Redesigned Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SUV Debuts

A new look inside and out for the Mitsubishi crossover, in addition to a PHEV powertrain. 

Mitsubishi has recently unveiled a thoroughly redesigned Eclipse Cross SUV. Adding a sharper front end design, and more importantly revising the weirdly styled rear end aesthetic. 

From the front, the facelifted Eclipse Cross now looks more aggressive and purposeful, mainly due to the new blocky front fog light surrounds. An updated version of Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield corporate face has also helped somewhat in that department, in addition to new slim headlights and a chunky new front bumper. 

Round the back, gone is the hybrid-esque dual rear window, that gave the pre-facelift Eclipse Cross its polarising looks. In its place instead is a more conventional looking tailgate design, with a single panel rear window flanked by sculpted tail light clusters. 

Moving inside the cabin of this Japanese SUV, minor tweaks have been performed to freshen it up a tad. The most notable changes being a new multifunction leather steering wheel, in addition to light grey leather seats and door trims. A standard 8-inch central infotainment system is also standard now. Replacing the old touchpad operated unit, this new touchscreen infotainment display has been moved forward in the dashboard, and incorporates smartphone connectivity in addition to physical volume and tuner buttons. 

Under the hood of the Eclipse Cross, the 1.5 litre MIVEC direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder unit remains unchanged. Mated to an 8 speed CVT, it produces an adequate 110 hp and 250 Nm of torque. What is new however under the hood for this facelift will be the addition of the PHEV variant to the Eclipse Cross lineup. 

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV utilises the same powertrain as in the Outlander PHEV. Meaning that this compact crossover will feature an electric motor in each axle fed by a drive battery, in addition to a 2.4 litre MIVEC power plant that is mated to a single-speed planetary transmission. 

What is interesting about this powertrain configuration is that Mitsubishi claims to be able to use the traction battery within the Eclipse Cross for ‘outdoor leisure or in an emergency’, supplying ‘up to 1,500 watts of power from an on-board outlet’. The Japanese automaker continues to tout that when the PHEV batteries are topped up and the vehicle is fully fuelled, the Eclipse Cross can ‘supply power to a general household for up to 10 days via the Vehicle-to-Home system.’ 

Thanks to the dual-motor set-up, the Eclipse Cross PHEV is naturally all-wheel drive. The piston-powered variants meanwhile has front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options, incorporating Mitsubishi’s S-AWC system. 

Pre-orders for the Eclipse Cross begin today in Japan, with sales in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and North America beginning in November. While enthusiasts may lament the fact that the Eclipse name has long shed its sporty heritage, the Eclipse Cross sports utility vehicle looks to be a thoroughly competent SUV for this ever-popular market. The real question is whether the Eclipse Cross will ever debut in Malaysia or not. 

PRESS RELEASE: MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION (MMC) today revealed the restyled ECLIPSE CROSS with a sleek sporty SUV appearance, driving confidence and improved comfort. Also, the model will add a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain in select markets to fulfil the diversifying needs of customers who are looking for a more sustainable alternative.

The new ECLIPSE CROSS gasoline model will first launch in Australia and New Zealand in November, with the PHEV variant available in 2021. Both the gasoline and PHEV variants start pre-orders today in Japan, and will be available later this year. In North America, the gasoline model will debut in the first quarter of 2021; there are no plans at this time to add the PHEV model for that market.

“From the day we started to rethink the new ECLIPSE CROSS, we wanted to address an attitude of boosted road performance and eco-friendliness, all with a stand-out style that will take this SUV to the next level,” said Minoru Uehara, chief product specialist of MMC, who is responsible for leading and facilitating the creation of the new ECLIPSE CROSS. “Besides the contemporary exterior and comfortable and smart interior, MITSUBISHI MOTORS’ legendary Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system ensures that drivers are always in control for their next adventure.”

Refreshed Design Inside Out

The redesigned ECLIPSE CROSS features significant styling enhancements, producing a sleek sporty SUV appearance. Never before has a Mitsubishi vehicle been so design-forward, as ECLIPSE CROSS brings sophistication to the next level. The result is a vehicle that looks sleek, stable, upscale and unique.

The front end adopts an evolved version of Mitsubishi’s signature Dynamic Shield design concept, expressing strength and security. A new front bumper guard and refreshed light layout completes the front design with a bold, dynamic look.

The sleek silhouette continues to the rear with a redesigned hatch and rear window, giving a more sophisticated SUV styling and resulting in improved rear visibility as well as distinctive and contemporary styling. ECLIPSE CROSS’ iconic three-dimensional taillights extend upwards and inwards, and enhance the look with a stable and wide presence. The new tailgate features a sharply sculpted hexagon design reminiscent of the company’s iconic rear-mounted spare tire shape, blending the sleek and elegant style with the ruggedness and dependability expectations of an SUV.

Inside the cabin, a new black interior with silver accents and light gray leather seats creates a more sophisticated look. Door trims also coordinate with the car seat color to feature a high-quality, sporty interior space. ECLIPSE CROSS’ interior has always been an exciting and comfortable place to spend time, and the new changes move it to a more enjoyable and upscale level.

A new 8-inch smartphone-link display audio (SDA) system comes standard, giving the driver a better view of the information and easier operation. The screen has been moved closer to the driver and front-seat passenger for ease of use, and now incorporates volume and turning knobs for fast reference. The touchpad that was previously used for multiple functions has been removed to allow for more storage space on the center console.

Engineered For Eco-Friendly and Dynamic Performance

The newest addition of the PHEV powertrain optimizes energy efficiency and offers a smooth driving experience. Riding on the success of the OUTLANDER PHEV, the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle, the new ECLIPSE CROSS uses the same twin-motor 4WD PHEV system with modifications specific to the size and weight of the ECLIPSE CROSS chassis. The unique PHEV architecture consists of one front and one rear high-power electric motor, a large-capacity drive battery and a 2.4-liter MIVEC engine with a single-speed planetary gearbox, allowing for the quick, silent, yet powerful acceleration unique to electric vehicles.

For the PHEV variant, the system automatically selects from three driving modes to suit various conditions: EV, Series Hybrid or Parallel Hybrid. The traction battery can also be used as a reliable source of electricity for outdoor leisure or in an emergency as it supplies up to 1,500 watts of power from an on-board outlet. When the vehicle is fully charged and fueled, it can supply power to a general household for up to 10 days via the Vehicle-to-Home system.

Carried over from the previous model, the ECLIPSE CROSS is also available with the company’s 1.5-liter MIVEC direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A thoroughly modern design, the MIVEC engine is all-aluminum for light weight, and perfectly balances the seemingly distinct priorities of power and efficiency.

Using a compact turbocharger reduces fuel consumption but also minimizes turbo lag for driver-centric feel and performance, while the combination of direct fuel injection and turbocharging delivers greater efficiency at all roads and engine speeds. Paired with an eight-speed sports mode continuously variable transmission (CVT), the new ECLIPSE CROSS optimizes driving dynamics while also achieving low fuel consumption.

Confidence-Inspiring Driving Pleasure

MITSUBISHI MOTORS’ S-AWC system delivers stable handling and precise control, giving drivers confidence to conquer on-road conditions with ease. The springs in the front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension have been finely tuned. Together with enlarged rear suspension absorbers, the ECLIPSE CROSS exerts the performance of S-AWC and greatly enhances maneuverability.

Combining SUV versatility with bold, distinctive design, the ECLIPSE CROSS has won multiple global awards, including the Good Design Award in 2018 and the RJC Car of the Year in 2019.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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