Deep dive: Brian’s Mitsubishi Eclipse from “The Fast and the Furious” – Motor Authority

The walking Wikipedia page that is Craig Lieberman is back, and this time he has more information than you could imagine on one of the star cars from “The Fast and the Furious.”

Although Brian O’Connor’s (Paul Walker’s) Mitsubishi Eclipse didn’t have as prominent a role as other cars, it’s still one of the original hero cars. If you’ve watched the other videos that are part of Lieberman’s video series, you know these cars really weren’t what the producers made them out to be. Any enthusiast with a little knowledge also knows the Eclipse (with technology and parts from 2001) would not run with Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel‘s) Mazda RX-7.

Yet, O’Connor was the film’s hero and he needed a hero car. In the video above, Lieberman breaks down where the car came from and what modifications it featured. The car was the only Eclipse to show up to one of Lieberman’s casting calls in early 2000, so John Lapid was the lucky winner to have his car play a starring role. His car was originally dark green and then silver.

This also wasn’t a top-of-the-line Eclipse. In fact, it was the base model known as the RS for the second-generation Eclipse. The top performers from the second-generation were the GS-T with the turbocharged inline-4 engine and the GSX with all-wheel drive. This car had none of that. In reality, the movie car made 150 horsepower on a good day and it would have never handled the three-stage nitrous oxide system portrayed in the movie.

Lieberman also dives into two scenes that still cause hilarity today: the “danger to manifold” warning and the infamous floorboard piece falling off. The former technical director for the franchise urged the team to choose a different message to pop up on the laptop computer, but others decided “danger to manifold” would be understood better by the general public. As for the floorboard falling out, that was also just for dramatic effect. The producers wanted sparks and that’s how they got them. Nothing about the scene would cause this to happen and Lieberman is well aware Toretto’s legs should be dangling from the car in the scenes to come.

Watch the complete video to learn that the movie used six Eclipses for the various scenes and how to build a replica of the car, which isn’t easy given how old its parts are nowadays.

Lieberman reunited with the car’s owner earlier this year. That video is below for you to reminisce about the tuner scene in its glory days.

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Mitsubishi previews new plug-in hybrid SUV for Tokyo show – Autocar

Mitsubishi will reveal a new compact plug-in hybrid SUV concept at next month’s Tokyo motor show.

The as-yet-unnamed car, partially shown in an image and confirmed in limited information released today, is intended to preview Mitsubishi’s next-generation plug-in hybrid four-wheel-drive technology for models smaller than the Outlander.

The hybrid technology will be smaller and lighter than Mitsubishi’s current plug-in hybrid system, which it pioneered first on the Outlander PHEV. It will be four-wheel drive and is claimed to offer both improved efficiency in urban environments as well as greater control off road. 

Mitsubishi has not released any technical details of the new hybrid system, which will join the larger one it already has in its range on the Outlander. That current plug-in hybrid tech mixes a 2.4-litre petrol engine with a 13.8kWh battery and twin electric motors.

A replacement for the Outlander was previewed at the Geneva motor show in March with a concept called Engelberg Tourer that continued with a 2.4-litre petrol engine but now mated to a larger 20kWh battery. 

The concept car’s downsized plug-in hybrid technology could therefore be intended for the Eclipse Cross, either in this generation or the next. Mitsubishi sources confirmed to Autocar earlier this year that the Eclipse Cross would be offered with plug-in hybrid technology in the future.

The concept could also provide early clues to the Eclipse Cross’s distant successor, although the limited parts of the styling that can be seen in the preview image show a rather outlandish treatment for the rear of the roof. 

Mitsubishi sources also confirmed to Autocar that it would look to move its three SUV models – ASX, Eclipse Cross and Outlander – further apart in size. The ASX is set to be offered with an all-electric drivetrain in its next generation, rather than hybrid technology.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is an affordable SUV, but lags behind competition –

The Mitsubishi Eclipse was originally a sport compact sold between 1989 and 2011. It was immortalized as one of the key vehicles in “The Fast and Furious” and became a cornerstone of 90s/00s tuner culture. Which is all to say: It’s pretty brazen for Mitsubishi to put the Eclipse name on a lackluster crossover, but here we are. If you’re looking for an affordable small SUV, the Eclipse Cross checks that box. It’s what you give up that needs to be considered.

The Eclipse Cross is a sharp-looking car, especially from the front. The rear window is split by a rear spoiler deck and a long, thin brake light that spans the rear. It’s a neat design, especially at night, but it partially obstructs the driver’s rearview vision.

The Eclipse has a bold rear-end design, but the split window impedes rear visibility. —George Kennedy

Inside, the Eclipse Cross provides a handsome cabin design, and extremely comfortable seats, especially with the range-topping SEL trim from our test drive. Other trims of the Eclipse Cross include ES, LE, SP, and SE.

Standard features on the base ES include a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, remote keyless entry, and heated side-view mirrors. That’s a decent collection of standard features, but the controls for this infotainment system leave something to be desired. For one, there’s no volume knob. There is a volume control on the steering wheel and volume up/down haptic buttons on the right side of the infotainment panel. Automakers have taken a beating in the press when they try and leave out the volume knob, to the point where Honda brought them back on all their cars.

There is another way to control the volume, though you’d probably never know it. Located down by the cupholders is an infotainment control pad, flanked by Home, Apps, and Back buttons. You can drag two fingers up fore or back on the pad to raise and lower the volume.

Our range-topping SEL test model featured comfortable, plush leather seats, paddle shifters, dual-zone climate control, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also had a heads-up display, though its display adjustment doesn’t raise or lower enough to accommodate a taller driver’s field of vision.

The dash layout is sharp, but lacks basic controls like a volume knob. —George Kennedy

The Eclipse Cross comes with one engine option, a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit that makes an underwhelming 152 horsepower and a more respectable 184 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through a continuously variable transmission to the front wheels, or available all-wheel-drive.

Acceleration is adequate and is able to get out of its own way, though it makes an incredible amount of engine whine in the process. This engine is better around town, while at highway speeds it tends to struggle (still making a lot of noise). The steering is responsive, and turn-in is direct, but there is a good amount of body roll. On the flip-side, it does a really solid job soaking up bumps in the road.

Mitsubishi’s fancy name for the AWD system is Super All-Wheel-Control. It provides Auto, Snow, and Gravel drive modes, toggled via a large circular button in the center console. When equipped with this system it returns fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon in the city, 26 miles per gallon on the highway, and 25 combined.

Our test model came equipped with a host of driver assistance technology, including forward-collision avoidance, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. But these are all options, while competitors like the Toyota RAV4 provide such features as standard equipment.

Base MSRP for the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is $22,845, and that price undercuts a majority of compact SUV rivals by $2,000-3,000. This includes the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4. All of these competitors are worth paying the extra money for, but if you absolutely have to go for the most affordable compact crossover, the Eclipse Cross is perfectly acceptable. You’ll just have to drive it with the knowledge you could have paid more for several significantly better SUVs.