With Geneva almost ready to open its doors to the great and the good of the motoring world, here’s something from the Far East for those of you who prefer the pleasures of the open plains to those of the open road. Already well ensconced in the off-road arena, Mitsubishi’s Outlander and ASX models are about to be joined by a new face in the stable, the all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
Slotting in between the aforementioned pairing, the Eclipse Cross will make its global debut at the 87th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show later this month and has its sights firmly set on crossing swords with the likes of the Kia Sportage, the Volkswagen Tiguan and the daddy of them all, the Nissan Qashqai.
This all-new 4×4 will take to the stage at Geneva flaunting a standout design that features some bristling angular elements front and rear. Nowhere is this geometric interplay more apparent than at the rear end, whose raked window tapers down in to a sharply cut tailgate. Bisecting the rear window is an LED light bar that spans the width of the SUV’s tail, either side of which sits a pair of high-mounted V-shaped tail lamps that combine to create one solid bank of light when you hit the brake pedal. The front-end is no less adventurous, and features an imposing black grille, framed by chrome accents and flanked by a pair of deep-set sidelights.
Moving inside, the chrome theme continues around the panels and dashboard with silver trim being interwoven with the chiefly black interior. The Eclipse Cross also gets a new dashboard, shaped using horizontal lines, plus a revised infotainment system accessible via the centrally-mounted Head Up Display. Not neglecting its more pragmatic duties as a fully-blown SUV, Mitsubishi have equipped the five-seater with a flexible rear bench that splits, slides and reclines for comfort and load-lugging duties alike.
Power comes from either the Outlander-sourced 2.2-litre turbo diesel, a staple of the Mitsubishi range, or alternatively a new 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit. Both engines come equipped with 8-speed automatic transmission whilst a sport-mode manual override is available on the smaller of the two powertrains.
A stiffer body and reinforced suspension combine to give the Eclipse Cross Optimal on-road handling. When the tyres leave the tarmac, the all-new SUV’s four-wheel-drive system comes to the fore. Its smart torque vectoring capability varies drive to the rear wheels depending on driving conditions and terrain, giving you optimum pulling power no matter where your sense of adventure takes you.
Due to go on sale in the UK early in 2018, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Mitsubishi’s latest SUV when the doors fly open in Geneva on March 7th. Pricing and final UK spec won’t emerge until the new year.