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2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT-P Road Test
Spyder GT Premium not for the light-hearted
By Kevin 'Crash' Corrigan
The 2007 Eclipse Spyder hails in the third generation of this vehicle, which first came to the North America market in 1996. The familiar design has been altered slightly over the years, but the 2007 models have possibly received the greatest changes to date; they now appear more “beefed up and sportscar-like.”
For 2007, we shall have the choice of two models, the GS fitted with a 2.4-litre, 162-hp four-cylinder, and the GT-P, which I drove, that boasts a 3.8-litre V6 with 260 horses available.
The new design truly sets this vehicle apart from its ancestors. It appears sleeker, the front has received a more aggressive stance and the rear end has been made extremely attractive. As can be said for most convertibles, the GT-P looks best with the top down. Mitsubishi have gone to great lengths to hide the powered fabric top under a well thought out hard cover that lays flat and does not interfere with the rearward vision.
The lighting units on the vehicle, front and rear, further enhance its shape and succeed in becoming part of the exterior's highlights. The 18-in. alloy wheels are very fetching, although I personally would have liked to have seen a little less clearance between them and the wheel arches. I particularly liked the decals on the GT-P; they appear to have been designed with the style of the car in mind, unlike some competitors who tend to stick them on as an afterthought.
The inside of the GT-P is quite pleasing to the eye; contrasting colours have been put to good use, giving an up-market feel to the interior of the vehicle. The seats are leather-faced and of reasonable quality, although as a proclaimed four seater, the rear seats are possibly more suited to children than adults.
The dashboard layout is quite striking and the general feel of the controls and switches is better than what you would expect from a vehicle in this price range. The GT-P boasts all the usual features but also carries an excellent 650-Watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with nine speakers, a six-disc CD changer and a subwoofer.
The 3.8L V6 powerplant in the GT-P is enhanced by MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control). The dual-intake valve camshaft design enables changing between low-speed and high-speed modes, resulting in easy operation from low to high rpm, improving overall acceleration times and smoothness.
My test vehicle was fitted with the six speed manual gearbox that was of typical Japanese design; it was light and simple to use. The available power from the vehicle is excellent, although it does sometimes struggle to put it down onto the road. The GT-P is quite manageable most of the time, but the driver needs to be a little cautious as the vehicle produces a fair amount of torque steer. This tends to be the norm with high-performance front wheel drive vehicles. I myself own an old Mini Cooper S and am therefore somewhat accustomed to it, but I wouldn't like to see this car in the hands of a novice driver.
They tell me that the unibody construction has been reinforced, giving a 55% increase in torsional rigidity. I still found a little shake on cornering, but to be fair, most convertibles suffer from this and it is one of those things that you learn to live with.
At the end of the day, the GT-P appears to be reasonably good value for money, even though it has some tough competition in its class. Most Mitsubishi models still have a certain rarity value on the road and the GT-P attracts its fair share of admiring glances.
The build quality seems to be there, and for the most part, it is a good looking, good driving car. I have to conclude however by reiterating the opinion that it is a vehicle for the experienced driver, definitely not your grandmother's runaround.
My rating 7+ / 10
Fuel consumption, L/100 km, city/highway: 13.3/8.1 (manual transmission), 12.3/7.7
(automatic). Requires premium grade fuel.
Vehicle price as tested $ 36,998.
The 2007 Eclipse Spyder GS model starts at $31,998. The GT Premium (GT-P) starts at $36,998. All Mitsubishi models include a “10-5-5” warranty. The powertrain is covered by a 10 year or 160,000 km limited warranty. The new vehicle limited warranty covers from bumper to bumper for five years or 100,000 km and the body panels have a seven-year or 160,000 km anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty. The program also includes 24/7 emergency roadside assistance with free towing to the nearest Mitsubishi retailer for warranty related repairs, for five years and unlimited km.