More stories related to 2005 NAIAS DETROIT – Mitsubishi Motors North America, eager to demonstrate its intent to turn around its embattled U.S. operations, unveils two important new products for the U.S. market at the North American International Auto Show here.

The ’06 Raider pickup, based on the Chrysler Group’s Dodge Dakota, has entirely different sheetmetal than Dakota, but does share the truck’s 3.7L SOHCV-6 and up-market 4.7L SOHC V-8.Two body styles will be available when the truck goes on sale this fall: a 2-door extended cab and a 4-door double cab. Dodge does not offer a 2-door version of its Dakota.

Eclipse coupe is all-new for ’06.

Raider pickup is based on Dodge Dakota, has bespoke sheetmetal.

The ’06 Eclipse, to be built at Mitsubishi’s Normal, IL, assembly plant, is the fourth generation of what Mitsubishi says remains its best-recognized nameplate.

The car faithfully replicates the sharply creased Eclipse concept car shown at last year’s Detroit show and will feature the choice of a 2.4L SOHC I-4 or a 3.8L SOHC V-6.

The 4-cyl. makes 165 hp and 162 lb.-ft. (220 Nm) of torque. The V-6, already seen in the Galant passenger car and Endeavor SUV, develops 260 hp and 260 lb.-ft. (353 Nm) of torque. Mitsubishi says the V-6 is the most powerful in the class.

Rich Gilligan, MMNA’s new president and CEO, says Mitsubishi will export the Galant sedan as part of a revitalization plan the company is currently developing.

Although there is not yet a firm date for Galant exports to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Gilligan says exports of 10,000-20,000 units likely will begin near the end of 2006. The Normal plant scaled back from 2-shift to 1-shift production in October.

Despite the launch of the all-new Raider and the replacement for the Eclipse, Gilligan will not make a sales projection for 2005, saying only that MMNA expects sales to be “better than 2004.”