Mitsubishi crosses the Eclipse over into SUV territory
In a true temperature reading of the contemporary auto market, Mitsubishi is bringing back the Eclipse ... as a compact SUV. Following the debuts of concepts like the eX and GT-PHEV, the automaker will premiere the Eclipse Cross at next week's 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The coupe-infused crossover will go into production later this year as the latest member of Mitsubishi's global SUV family.
Mitsubishi ended production on the Eclipse back in 2011, after having the car in its lineup for more than two decades. Fans of the sports car have undoubtedly been hoping for a big Eclipse return, but they definitely weren't hoping for it like this. Instead of being a properly sharp, sporty two-door Eclipse successor, the new Eclipse is a four-door SUV. The "Eclipse" seems merely Mitsubishi's way of signifying sportier, coupe-inspired SUV styling.
The 173.4-in-long (4,405-mm-long) Eclipse Cross does take on a sporty, hatchback-like profile courtesy of the sloped roofline, forward-raked rear windscreen and short rear overhang. Chiseled fenders and strongly defined character lines running the sides lend a muscular appearance.
Up front, the Eclipse Cross wears the Dynamic Shield design language that has been finding its way into Mitsubishi's production lineup from its multi-year parade of concept SUVs. The shield-shaped central radiator stretches seamlessly into side-swept headlamps, creating a strong identity furthered by the set-in lower lamps and thick trim around the edges.
The rear design is also unmistakably "Eclipse Cross," but we find the windscreen-splitting rear light bar a little messy and can't see how it will be anything but annoying during driving. A spoiler up top adds to the model's sportiness.
Mitsubishi will offer a 1.5-liter direct-injection turbo petrol engine with CVT and a 2.2-liter turbo-diesel with eight-speed automatic transmission. The electronically controlled all-wheel drive and Super All-Wheel Control dynamics control system will help to keep the Cross gripping the road and maneuvering as the driver intends. Mitsubishi promises that structural rigidity and suspension optimization add to the SUV's handling and stability.
Inside, the Eclipse Cross has a modern feel, cool metal framing out the center console and dashboard. The Smartphone Link Display Audio system with its stand-up touchscreen offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A touchpad helps the driver to seamlessly control infotainment, while a head-up display provides crucial information while keeping the driver's eyes pointed in the direction of the road ahead. The rear seats feature a 60:40 folding split and rely on a slide-and-recline function to provide plenty of leg and headroom under the fast-sloping roof above.
The Eclipse Cross will slide in between the compact ASX (also known as the Outlander Sport or RVR, depending upon market) and mid-size Outlander when it launches in Europe in the latter half of the year. Launches in Japan, North America, Australia and other global markets will follow.
With under a week to go, New Atlas is getting ready to make the trip to Switzerland and bring you all the latest supercar, concept car and passenger car news from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. It opens to the press on Tuesday, March 7.