How long until the legendary Mitsubishi Lancer suffers the same fate?
The legendary Lancer isn’t coming back. Instead, Mitsubishi is looking to win back the American car market with a new crossover set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. First teased a few weeks ago, Mitsubishi’s new crossover was rumored to bring back the Eclipse name. As in, the same name it used for its stylish sports coupe between 1989 and 2012. Well, our fears have been confirmed because the rumors were right. Ahead of its reveal in March, Mitsubishi has confirmed that its new crossover is called the Eclipse Cross.
Stylistically, the Eclipse Cross takes its cues from the XR-PHEV and XR-PHEV II concept models, sporting a similar raked roofline, large grille, and high-mounted taillights. It’s certainly one of the better-looking crossovers we’ve seen recently, but it’s hardly a return to form for the Eclipse. As Mitsubishi puts it, the design of the Eclipse Cross will be ”marrying stylish coupe lines with the freedom of movement the SUV genre gives.” The automaker also describes how the Eclipse Cross’ “beautiful, dynamic form serves to bring about the same sense of excitement and inspiration as the diamond ring seen immediately before and after a total solar eclipse does.”
And if the high-saturation red body color shown in the teasers didn’t attract your attention, it was developed specifically for the new model to “evoke the brilliance of the prominence seen during the total solar eclipse.” Seriously, enough with the eclipse analogies already, Mitsubishi. More details will be revealed at Geneva, but we know that the American version of the Eclipse Cross will be fitted with a new turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, plus plenty of safety technology, and will slot in-between the Outlander and Outlander Sport in the Mitsubishi range The automaker is also hyping it up to be “the best vehicle Mitsubishi has ever produced.” That’s a bold claim to live up to.
As we’ve said before, entering the crossover market makes perfect business sense for Mitsubishi. There’s a real craving for crossovers right now, so reviving the iconic Eclipse name will no doubt mean it will sell by the truckload. But naming this after the iconic sports coupe just seems wrong. How long will it take before the Lancer is brought back as a crossover SUV?