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If we're being pedantic, the 2007 Eclipse Spyder GT is not really a spyder at all: according to the strict definition, the two prerequisites of automotive arachnids are a midmounted engine and rear-wheel drive. The Eclipse fails on both scores, but we're not ones to split hairs.
Whatever it is, the Eclipse GT cuts a dash in the flow of traffic, with its sculpted front styling, muscular contours, and bulbous rear end making it stand out even before the top comes down. While the gaping air dam in the front fascia gives it something of a toothless mouth, most of the other exterior styling details--such as the flame-shaped headlights and integrated rear spoiler--are in keeping with the Eclipse's ergonomic design.
Like nearly every convertible ever built, it looks better with the top down than with it up. The Eclipse Spyder GT's fully automated retractable roof is a sight to behold in motion. The power tonneau opens like a huge jaw, which swallows the cloth roof and flips back into place without a trace. The whole procedure takes less than 20 seconds and leaves the Eclipse GT looking a lot more respectable.
Inside, the Eclipse is comfortable and tastefully appointed, but pretty barren on the tech front. The two-tone leather-and-suede seats in our car (part of the GT Premium Sport Package) felt reassuringly supportive, especially when we used their six-way power adjustability to wedge ourselves in good and tight. With very little rear legroom, the backseats in the Eclipse Spyder are seats in name only, and would more accurately be described as a lowered parcel shelf.
Up front, the interior materials are well integrated: a strip of soft rubberized oxblood plastic across the dash met with our approval, as did the glimmers of faux brushed-metal accents for the door handles and the gear-stick surround.
As there is no navigation system, hands-free communications interface, or even an auxiliary-input jack, the star of the cabin is the car's as-standard audio system, which takes the shape of a six-disc in-dash CD changer with MP3-disc compatibility. This head unit is coupled to a 650-watt (max) Rockford Fosgate audio system complete with nine speakers, including an 8-inch subwoofer that sits in the center of the rear seats looking like the mouth of a Civil War-era cannon.
Field and Sub Punch options differentiate the stereo
As well as tuner controls for bass, midrange, treble, and fade, the stereo offers two additional functions that we haven't seen on many other OEM units. First is a Field setting that enables listeners to select one of four preset EQ arrangements to suit their specific kind of music. Options include: Live, which delivers a full, clear, immersive sound; Stage, which is bass-heavy and more muffled; and Hall, which delivers cavernous acoustics and makes vocals sound like they are being broadcast from the bottom of a well.
The second unique feature is Sub Punch, which gives listeners the option to control--on a scale of 0 to 6--the depth of bass coming out of the almighty subwoofer. Mitsubishi paid for a whole TV ad campaign highlighting the Eclipse's speed-sensitive volume feature, although we have to admit that the only noise increase that we observed at higher speeds was the deafening airflow through the cabin with the top down, and a rattling sound from the roof with the top up.