When Mitsubishi recently revealed that the company was going to focus on a CUV focused lineup, we were curious to see where things would go moving forward. The Japanese auto firm has unveiled the first glimpse of this compelling future, the 2018 Eclipse Cross.
While some enthusiasts may cry foul seeing the Eclipse nameplate on a CUV versus a sports coupe, the Eclipse Cross does have some neat styling elements that make it stand out when compared to segment rivals like the Nissan Rouge. The bulk of the styling language is carried over from XR-PHEV II concept that first appeared at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, and Mitsubishi designers did a good job in maintaining the bulk of the concept’s design language in the shift to formal production cues.
The front fascia features bright chrome accents that project an X-shaped look, while the rear fascia features a beefy roof mounted spoiler, as well as slick L-shaped taillights that are connected by an intergrated lightbar. The rakish C-pillar helps give the Eclipse Cross a coupe like profile, while also highlighting its form over function motif.
With all things considered, the Eclipse Cross breathes much needed life into Mitsubishi’s exterior styling, and is a massive improvement over the bland canvas embraced by many of its current models. It also highlights how important design will be in the creation of Mitsubishi products moving forward.
“Land Rover has proved you can be both rugged and stylish, and we intend to follow that path” revealed a company insider during an interview with British magazine Autocar.
Performance hardware will vary depending on which market it is in. In the U.S. buyers will only have access to a 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, which is standard along with all-wheel drive and a CVT transmission. Meanwhile, other markets can also choose a 2.2 liter turbocharged four cylinder diesel engine that is mated to an eight speed automatic. Sadly, there is currently no plans to bring the eight speed to U.S. spec models.
European buyers will have first crack at the Eclipse Cross when it arrives in dealerships this fall. The Eclipse Cross will then trickle into other markets, with U.S. dealerships getting their first units either at the end of this year, or in early 2018.