THE Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, the Japanese carmaker’s all-new compact SUV, has been revealed ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut – and late 2017 arrival in Australia – but without a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version.
Based on the audacious 2015 XR-PHEV II Concept, the Eclipse Cross features subtle takes on its front-end treatment shoulder line and stepped tailgate but with just petrol and diesel powertrains under the bonnet, and only one battery.
It does, however, come with a new 1.5-litre turbo petrol mated to a fresh CVT automatic transmission with an eight-speed manual “sport” mode override. There’s also a diesel option in the form of the 2.2-litre turbo used in the Mitsubishi ASX, and also paired with a new eight-speed automatic.
Both powertrains are linked to an electronically controlled AWD system – it’s unclear if a FWD-only version will be available.
With a name taken from the now defunct Eclipse compact sports car sold in the US between 1989 and 2012, the Eclipse Cross joins the Mitsubishi SUV line-up that includes the ASX and Outlander soft roaders, and the 4WD Pajero Sport. Mitsubishi will also soon add an updated version of its Outlander PHEV to local showrooms.
The Eclipse Cross slightly bigger than the ASX, making it a bridge between the popular crossover and the Outlander.
Its wheelbase and track are the same as for the Mitsubishi ASX. However, exterior dimensions are stretched by several centimetres, which should result in more leg- and head-room despite the sloping roofline.
The sharp coupe like design is a departure from the dated ASX aesthetic, and is distinguished by its distinctive beltline, sharply angled tailgate and a short overhang.
Equipment levels are also a step up from the ASX, with a head-up display and the Smartphone Link Display Audio system that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – the interface is controlled via a touchpad on the centre console.
Mitsubishi claims the Eclipse Cross will have exceptional handling characteristics thanks to a rigid body and an active yaw control system that manages torque feed and brake force to individual rear wheels as required.