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14. Acura ZDX
As 2012 winds to an end, AutoGuide looks back at all the vehicles that received the axe this year, some that will be missed, while others surely won’t be.
Starting it off is the Acura ZDX, a crossover that had a very tough time breaking into the market. Priced at around $51,815 including delivery, the ZDX was hardly a hot seller for the Japanese automaker, and it’s clear that Acura can’t wait to move forward from it.
Mitsubishi certainly had a great run with its sporty Eclipse model, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The last Eclipse ever produced will be auctioned off by Mecum as a 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe SE with a 3.8L V6. It is a special-edition Eclipse custom built by Mitsubishi Motors North America to commemorate the Eclipse’s 22-year run and will be auctioned off September 15-18th, 2011 at the St. Charles Auction with all the proceeds being donated to Japan’s Red Cross earthquake relief.
The one-of-a-kind Eclipse features a Kalapana Black paint scheme on the outside, which was selected by Mitsubishi’s Facebook fans, 18-inch Dark Argent wheels, SE lower side graphics, sunroof, leather interior, a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker audio system with SiriusXM, hands-free Bluetooth, rearview camera and HID headlights.
“Our goal with this Mitsubishi Eclipse SE was to create a very special car that would best honor the closing of this vehicle families’ chapter, built at our Normal, Illinois facility,” said Greg Adams, VP Marketing & Product Planning at Mitsubishi Motors North America. “We believe this one-off 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE will become a highly collectible automobile, and we are excited to work with Mecum Auctions to offer it to collectors at their high-energy events.”
The iconic Eclipse has sold over 980,000 cars since production started 22 years ago and makes the Eclipse the best-selling Japanese brand sports car in the last 20 years (if you consider the Eclipse a sports car that is.)
GALLERY: Last Production Mitsubishi Eclipse
eBay is just full of hidden gems and surprises, along with really random and cheap stuff. We ran across this Mitsubishi Eclipse and on the outside it looks like your standard Eclipse with minimal modifications. Then you take a look at the interior and it’s overwhelming … tacky, but then you notice there’s a whole lot of batteries inside and under the hood. “What’s this?” Well, it’s an all electric Eclipse.
The car itself is just your standard, run-of-the-mill 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS but it now features a 72-volt system and a motor manufactured by D&D motor systems. There are nine 8-volt batteries and one 12-volt battery with a recharge time of 8-10 hours. The owner claims that the vehicle has a driving range of anywhere from 15-40 miles depending on your driving speed. Speaking of speed, it’s got a top speed of 60 mph.
Surprisingly the owner admits he’s spent around $9,000 (and countless hours of labor of course) to making the project a reality. It’s interesting to say the least, but we could really do without the ridiculous interior modifications.
GALLERY: All Electric Mitsubishi Eclipse
While we have no problems commending the efforts of those who think outside the box, we have to admit we threw up a tad when we spotted this Mitsubishi Eclipse. And as much as we want to criticize this build, we have to give the owner some kudos for really overhauling the car in order to support the gigantic wheels and tires. In fact, he completely modified the car’s suspension in order to fit the 28-inch wheels on it.
And our donk-obsessed owner doesn’t plan on stopping there, with dreams in installing an LS1 V8 under the hood.
While we hate to criticize creativity, we feel like a donk’ed out Eclipse is just downright silly. Does it garner attention? Surely. But there’s a good reason no one has done this before.
[Source: Tampa Bay Sports Car Examiner]
Check out the video after the jump
Japanese automaker could use Saturn dealerships to almost double its retail network
Oddly, it seems as though Saturn is far more interesting and far more loved as the up-for auction arm of a doomed for bankruptcy company than it ever was as regular old car brand. To date the Penske Automotive Group, automaker Nissan/Renault and investment firm Telesto Ventures have all been cited as potential buyers. Now we can add Mitsubishi to that list.
According to a report in the Detroit News the Japanese automaker is in talks with GM to supply its vehicles to the existing Saturn dealership network. The move would see Mitsu expand its number of dealerships in the U.S. by 380 – up from the current 430 dealerships.
The move seems unlikely as Mitsubishi is suffering in the current economic downturn. In April the company sold just 3,919 vehicle in the U.S., down 55.9 percent from the same month in 2008.
Mitsubishi is, however, eager to gain a larger percentage of the U.S. market and until recently was even engaged in talks with Chrysler to bring a small electric car called the Peapod Mobility to the U.S.
The company does appear to be beefing up it’s product line and rebranding its existing products. Company representatives have made it clear that the i MiEV electric micro-car (pictured above) will come to North America and a coupe version of the car has been explored in concept form. Additionally, Mitsu recently launched the Sportback version of the Lancer. As far as rebranding, the company is finally picking up on the success of the Lancer and Evo models and is giving that look to the rest of its line. We’ve already seen it with the 2009 Eclipse and the next generation Outlander promises to have an Evo-style nose.
[Source: Detroit News]