The Americans are a bit upset about the name.
The original Mitsubishi Eclipse was a two-door coupe and convertible that was popular in North America but never sold here in Europe. Our colleagues in the States tell us that fans of the now-iconic Japanese runabout have begged for a return to the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive format that made this car a legend in the 1990s. While we’d love to say your prayers have been answered, in this case, be careful what you wish for seems a bit more appropriate.
Now that we’ve addressed the elephant in the room, it’s time to consider Mitsubishi’s new coupe-SUV crossover on its own merits. Slotting between the Outlander and ASX, the Eclipse Cross does have a rather distinctive look with its flared haunches, sloping roof, and sharply angled beltline that culminates with a steeply raked rear window. There’s no mistaking the massive grille and driving lamps up front; in back a mid-mount LED stop light bar runs between the LED tail lamps, merging with them in a manner that clearly resembles the arching sky-high spoiler from the late-1990s Eclipse coupe.
Inside, the Eclipse Cross gets all kinds of buttons and technology, wrapped in a monotone-themed cockpit that should offer comfortable seating for five adults. Rear seats have a 60:40 split with slide-and-recline adjustments, allowing rear passengers to adjust seating position for better headroom despite the sloping roof. The on-board Smartphone Link Display supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing users to link and interface with the devices via voice command or touchpad controller. There’s also a heads-up display for the driver, a feature that adds cool-factor to any vehicle.
Power comes from a pair of turbocharged engine options – a new 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to a CVT, or a 2.2-litre common rail diesel that connects to an eight-speed automatic. Mitsubishi hasn’t published details on horsepower, but in a press release the manufacturer says both offer a “brisk driving experience.” Regardless of the mill, an electronically controlled all-wheel drive system funnels power to where it can do the most good. The system incorporates brake-activated Active Yaw Control, though its primary goal is to keep things in check as opposed to encouraging all-wheel drive powerslides.
It's obvious Mitsubishi is gunning for the Qashqai with its new model, and first impressions suggest it could prove to be a genuine competitor for the popular Nissan. Deliveries will start in the UK around autumn 2017.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
|Mitsubishi Motors to Globally Premiere Eclipse Cross Compact SUV
at Geneva International Motor Show 2017
Tokyo, February 28, 2017 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) is to debut its new Eclipse Cross compact SUV to the world at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show*1 to be held in Geneva from March 7 through March 19. The Eclipse Cross is a globally strategic model that will be shipped first to Europe in the fall this year, and then rolled out in Japan, North America, Australia and other regions.
The Eclipse Cross all-new compact SUV coupe will join MMC's global lineup of crossover SUVs: the ASX*2 compact SUV and the Outlander and Outlander PHEV mid-size SUVs.
The Eclipse Cross is a fusion of sharp coupe looks and dynamic SUV mobility with signature Mitsubishi styling and performance.
Other distinguishing features are its design that motivates the driver to get out and go, connectivity that inspires new fun adventures, and all-wheel control technology which delivers an enjoyable, reassuring feel that elevates the driving experience.
Eclipse Cross: Product Overview
1. Characteristic Dynamic Design
The distinctly sharp and dynamic Mitsubishi SUV coupe form is distinguished by: its wedge profile with distinctive beltline and strong character line; a forward raked rear window; the sharply cut off rear gate and short overhang; and beefy fenders projecting the image of a powerful athlete.
MMC's DYNAMIC SHIELD front design concept refers to the protective shield shape visually formed by the black central area represented by a black radiator grille that symbolizes the performance of the car. The black area is embraced from three directions – from the left, right, and bottom. DYNAMIC SHIELD emphasizes the front end's functionalities aimed at protecting both people and the car itself.
The "Dynamic and Characteristic" rear design is distinguished by the almost cubist styling created around the high-mounted, stretched rear lamps and by how it horizontally divides the forward-rake rear window into two. When illuminated, the tubular LED brake lights and the central LED hi-mount stop light form a single bar of light running across the tail, giving Eclipse Cross a broad and stable appearance from the rear.
A new red body color joins the palette. The standard coating is layered with semi-transparent red and clear coating, and this creates a high color saturation and intensity that produces a highly-refined finish.
The horizontal dashboard, silver metal frames and black/silver monotone color scheme create a refined interior that is both dynamic and sporty. With its thin display audio and the Head Up Display, the futuristic cockpit inspires a sense of excitement for the driver in the vehicle.
Maximizing luggage space utility without spoiling its stylish coupe-SUV shape, the rear seat uses a 60:40 split with long slide-and-recline adjustment. In addition to providing rear occupants with plenty of legroom, this also allows them to settle on their favorite seating posture and enjoy long trips with ample headroom despite a roof that slopes down toward the rear.
2. Connectivity inspires new fun adventures
The Eclipse Cross is fitted with the Smartphone Link Display Audio system, a Touchpad Controller and Head Up Display which allow the driver to handle and interpret different types of information more easily and safely.
Smartphone Link Display Audio supports Apple CarPlay*3, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone*3 in the car. The driver can use Siri*3 or the Smartphone Link Display Audio's touch screen to get directions optimized for traffic conditions, make and receive calls, access text messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows them to stay focused on the road. Smartphone Link Display Audio also supports the Android AutoTM*4 which provides voice controlled operation of Google MapsTM,*4 Google PlayTM*4 music and other apps. The Touchpad Controller can operate audio functions like radio, as well as Apple CarPlay.
Placing the Touchpad Controller in the center console allows the driver to operate the Smartphone Link Display Audio easily and without having to change position.
The Head Up Display unit makes driving safer by presenting vehicle speed, data from the active safety systems and other necessary information that minimizes eye movement and provides instant readability.
3. Enjoyable and stable driving with all-wheel control technology
Eclipse Cross uses an electronically-controlled 4WD system that feeds the optimum amount of torque to the rear wheels as required by the driving situation and surface conditions. MMC's Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle dynamics control system incorporates brake-activated AYC*5.
The addition of a 3-point strut tower brace at the front and the strategic use of structural bonding at the rear in particular have increased body rigidity. The tougher body and detail optimization of the suspension offer precise handling and superior vehicle stability.
Eclipse Cross offers two powertrains that do full justice to a stylish SUV coupe in delivering the right balance of power and environmental performance. The new 1.5L direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine is mated to a new CVT with 8-speed Sport Mode manual override. The 2.2L common rail direct-injection turbocharged diesel engine modified specifically for Eclipse Cross is mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Both powertrain combinations offer the driver brisk driving experience.
Eclipse Cross specifications (display cars)
MMC Lineup at Geneva Motor Show 2017