The cars we loved.
None of the cars mention above are still around, but the Eclipse carries on. The current generation introduced in 2006 was a departure from the previous cars standard coupe layout with a proper trunk. As odd (or ugly if you will) as the 2000-2006 Eclipse might have looked, it was the best selling generation since the Eclipse heydays of the mid to late 90’s. Each new Eclipse became bigger as if to match the size of its buyers who increasingly grew out of smaller cars and were more likely to be overweight compared to themselves a decade or so ago. 2006 marked the return to form, well sorta for the Eclipse’s trademark hatchback styling. The car now retained some of the curves that made the 95-99 model so appealing. And just like that car from the 90’s the new Eclipse has grown in size and weight compaired to the previous generation. A V6 equipped GT weighs more than 200lb. than a typical loaded 1999 GSX, not even counting the heavier convertible.
The increased power make the Eclipse only slightly faster than the cars of the 90s, but at the cost of fuel efficienc. A big 3.8 L V6 now powers the front wheels only in the top GT model. At 265 hp the GT is now the most powerful Eclipse ever. Other versions of the car use a 2.4 L inline 4 cylinder that puts out a more modest 162 hp. From some angles the fifth-generation car looks way out there, with its aggressively cab forward green house and rakish shape. It drag coefficient of .34cd betrays its futuristic shape, suggesting more the aerodynamic profile of a suv, not a sport coupe (the 99 Eclipse has a .29cd). While on the subject of SUV’s, Car and Driver stated in a recent road test that the Eclipse was actually wider than a Ford Explorer! It’s easy to make the comparison to older cars, as the automotive press has done, but the numbers speak for themselves. Sales increases have come with the slight tweaking of the design in 2009 and despite its size and fuel appetite, the press seems to like the Eclipse overall, calling it “Two Tons of Fun” in one instance.