MITSUBISHI has officially debuted its updated Eclipse Cross small SUV contender, which is set to touch down in local showrooms next month, with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant confirmed for an Australian launch next year.
The new Eclipse Cross, which first launched locally at the end of 2017, has seen a tweak of its exterior design, with an evolution of the brand’s signature Dynamic Shield front end featuring a revised bumper guard and lighting cluster.
At the rear, the tailgate hatch and rear window have been redesigned, with an almost hexagonal-shaped impression on the middle of the tailgate.
Moving inside the car, the cabin is adorned with a new black trim with silver accents and light grey leather seats, with the light grey touches also applied to the door trims.
An updated 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system now comes as standard to replace the old 7.0-inch unit, which has added knobs for volume and tuning, removed the old multifunction touchpad and been moved forward slightly to allow for easier operation.
On the powertrain front, the main news is the introduction of a PHEV grade for the first time, which will give the Eclipse Cross a distinct point of difference in the crowded small SUV segment.
Mitsubishi is yet to reveal the intricacies of its hybrid mill, with the only information thus far being that it will employ a 2.4-litre petrol engine, a pair of electric motors and a battery of unspecified size.
Given the acknowledgement of the 2.4-litre engine, the Eclipse Cross’ set-up is likely to closely resemble that of the one-size-larger Outlander, which employs the same engine with a 13.8kWh battery to a combined output of 157kW/332nm.
The Outlander PHEV features all-wheel drive, an all-electric range of around 54km, a battery-only top speed of 135km/h, and combined fuel consumption pegged at 1.9 litres per 100km.
Other grades will be available with the existing 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine developing 110kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm from 2000-3500rpm, mated to a continuously-variable automatic transmission.
Changes to underpinnings include revised MacPherson-strut front and multi-link rear suspension with enlarged rear dampers, while the brand’s all-wheel-drive system has also been refined.
Exact Australian pricing and specification will be revealed next month – for reference, the current range varies in price from $29,990 plus on-road costs to $39,490.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation chief product specialist Minoru Uehara said the new Eclipse Cross brought some important improvements to the new range.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
To the end of September, Mitsubishi has sold 3186 examples of the Eclipse Cross, down 43.5 per cent over the same period last year.