Whenever once-great nameplates get axed, we feel a twinge of regret, even if it’s a mercy killing. According to trade journal Automotive News, Mitsubishi will scuttle all region-specific by the end of 2013. That means North American market platforms like the Endeavor, Galant and Eclipse are on death row. Two of those have a long history in the US and were once proud torchbearers of the triple diamond logo.
The Galant actually came to the US in late 1970 disguised as a Chrysler, hiding their foreignness with Dodge Colt and Plymouth Champ badges. Their light weight and rear-wheel-drive layout made them popular with the rally crowd, and their slick shape got them in with funny car drag racers (albeit with Mopar V8 swaps). After Mitsubishi came to the US, the Galant was re-launched as a front-wheel-drive mid-size sedan that never quite reached Accord/Camry fame, but had some great moments in AWD turbocharged VR-4 form.
Remember 1990? You could get a handsome sports coupe for starting around $11,000. The Eclipse, along with its siblings the Plymouth Laser and Eagle Talon, stepped out onto the scene and made sports compact history. Better yet, the turbo AWD version boasted unmatched performance for its class. The Eclipse GSX ran 0-60 in something like 6.7 seconds and the price was still under $17,000. If you had one in high school, you were the envy of all. Sadly, your editor owned a used Buick.
Unfortunately, both of these models have become bloated and torpid with age, and the time has come to take these Old Yellers behind the shed with a shotgun. What will take their place? Mitsubishi says they will now focus on hybrid and battery powered models that can be used as a one-size-fits-all for the global market.
x1. only to add i wish they’d had killed the galant after the vr4. embarrassing to have the current model connected to the golden age galants of 1970’s
RIP. Too bad the Eclipse was so irrevocably tied to FnF.
for some reason, i don’t know… i’m just not “sad” that these are leaving our options for new cars.. don’t get me wrong, i like mitsubishi.. well, i used to..
I think that design has a big deal to do with Mitsubishi’s current status, lets look at how the Camry and the accord have grown and matured in so many ways…..Hell, look at Hyundais!!!!! The galant looks like it should be the car used in that Subaru mediocrity commercials or the new Hyaundai compact conspiracy ads…….The new ecipse? no comments…… Mitsu has not been aggressive over these last few years as their competitors have and they are now seeing the fruit of this labor…Mitsubishi….if you hear me out there…..DONT BE LATE, DELEGATE!!!!!
I went into a Mitsubishi dealer to look at Lancers, when I asked for a pamplet they said they’re all online because it’s “greener” to use less paper. Now they’re foocusing on hybrids and battery power. Sigh. Green is trendy now, and chasing trends will only get you so far. Remember when SUVs were popular? Remember when entire product lines were dependent on the success of SUVs? Didn’t we learn anything? Good luck, Mitsu. You’ll need it.
No doubt they will replace each bloated and torpid model with another model that is equally bloated and torpid. The Lancer has been steadily gaining weight, girth, and height, to the point that it certainly is no longer sleek, lite, or sporty.
And do not make the mistake of believing that SUVs are a thing of the past. Example: Chrysler spent all last year promising the Fiats would be here in 2011, and they are nowhere to be found. Instead, Chrysler’s center piece at this year’s show circuit is the bigger, heavier, uglier than ever, Durango/Grand Cherokee, with crowds ten deep trying to get a look and test-sit in the driver’s seat.
The recent Galants are something of a case study in how Honda, Toyota, Ford and GM have the midsize sedan market pretty much sewn up. They didn’t have a compelling reason to buy one over one of the defaults with proven resale value, unlike with Subaru’s AWD, Mazda’s sportiness, Nissan’s style (in the first half of a design cycle…)
The Eclipse is just sad. First it was a cheap, fun lightweight, then it bulked-up to accomodate true high performance, then the performance went away and all that was left was a car that was as big and pricey as a Mustang with two fewer cylinders model-for-model.
^well said nlpnt. @80celica i don’t think mitsu can hear you. i don’t think they’ve been listening for decades
i feel what mitsu needs to bring over is the current Colt.. it’s like a baby hatchback evo X.. i like it.. but will never see it on these shores..
Yeah, that lil MICROCAR is what us enthusiast all want?? Wake up guy, you think that car is better than the Eclipse or Galant or is the golden goose to save Mitsubishi?
We have enough useless POS lil cars on the road… the Fit, Smart car, Mazda 2, Prius, Yaris, Accent, etc…
You’re the reason why models get cancelled… you buy the cheapest low base model, and think YOU’RE contributing to save a car brand. Go buy a luxury or sport model, THEN you’ll be contributing.
*** HINT- The US doesn’t sell the Colt for a reason… it was an awful seller, compared to the Corolla, Civic, Cavalier(at the time of Colt being sold in US), Sentra, and Focus.
The US fell outta love for the Colt back in 1996… that’s why it was cancelled. When it was cancelled NO one cared.
Mitsubishi’s golden era of ground breaking design was in the 80’s. A decade I’ll be stuck in forever. Born in the 80’s and down with the ladies.
NO WAY?! Why would they get rid of the Eclipse and Galant? In the US, the Galant has been around since 1985 and the Eclipse since 1989. Those 2 cars are familiar to Mitsu lovers. Their sales may not be great…but that’s NO reason to give up on them, that means Mitsu should come up with better versions of them. This is just as sad, as when Toyota got rid of both the Celica AND MR2 in 2005. Unreal. 🙁
Very sad… You can even QUOTE me on this… I see Mitsubishi, going the way of Isuzu, Renault, Peugeot, AMC, Pontiac, Saturn, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, MGB and Triumph. Only to be sold brand new, overseas… and just an automotive memory in the US.
The top article says the Galant came disguised with Colt and Champ badges… Colt, YES… Champ, NO!! The Champ was based on the Mirage FWD. The Galant was still a RWD overseas, during 1979-84 when the Champ was sold in the US.
I hate when people refer to the JDM names for the US car… we only had a Galant(in name since 1985)… if you bought you’re car in the US… surprise, it’s a COLT, not a Galant, Sigma, Lambda or Lancer. You’re in the US, you’re car is NOT JDM. Accept the truth.
Stop faking the funk, the Japanese are laughin at you. 🙄
Mitsubishi’s formula for success with the Galant and Eclipse….Study what Hyundai have been doing for the last 10 years or so….have some European (Pinifarina or Giorgetto Giugiaro) design the two new cars……push it to be the official Super Bowl vehicles for next year and WalaHHH!!! SUCCESS!!!!