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Mitsubishi For 2001

By Carey Russ

Model year 2001 got off to an early start at Mitsubishi with the introduction of the Eclipse Spyder and latest-generation Montero sport-utility in mid-2000. The Montero Sport has safety and power enhancements. Diamante sedans, Galant sedans, and the Mirage sedans and coupes have minor changes for 2001

"All-new" barely begins to describe the 2001 Mitsubishi Montero. The name is about the only similarity to any previous Montero. The new vehicle has a car-like unit-construction chassis and fully-independent suspension, common in the small SUV class but unheard of in its full-size class. It's lighter, roomier, and far more rigid than the old Montero, with improved handling on or off the road. Even with 1.7 additional inches of ground clearance, step-in height is lowered by 1.9 inches. There is room inside for seven people, and the third-row seat completely disappears into the floor for increased cargo capacity. Power is from a revised version of Mitsubishi's 3.5-liter, 200-hp V6. Two trim levels are offered, XLS and Limited. The XLS has a four-speed automatic transmission and a conventional dual-range part-time four-wheel drive system. The Limited has a five-speed automatic with "Sportronic" manual shift mode and the sophisticated electronically-controlled "ActiveTrac" multi-mode 4WD system.

When the newest Eclipse coupe debuted last year, a convertible version was inevitable. And so the Eclipse Spyder was introduced in time for last Summer. It features the same "geo-mechanical" styling as the coupe and chassis reinforcements to make up for the loss of the roof. The fully-lined, power-operated top has a glass backlight with a built-in defroster element for all-season use. Like the Eclipse coupe, the Spyder has more interior space than the previous version. Engine choices are a torquey 147-hp 2.4-liter four or a 200-hp 3.0-liter V6, both available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic "Sportronic" transmission. The Eclipse coupe is unchanged.

Montero Sport
The second-generation of Mitsubishi's mid-size Montero Sport SUV was new last year. This year it has structural enhancements for greater occupant protection. All models are available in 4x4 form, and the top-of-the-line Limited and sporty 3.5XS get the 3.5-liter engine from the Montero.

Mitsubishi Specifications 2001

3.5-liter V6
Peak horsepower:    200 @ 5000 rpm
Peak torque, lb-ft: 235 @ 3000 rpm

Part-time dual-range or multi-mode four-wheel drive
 4 - speed automatic
 5 - speed automatic

Unit construction
Front suspension: independent double wishbone
Rear suspension:  independent double wishbone

4-wheel antilock disc

City / Highway: 13/17
Fuel tank:      23.8 gallons

Eclipse Spyder
2.4-liter inline four-cylinder
Peak horsepower:    147 @ 5500 rpm
Peak torque, lb-ft: 158 @ 4000 rpm
3.0-liter V6
Peak horsepower:    200 @ 5500 rpm
Peak torque, lb-ft: 205 @ 4000 rpm

Front engine, front-wheel drive
 4 - speed automatic
 5 - speed manual

Unit construction 
Front suspension: independent MacPherson strut
Rear suspension:  independent multilink

I4: disc/drum   V6: 4-wheel antilock disc

City / Highway: I4: 20/27  V6: 19/26
Fuel tank:      16.4 gallons
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