New Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV Preview – Plug-In Hybrid Joins Restyled Models in Japan

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Mitsubishi Motors is revamping its popular Eclipse Cross compact crossover for the new model year with an even bolder look, while expanding the lineup with a new Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) version. The changes are designed to make the vehicle sleeker and more upscale, while optimizing energy efficiency.

Styling changes start up front, where Eclipse Cross receives an enhanced version of the automaker’s Dynamic Shield grille and front fascia. The advanced LED lighting treatment, along with a restyled bumper, contribute to the accelerated design.

Changes continue at the rear with a restyled liftgate and glass designed to improve outward visibility. Rear combination lights enhance the look by extending upwards and inwards, while the liftgate features a more sculpted hexagon treatment.

Mitsubishi says that Eclipse Cross PHEV shares its twin-motor AWD Plug-In Hybrid system with the Outlander PHEV, with “modifications specific to the size and weight of the Eclipse Cross chassis.” The powertrain includes separate front and rear electric motors, a large capacity battery, and 2.4-liter MIVEC engine with a single-speed planetary gearbox.

PHEV includes EV, Series Hybrid, and Parallel Hybrid drive modes. The traction battery is said to also be useable as a source of electricity for outdoor leisure activities or emergencies, providing 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,” the automaker said in a prepared release from Japan*.

Inside, Eclipse Cross PHEV offers a new black interior with silver accents and the choice of light gray leather-trimmed seats. (This vehicle is a pre-production right-hand-drive Japanese market model.)

A new 8-inch smartphone-link touchscreen display audio system has been moved closer to the driver and includes separate volume and tune knobs. The previous touchpad has been removed from the center console for greater storage space.

The gas engine (non-PHEV) Eclipse Cross (above) features a carryover 1.5-liter turbocharged MIVEC 4-cylinder engine teamed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and 8-speed sports mode.

The automaker says that pre-orders have begun in Japan for Eclipse Cross gas engine and PHEV models, with deliveries expected to begin for Japanese customers later this year. The North American market is expected to introduce the gas models in the first quarter of 2021 (for the 2022 model year).

Note: Vehicle features and specifications for future Japanese market models are subject to change without notice.

* The amount of power is based on Mitsubishi Motors’ internal calculation, assuming that the amount of power used per day in a general household is approximately 10kWh per day, and does not include the conversion efficiency of V2H equipment and similar device.

News source courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. Photos are © 2020 Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and posted in this story for editorial use

Story (commentary) © 2020