By Sanjiv Sathiah
Sunday, Sep 4th, 2011 @ 7:18 am
The last Mitsubishi Eclipse to roll off the assembly line has been listed on the Mecum Auctions website prior to an auction later this month in Illinois.

The last Eclipse is marked as a one-off version and is the only Eclipse to combine the 3.8L/265 HP V-6 engine with the commemorative Special Edition package. In a unique twist, members of Mitsubishi's Facebook community picked the Kalapana Black color from a historical Eclipse color palette.

The model also includes special 18-inch Dark Argent alloy wheels and unique graphics. It is also optioned with a sunroof, leather interior, 650W Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker audio system with Sirius XM, hands free Bluetooth phone interface, rear view camera and HID headlights.

Over the past 22 years, the Mitsubishi Eclipse nameplate achieved cult status, particularly the first two generations of the model. In total, it went on to sell 980,000 units and was among the biggest selling coupes on the market.

However, its popularity was marked by a sharp decline following the third-generation redesign in 2000. The outgoing fourth generation remedied some of the issues with the previous model, but was also unable to rekindle the magic of the first two models.

Mitsubishi described the evolution of the Eclipse as moving from a "sleekly-styled, turbocharged 4-cylinder boy racer model"ť to a "sophisticated yet distinctive-looking two-door,"ť which it may well be. However, its raw enthusiast appeal went missing in action in the process.

The money raised from the sale of the last Mitsubishi Eclipse will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross, which continues to support victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

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