Mitsubishi’s imagination seemed lacking when it named its all new small SUV by simply recycling an old badge name from a now defunct coupe.
Sadly it’s not Starion, but the astronomically related Eclipse Cross, borrowed from the Eclipse compact sports car sold in the US between 1989 and 2012. The Cross is short for crossover.
The accompanying teaser pictures are predictably obscure. So, barring any leaked images, we’ll have to wait until the Eclipse Cross is revealed at next month’s Geneva Motor Show to see whether or not it’s as beautiful as they say or if viewing it requires extreme eye protection.
They do however reveal it will be a toned down version of its audacious XR-PHEV II Concept parent, with subtle takes on its front-end treatment, shoulder line and stepped tailgate.
No word on powertrains yet but, with all Mitsubishi SUV concepts since the PHEV-II being plug-in hybrids and the company’s commitment to hybrid electric vehicles, it’s a safe bet there will be a battery-assisted version.
The Eclipse Cross is the first of a new generation of Mitsubishi SUVs and will slot in between the Mitsubishi ASX and Mitsubishi Outlander in the company’s five-SUV strategy that also includes the Pajero Sport and Pajero.
It’s expected to only be marginally bigger than the ASX, which is due to make way for a baby SUV, based on the Mitsubishi EX concept shown at Tokyo in 2015, as soon as next year.
The current, third-generation Outlander isn’t due for replacement until 2019 with its successor expected to be a subdued version of the very brash Mitsubishi GT-PHEV concept which turned heads at Paris last year with its B-pillarless design and rear suicide doors.