Despite all of my efforts, I just can't fall in love with the new Mitsubishi Eclipse. It should appeal to me aesthetically, and the six cylinder has enough horses to make it worth my while. But the roofline is just off and the front and rear aren't defined enough — it's like The Blob traveling through space.

As John wrote yesterday, Mitsubishi has secured itself a second chance with auto enthusiasts like me, as it plans to introduce the Eclipse Spyder at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. I think the original roofline is conducive to the drop top, so I'm anxious to see how it turns out. The sketch looks great compared to the coupe.

Here?s a question for all of you ? what cars work as convertibles, and which ones are horrid? What aesthetic guidelines should automakers use in deciding whether to cut the top off of a vehicle? For one, it?s usually obvious when a vehicle was designed from the get-go with a ragtop in mind. When it isn?t, you get something like the Dodge Shadow Convertibe or Geo Metro Convertible, two cars whose solid roof structures were generally missed when absent.


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