Front-wheel-drive, 260bhp coupe could be here this summer

The latest generation of Mitsubishi's American-built Eclipse will be sold in the UK before the end of the year, Autocar has learned. The front-wheel-drive three-door liftback coupe wasn't to have a future on this side of the pond, but after a change of tack at Mitsubishi, it's now due to go on sale this summer.

The change of heart is attributable to a switch of personnel at the head of the company's European HQ. Mitsubishi's previous boss was not a fan of the Eclipse, but the (relatively) new boss, Briton Tim Tozer, reckons it worth importing, especially at today's advantageous exchange rate.

History suggests that he may have a point. Aspiring UK performance car fans don't just know Mitsubishi for its Lancer Evo saloons; there will be many who remember the mid-90s turbocharged 3000GT with fondness, and also a significant number of drivers who liked the company's evocative FTO coupe (which is also a front-driver) enough to buy a grey import model from Japan.

In the US, the Eclipse is available with a choice of 260bhp six-cylinder or 160bhp four-pot petrol power, and a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions. It's not yet clear which drivetrains will be offered in the UK.

Richard Bremner

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