitsubishi that the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE will be the end of the nameplate.

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE

As you might guess, the SE stands for “Special Edition” and will be available in either the Coupe or Spyder body style. Other unique styling cues will include SE rocker panel graphics, black side mirrors, dark finish eighteen-inch wheels and a 162-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The thing that kind of goes against the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) road racing reputation is that it will only come in a four-speed automatic. That said, the inside won’t leave you wanting much with leather appointed seating, heated front seats, review camera, Bluetooth and a 650-watt premium sound system. So far, there is no word on price, but we would guess it will be more than the base model and slightly less than the GT trim with the 265-hp.

Speaking of the GT, it will still be available through the end of the 2012 model year and if you like a little more punch in your sports car it is the way to go. The GT, for those unfamiliar, comes equipped with a 265-hp V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Sorry Charlie—the manual is a thing of the past. We could recommend a 1996-1999 teardrop body style GS-T if you want the manual and speed.

 

 

[Source: Mitsubishi]