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2017 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross previewed

The Mitsuibishi Eclipse Cross SUV, Aussie-bound before the end of the year, has been revealed as the Japanese maker continues to bolster its SUV line-up.

Australia's sub-$40,000 small-SUV segment is dominated by the Mazda CX-3 and the Mitsubishi ASX, and it's expected that the new Eclipse Cross will slide in above the older ASX as a sporty alternative to the many SUVs in that price bracket.

The Eclipse Cross is 50mm longer, 5mm wider and 45mm higher than the ASX at 4405mm long, 1805mm wide and 1685mm high, though its 2670mm wheelbase matches its stablemate.

The production version of the Eclipse Cross has been toned down from the XR-PHEV II concept from 2015 while still following its general design.

The Eclipse Cross is known to feature head-up display but Mitsubishi is holding back further details until next week's physical launch.

It features the now familiar 'Dynamic Shield' front end that connects the headlights and grille with the lower bumper, incorporating chrome flourishes; a look found on the recently launched ASX facelift, the Pajero and the Outlander.

According to Mitsubishi the design of the new SUV, "motivates the driver to get out and drive."

The new Eclipse Cross features a distinctive beltline and high-set rear windows that combine to create a wedge-like profile. The rear windscreen is split in two by the high, horizontal LED tail-lights. Black plastic cladding around the bottom of the vehicle and bulging wheel arches round out other typical SUV styling cues.

The press images feature a new red hue that will be offered from launch, layered with a semi-transparent and clear coating for greater intensity.

Silver metal frames and a black and silver colour scheme are features of the Eclipse Cross's cockpit-style interior.

Mitsubishi claims the Eclipse Cross has ample rear head and legroom despite the sloping roofline. A 60/40 split fold rear seat backrest with slide and recline adjustment is standard equipment.

Mitsubishi's 'Smartphone Link Display Audio' system is central to the new SUV's tech package.

The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can be operated via a large touchscreen that sits atop the middle of the dash, or a separate touchpad controller.

The Eclipse Cross is known to feature head-up display but Mitsubishi is holding back further details until next week's physical launch at the Geneva show.

Mitsubishi's 2.2-litre direct-injection turbo-diesel engine has been adapted to the Eclipse Sport.

Two powertrains will be offered at first.

Mitsubishi's 2.2-litre direct-injection turbo-diesel engine has been adapted to the Eclipse Sport, and will drive through a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

The other is a new 1.5-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine paired with a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) with an eight-speed Sport Mode manual override.

Fuel economy and performance are not yet available for either engine, however the diesel delivers 110kW/360Nm and consumes an average of 6.0 litres per 100km when used in an ASX.

Mitsubishi is publicly committed to building more electric vehicles but there is no mention yet of a hybrid variant.

The Eclipse Cross is fitted with the company's Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle dynamics control system with brake-activated Active Yaw Control, and uses an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system that sends an optimum amount of torque to the rear wheels as needed.

There has been no mention yet of a two-wheel-drive version.

Can Mitsubishi's Eclipse Cross eclipse its compact SUV competition in Australia? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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