Is a redesigned Eclipse on the way? Mitsubishi pulled the cover off of the Concept-RA at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, a coupe whose silhouette bears a familiar resemblance to Mitsubishi's current Eclipse sports coupe.
Concept-RA, short for Road Alive, seats two and is entered via power butterfly doors. The RA is built on a lightweight aluminum frame and owes its aggressive look to a wide stance, flared fenders, matte black side air extractors and slant-nose grille. Titanium trim accents the concept's interior.
Something more than just a styling exercise, the RA takes some risks under the hood, at least for a sports coupe. Powering the concept is a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine that Mitsubishi claims achieves 40-plus miles per gallon.
While diesel engines are showing up in number at auto shows this year, only Mitsubishi and Audi put them in sporty performance vehicles. Audi's R8 V12 TDI, also introduced in Detroit, features a 500-horsepower 6.0-liter V12 diesel.
There's no word yet on whether Mitsubishi will take Concept-RA beyond this design experiment, but expect to see RA's styling influence an updated Eclipse due for the 2011 model year.