When Mitsubishi designed the Eclipse, the goal was a sports coupe for the American market that could outdo the competition. The Eclipse debuted in 1989 with the first of four generations. The original generation of Eclipse coupe did not include a convertible alternative, but did have four available trims to choose from. It was in 1996, during the second generation of vehicles, that the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Coupe Convertible was released. The original Spyder came with two trims and, like other trims in the second generation Eclipse line, there was one with a turbocharged engine and one without. The original Spyder trims were the GS and the GS-T. Those who opted for the Spyder GS were choosing a non-turbo 4G64 engine. The GS-T had the turbocharged 4G63. Both models where front wheel drive and included numerous features.
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When the Eclipse was redesigned for the third generation in 2000, the turbocharged engines were removed from the vehicles. Stricter emissions guidelines meant that the coupes had to revert back to standard engines. Though this wasn't a favored choice among fans, it did not diminish the popularity of the sports coupe. Mitsubishi released a new engine in 2003 and the Spyder convertible was one of the vehicles that shared it. The new engine gave some of the Eclipse line extra horsepower and a little more power in their driving. There were three trims of Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Coupe Convertible cars available during the third generation that included the GS, GT and GTS.
All three trims of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Coupe Convertible were front wheel drive, but the engine included was the biggest difference. The GS had a 147 hp 2.4 liter 4G64 engine while the GT and GTS shared a 210 hp 3.0 liter 6G72 engine. Between the years of 2003 and 2005 an Eclipse Spyder V6 model was sold in Japan for the left handed driving market.
The fourth generation of Eclipse was released in 2006, but the fourth generation of Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Coupe Convertible debuted at the North American International Auto Show for the 2007 year. The final generation of Spyder brought two trims, the GS Sport and the GT, until 2012 when a special SE version of the Spyder was released at the same time that Mitsubishi announced that production of the Eclipse line of vehicles would cease.