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2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GTS
 

(October 10, 2002)  - Every one knows that the Eclipse Spyder GTS is a convertible sports car.  What they may not know is that its also a luxury vehicle trapped inside a sports car shell.  From the 210-watt, 6 disc in dash, 7 speaker Infinity stereo to its 12-Way Adjustable (6-Way Power) Driver Seat including Dual Power Height Adjustment and Adjustable Lumbar Support, it screams "slow down and enjoy the ride".  And for those instances where you get the urge to be Michael Schumacher, you have on tap a  210-horse power, 3.0 liter, V6 engine and an incredibly stylish sports car exterior that screams, "put the pedal to the metal."


The 2003 Spyder GTS features a host of improvements in design as well as in mechanical upgrades that make this the most performance-oriented vehicle in the eclipse lineup.  Most of the upgrades can been seen on the outside, with 17" five spoke alloy wheels, two-tone graphite lined taillights, integrated fog lights, dual exhaust, and a more refined body styling.  Even the convertible top has been improved with a 3-layer soft top that folds down in just 15 seconds using a switch located near the shift gate.  Standing back and looking at the car, you can easily see that it serves two purposes, for the young sports car enthusiast and for the 30- something crowd who want the feeling of a fast ride but would also like to be able pull up to 5-star hotels and fancy restaurants. There is no doubt that this car's styling is more refined than previous models and its nicely blends the two extremes of the market: sports and luxury.

Driving the Sypder GTS is, to put it mildly, lots of fun. Pulling out of the parking lot I immediately pushed the accelerator down, and the engine responded very nicely.  The V6 cranks out enough torque to push your head back in the seat.  Most of the power is within the 4000 to 7000 rpm range.  When inside that rpm window, the car feels invincible to any car surrounding you and passing the everyday Joe-on-the-road is achieved with lightning speed and grace.  Stop-and-go traffic was performed with little effort; regardless of the fact the transmission was a 5 speed manual.  With the smoothness of the clutch release, this car's drivetrain performs with the ease of a precision automatic.  The handling of the car is extremely solid.  When driving the car, it feels well glued to the road.  The 3rd generation Eclipse had a total body alteration, it now features a sturdy unibody construction and as a result, the car feels generally more stable than previous models.  The only noteworthy complaint was that the car felt too heavy for itself around heavy braking sharp turns.

First stepping into the car, one will notice the surprisingly roomy passenger compartment. The efficiency of the interior is quite amazing.  I loved how you can adjust the sides of the backrest to tighten or loosen it up for the feel that you want.  All the essentials of the dash are outlined in smooth silver trim, and even the vents are pretty sweet, as they spin and flip in place. The back seat looked larger than the back seat of most sport convertibles, and the rest of the car followed in the same fashion. The body of the car is rather large, but still small enough for the engine to pull the car around like a rag doll. The vehicle came standard with 12-way adjustable, 6-way power driver seats, leather front seating surfaces, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a host of interior amenities that make a long ride both comfortable and enjoyable.

All in all, the Eclipse Spyder GTS is a mind-boggling cool car. It can hold its own against the real names in speed, and still manages to keep the car impressive in nearly every other manner for fewer than 30,000 dollars. It's the Boxster for the owner who is too smart to throw their hard earned money away on fancy stuff they probably will keep stored in a temperature controlled garage. The Eclipse is the pinnacle of the teenager's dream car, but it seems to improve and widen its prime marketing crowd every year. It's a value car, mixed with a luxury car, mixed with the car that will make people turn their heads.

With Mitsubishi's current promotion of No Interest, No Payments till 2004, the 2003 Eclipse Spyder GTS looks like a steal. With a base price starting at $28,260, it pretty much comes with everything you need. There are only a limited number of options, such as Six-Disc In-Dash CD Changer, Wheel Locks, Engine Block Heater, and a few car care accessories. Buyers will most likely only opt for the CD-changer which should still leave the price tag in the mid $28K range. A pretty sweet deal for a powerful convertible that also has nice interior amenities and a huge fan base. Your friends will all wish they had a GTS Sypder parked in their garage

 

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2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GTS
Engine: 3.0L SOHC 24V V6
Net Power: 210 hp @ 5750 rpm
Net Torque: 205 lb-ft @ 3750 rpm
Trans: 5-speed manual
Wheels: 17 in Alloy
Tires: 235/50/R17 V-RATED TIRES
Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes - anti-lock brakes
Wheel Base: 103.1 in
Length: 176.8 in
Width: 68.9 in
Height: 52.8 in
Weight: 3329 lbs
EPA: 21/29 (city/highway)
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