(from Mitsubishi Press Release)
Like a soothsayer peering into a crystal ball, Mitsubishi Motors North
America, Inc. (MMNA), today provided a glimpse into the future through
the Eclipse Concept-E.
But perhaps the future is more clearly
visible through the glowing plasma bulb located in the car's center
console. Because when the Eclipse Concept-E's parallel hybrid motor is
switched on, that plasma indicator light glows with its own unique
energy, letting the driver know that there's more here than meets the
Upon initial glance, what meets the eye is a highly styled coupe.
Featuring plasma running lights and taillights; neon crackle-tube
indicators and brake lights; and a glass roof that offers ambient
luminescence of its own, the Concept-E could be called a study in light.
But an innovative all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration-in which parallel
engines provide power to both the front and rear axles-also makes the
Eclipse Concept-E a study in high-tech mechanics. Thanks to this unique
hybrid system, called E-Boost, the Concept-E delivers a continuous,
uninterrupted stream of power even while the six-speed automated manual
transmission changes gears. The result is a car that boasts performance
to match its aerodynamic appearance.
"The Eclipse Concept-E suggests that performance and fuel efficiency
need not be mutually exclusive," said Ulrich Walker, executive vice
president of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. "E-Boost is environmentally
friendly technology, but it's also pure driving fun. The Concept-E is
proof that hybrid technology can do as much for power and performance as
it can for fuel consumption," Walker said.
Since its introduction to the North
American market, the Eclipse compact sports coupe and convertible series
has won wide acclaim for its styling and its segment-leading
performance. The Concept-E carries that performance-bred spirit to
electrifying new heights.
The Eclipse Concept-E rides on 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear
performance tires, and nine-spoke, 20-inch wheels suspended by
independent multi-links at all four corners. In fact, the rear
suspension and differential were designed specifically for high
performance; the rear suspension setup is the same one found underneath
the motorsports-bred Lancer Evolution-series sedan.
The Eclipse Concept-E's front wheels are
powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 engine that features Mitsubishi Innovative
Valve timing and lift Electronic Control (MIVEC). Driving the rear
wheels is a rear-mounted E-Boost electric motor which provides an
additional 200 horsepower, for a total output of 470 horsepower. Because
it is not affected by gear changes, the throttle-actuated electric rear
motor gives the Eclipse Concept-E a constant source of power when it's
needed, which directly translates to higher, more efficient performance.
Besides raw speed, the hybrid powertrain also improves fuel economy and
lowers emissions when compared to vehicles with engines that develop in
excess of 450 horsepower. And when value is added to the equation, the
Concept-E is at least equal to its mass times the speed of light,
While the two-plus-two seating
configuration is carried into this preview of the fourth-generation
Eclipse, that's where most similarities end. Inside, the Wave Line
design theme includes an instrument panel that combines shadow and
light, hard lines and soft curves, to create an elegant, relaxing an
thoroughly modern environment.
"The Concept-E makes use of traditional Japanese design - the
incorporation of paradoxically complex elements in a simple manner,"
said Olivier Boulay, general manager of the Mitsubishi Motors Product
Light and shadow seem to merge inside the Concept-E, but the design
cohesiveness goes further: Raindrop-shaped door panels, which resemble
the shape of the exterior mirrors, give the interior a cohesive look and
feel, and metallic-toned leather performance seats appear to conduct an
electricity of their own.
Rear seat passengers benefit from the side-hinged hatch. Moving the
hinge away from the roof saved nearly two inches of rear headroom.
Deep Video Imaging and Multi-Layer Display(TM) (MLD) technology provide
the driver and passengers with simulated gauges, diagnostic information
and interactive displays in an intuitive, multidimensional format.
The Concept-E presents a distinctive
front visage featuring the new Mitsubishi Motors corporate identity
crafted around a prominent three-diamond logo. The front grille vent and
integrated front spoiler evoke the image of a jet fighter. The long
wheelbase, short overhangs and cab-forward layout create a highly
integrated form which, combined with the raindrop design side window,
gives the Concept-E an aggressive, ready-to-pounce profile.
The Eclipse Concept-E's hybrid electric drivetrain had its own influence
on design. As designer Mike Desmond explains: "Functional design
elements include the side exhaust ports, which allow the electric
motor's batteries to be placed down the center of the vehicle.
"The front of the door is raked back at an almost impossible angle, to
make the door cut lines accentuate the fenders. To do that, a special
lower door hinge had to be designed. The hinge is hidden by a
mechanically operated trap-door that folds open when the door opens. And
that elliptical shape, in turn, is reflected in the shape of the side
exhaust exits. Once again, we were able to integrate complex design
elements in a simple manner."