Evolution Of The Mitsubishi Ec Essay, Research Paper
The Evolution of the Mitsubishi Eclipse
The Mitsubishi Eclipse has retained its public appeal because of significant marketing-influenced changes it has undergone in its eleven-year history. There are currently three (some say there are four) generations of this car, and by looking at the first and then the third generations, one would never make the connection. The car has maintained many of its fundamental concepts and taken on several new ones. Every time that a new model is introduced, the import community becomes filled with excitement. The owners of first and second-generation cars hope that tradition will not be broken and that the original concepts are not lost, while newcomers to the world of imports want to see something new and exciting.
The first generation Mitsubishi Eclipse (1989-1994) was a performance-oriented car that was marketed to younger adults and teens. Concepts were tested in 1988. Limited numbers of the first car were released in 1989, but true public marketing didn t begin until 1990. The Eclipse was a product of Diamond Star Motors (DSM), which also released clones of the Eclipse for Plymouth (Laser) and Eagle (Talon). Mitsubishi supplied the motor and all other components, and DSM assembled them in America. Several different versions of the Eclipse were made. There was an economy version with a 1.8-liter, eight valve, single overhead cam engine that was not for the speed enthusiast. The next step up was the GS. It came with a 2.0-liter, sixteen valve, dual overhead cam engine that was much better than the base model but still lacked some low-end power. Then came the GS-turbo. This was for the speed demon in all of us. It was the same engine as the GS, only it had a turbo that had a tendency to put fear into the hearts of Mustang GT owners and Camaro owners alike. Demons are intimidating in spirit form, but the speed demon was manifested in the production of the Eclipse GSX. This was the same turbo engine used in the other models, but performance was increased to accommodate this all-wheel-drive monster. Not only was this a fast car, but it could also handle the tightest turns with the greatest of ease. At this time there were not many cars in its class that could compete with the GSX. All-wheel-drive was thought to be only for rally cars.
The 1989-1994 stage includes the disputed generation. The 1989 through 1991 models were different from the 1992 through 1994 models. The first half of this generation had pop-up headlights and a distinctively different tail light design. The second half lost the pop-up lights and opted for a slightly different trim on the side of the car. These are very noticeable differences, but the heart of these models remained-the engine and performance options.
The second generation (1995-1999) built on the original performance ideas and increased its visual appeal. It has been the most popular of the Eclipses with the public due to its change in shape. This one just looked better. It was less boxy and wedge-shaped than the first generation. Diamond Star decided to drop the 1.8-liter engine with the introduction of this model. They offered a new alternative to the budget-minded car buyers, the RS. It had fewer options and was slightly less elegant than higher priced models. The RS model used the same engine as the GS. It was during this phase of Eclipse evolution that the greatest addition to the Eclipse family was made, the Spyder. It was a convertible with a 2.4-liter engine that was better than the GS by one horsepower and eighteen lb/ft of torque. DSM discontinued the Plymouth Laser but continued to produce the Eagle Talon, which was distinctively different from the Eclipse in some body areas. The performance of these cars was increased at this second stage in production. A few tweaks at the factory gave the buyer something they could work with. The engines were powerful enough that they were fun for daily driving, but the manufacturer left much room for modifications.
Third generation (2000-present) Eclipses have broken tradition in almost every aspect and have changed their marketing aim to primarily college graduates and single adults. The Eclipse has always had a juvenile appearance that gave it a mischievous personality. This personality is one thing that made some people love it so much. The third generation gave up this look in exchange for the look of a true sports car. However, it is not a real sports car. It is bigger, and no longer looks like a troublemaker. It has even been accused of entering the class of the Pontiac Grand Prix. This is a class that most young people avoid because the cars look too much like something that their moms would drive. That accusation does not only come from its new look, it also comes from the biggest breech of Eclipse tradition that one could imagine. In 2000 the public was informed of the newest addition to this line of cars. The third generation would include the GT model. It replaced the GS-T and the GSX. What could they possibly change on the car to require a new model? The answer came as an insult to many Eclipse owners. The GT was equipped with a V6 engine; something that was never dreamed of. The challenge of building a fast four-cylinder engine was the backbone of this car. It was the perfect combination of affordability, fuel economy, and power. People loved the car because it had accomplished these three things and performed beyond expectations. Now, the favorite models were gone, and many fans of the car are outraged. Most of them see this as a marketing plot to attract a broader variety of buyers. On the contrary, the move to include a V6 has caused a number of first and second-generation Eclipse owners to refuse to buy a new Eclipse.
The progress of this car reveals that cars do not change just to look good; they are subject to the rule of marketing. The rule is simple. Manufactures build cars according to majority public interest. For example, if more cars will sell because of the addition of a V6 engine option, then the option will be made available. There are exceptions to the rule, but they only come about once a decade.