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Mitsubishi's new Eclipse Cross brings concept styling to the real world

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Mitsubishi is going back to its off-roader roots in a bid to capitalize on the growing popularity of crossovers and SUVs.

Mitsubishi is in need of a major overhaul to stay relevant in the fast-changing automotive industry, and re-inventing a brand is much easier said than done. Luckily, the company is showing signs of life with a brand-new crossover named Eclipse Cross.

On paper, the soft-roader is a tribute to the Eclipse coupe built from 1989 to 2011, but the two models share nothing more than a name. The Eclipse Cross is a four-door compact crossover developed to compete in the same growing segment as the Nissan Rogue Sport. Styling cues fast-tracked from the show floor to the production line make the Cross one of Mitsubishi’s most daring designs in recent memory.

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The angular lines that define the bodywork are also present in the cabin. And, at first glance, it looks like Mitsubishi has figured out that building nicer interior is key to luring buyers back into showrooms. The Eclipse Cross offers a two-part center console framed by metal-resembling gray plastic trim, glossy black accents, and a horizontal touchscreen that runs a new infotainment system named Smartphone Link Display.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity come standard, and a head-up display is found on the list of options.

When it goes on sale in the United States, the only engine available will be a 1.5-liter four-cylinder equipped with a turbocharger. It will spin all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system. Mitsubishi hasn’t released performance specifications and fuel economy figures yet.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will make its public debut next week at the annual Geneva Auto Show.  The model displayed in Switzerland will be Euro-spec, and we’ll have to wait until the New York show opens its doors in April to see the U.S.-spec variant in the metal. Sales will commence late this year at the earliest.