Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV 2021 detailed: Outlander PHEV gets an electrified little brother

Expect Mitsubishi's latest PHEV to touch down in Q3 2020.

Mitsubishi has today shed more light on its new electrified small SUV, with the Eclipse Cross PHEV detailed in Japan ahead of its Australian launch next year.

The plug-in variant follows hot on the heels of the new Eclipse Cross line-up, which consists of the ES FWD, the LS FWD and LS AWD, the Aspire FWD and Exceed in FWD and AWD.

The PHEV will headline the new line-up when it touches down in Australia in the third quarter of 2020, and will adopt a "twin-motor 4WD PHEV system" - the powertrain that exists in the bigger Outlander PHEV - pairing a 2.4-litre MIVEC engine with twin electric motors, one positioned at each axle.

The brand says the set-up allows for "quick, silent, yet powerful acceleration... along with nimble yet stable handling", but we won't be talking Porsche Taycan levels of acceleration here. The PHEV model produces 94kW/199Nm from its petrol engine, and 60kW/137Nm front, 70kW/195Nm rear from its electric motors. Those outputs mirror those found in the Outlander PHEV, but with the Eclipse Cross being a smaller, lighter car, you can expect acceleration to feel perkier.

The system pairs with a 13.8 kWh battery that will deliver an all-electric driving range of 57.3km (WLTC). After that, the Eclipse Cross will revert to its petrol engine until the battery's charge is recouped.

While pricing and specification details are yet to be confirmed for Australia, the PHEV model of the Eclipse Cross arrives in Japan in three trim levels, called M, G and P, adding features and equipment as you step through the line-up.

In terms of charging, Mitsubishi says the new model will take around 4.5 hours when plugged into an EV wallbox, and will recoup 80 per cent of its charge in just 25 minutes when plugged into a high-speed public charger. It can also be plugged in at home, of course, but will be an overnight charging affair. Finally, you can use the motor to recharge the batteries (when parked, of course) which takes around 45 minutes to get to 80 per cent.

You can opt to run the Eclipse Cross in EV Mode, Series Hybrid Mode (which uses the engine to power the electric motors) or Parallel Hybrid, which operates as a conventional hybrid.

Also new for the PHEV version is the introduction of vehicle-to-grid technology, which will allow owners to use the vehicle's battery as a power source for their house, though the technology is yet to be formally approved in Australia.

The Eclipse Cross PHEV is also equipped with the ability to act as a power source - like when you're camping, for example - with a 100-volt AC on-board outlet.

Mitsubishi is also bigging up the driving dynamics of its Eclipse Cross PHEV, with the effective AWD pairing with a rigid body frame and the brand's Super-All Wheel Control - which can choose which axle to send power to - to create a fast-flowing crossover SUV.

Buried in the car's driving modes is one called "Tarmac", which "delivers an even higher level of cornering and stability mainly on dry, paved surfaces for drivers to feel the joy of driving with extra peace of mind". Sport mode by any other name, then.

"This exciting concept showcases Mitsubishi's characteristic strength in fusing an SUV with an EV, and I am confident it will meet the expectations of people who want to go further, and explore more possibilities," says Masahiro Awano, the vehicle's chief engineer.

Mitsubishi in Australia is yet to confirm specific timing for the Eclipse Cross PHEV, but we expect it to arrive in Q3 next year.