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Mitsubishi reveals Eclipse Cross PHEV

New Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV pips Outlander PHEV on EV range

9 Dec 2020

MERE days after launching its significantly updated Eclipse Cross compact SUV, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has detailed the new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version due to touch down locally next year.


Visually identical to the internal combustion engine versions, the Eclipse Cross PHEV’s only giveaway feature is its PHEV badging on the front wings and tailgate with every other styling feature being the same as the rest of the range.


Utilising the same twin-motor PHEV system as found in the bigger Outlander PHEV, the Eclipse Cross PHEV’s powertrain is based around a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (94kW/199Nm) while the electric power is sourced from a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery with two electric motors with one on each axle – 60kW/137Nm front, 70kW/195Nm rear – providing electric drive.


When all is said and done, in the Outlander the system generates a combined 157kW/332Nm however a combined figure for the Eclipse Cross is yet to be confirmed.


Something that has been confirmed however is the new model’s all-electric driving range of up to 57km, besting the bigger Outlander by 2km; most likely due to its reduced size and weight.


Drive is channelled to all four wheels via a single-speed planetary transmission.


Three drive modes will be on offer in the Eclipse Cross PHEV – EV Mode, Series Hybrid Mode and Parallel Hybrid Mode – with each largely doing what it says on the tin in terms of drive characteristics.


Series Hybrid and Parallel Hybrid modes differ in that the former uses the petrol engine to generate power for the electric motors while the latter combines both petrol and electric drive for maximum performance.


As is largely the way now for PHEVs and other forms of hybrid and electric vehicles, the battery pack is housed under the floor of the cabin in the quest for a lower centre of gravity to maximise handling prowess.


While local pricing and specification details are yet to be detailed, the PHEV will be offered in three different trim levels in its native Japan; M, G and P, however it is more likely the local PHEV variants will adopt the same nameplates as the regularly Eclipse Cross range, i.e. ES and Exceed.


Global standard equipment on the PHEV includes an eight-speaker premium sound system and Apple CarPlay, both of which are accessed via an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, head-up display and remote climate control.


The other key feature of the Eclipse Cross PHEV is its vehicle-to-grid capability which reportedly has the capacity to power an entire home for up to 10 days on a full charge and full tank of fuel.


Building on this notion of the car being a mobile power source, a 100-volt AC on-board outlet is also included as standard to “supply power to electronics and appliances for outdoor leisure and as a reliable source of electricity in an emergency”.


Safety equipment meanwhile at this stage extends to adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic high beam, not to mention the usual array of airbags, traction/stability control and anti-lock brakes.


According to Mitsubishi Motors Corporation CEO Takao Kato, the brand is committed to achieving and maintain a sustainable environment by putting its EV and PHEV technologies to broader uses.


“By 2030, we will raise the proportion of electrified vehicles in the total sales to 50 per cent, with a focus on PHEVs such as this new model,” he said


“On the strength of both our pioneering PHEV technology and the 4WD expertise we have built through rally experience, we have infused the Mitsubishi essence in this redesign.


“The new Eclipse Cross is an ideal partner for drivers who want to do more with their car, and to seek new challenges.”


MMAL has sold 3957 Eclipse Crosses this year, accounting for what turns out to be a reasonable 4.6 per cent of the sub-$40,000 small SUV segment, a segment it shares with the smaller ASX which happens to be the dominant force on the sales chart with a 14.4 per cent segment share (12,300).

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