Mitsubishi Unveils New Concept Car That's Just The New 2022 Eclipse Cross But Imagines That People Actually Buy It

Illustration for article titled Mitsubishi Unveils New Concept Car That's Just The New 2022 Eclipse Cross But Imagines That People Actually Buy It
Photo: Mitsubishi

Today Mitsubishi announced their freshly re-styled 2022 Eclipse Cross and an all-new concept car that consists of Mitsubishi’s vision of a near-future Eclipse Cross that’s exactly like the one they showed today, but people are actually buying it. It’s this kind of wild, out-of-the-box thinking that makes concept cars so special, people.

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Photo: Mitsubishi

For the new 2022 Eclipse Cross, Mitsubishi has re-designed the front end a good bit, incorporating some interesting new head and foglamp units into the lower area that formerly housed the fog and indicator lamps, and relegating the upper slash-like lighting units to be DRLs and indicators.

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The grille design has also changed to an unbroken hourglass-like shape, and there are more pronounced creases on the hood, wheelarches and side character lines.

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Photo: Mitsubishi

At the rear, the SUV has been lengthened overall by five inches, which provides a whole cubic foot more cargo room at the rear. Mitsubishi has also given up the at least non-boring split rear window setup they had before:

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Photo: Mitsubishi
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This must have been something customers really didn’t like, probably for rear visibility reasons, because their press release makes special note that the re-design has a “single piece” rear window.

Engine-wise, nothing has changed, as it still has the 1.5-liter four making a decent if hardly exciting 152 horsepower, but it is still bolted to a CVT that, if I recall my last driving experience in this setup, kinda sucks.

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The suspension setup has been tweaked, partially to compensate for the longer length:

The suspension has been thoroughly refined, with retuned shocks and springs, including the addition of larger rear shock shafts for better ride control. Engineers also addressed both bounce and rebound control to provide a smooth yet sporty ride, regardless of road surface. Additional changes include the rear suspension cross member now being connected by a double vibration insulator for a more rigid connection, offering a more planted feel than the previous bushing setup.

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They also announced an updated interior and new infotainment and nav systems, including

An onboard navigation system with industry-first embedded what3words integration is now standard on Eclipse Cross SE and SEL, the first time Eclipse Cross has been fitted with embedded navigation.

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I have no idea what what3words is. Luckily, the press release assumed this and tells me:

As a global addressing system, what3words divides the world into a grid of three-meter-by-three-meter squares, each of which is assigned a unique what3words address. The system allows pinpoint navigation, even in remote, unpopulated areas, offering greater accuracy and specificity than street address-based systems.

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Do people use this? I’m not trying to be a jerk here, I’m genuinely curious.

It is still nice and cheap, though, starting at just under $23,400 and topping out at about $29,500.

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What I’m more excited about is the concept car version of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, which looks like this:

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Photo: Mitsubishi
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While you may think, hey, that just looks like the normal 2022 Eclipse Cross, you’re right, but this one is actually the Eclipse Cross Elusive Dream concept, which is, according to Mitsubishi,

“A vision of the Eclipse Cross that exists in a parallel dimension where Americans actually are buying these.”

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As part of the concept version, there’s an iPad on the front passenger seat that’s open to a web browser with several articles from mainstream automotive sites, including an alternate-universe version of Jalopnik, that talk about how well the Eclipse Cross is selling.

The lead of the Eclipse Cross Elusive Dream team, Eli Thispartisntreal, told me about the thinking behind this bold concept:

“We just wanted to re-imagine a different world for Mitsubishi with this car. A world where the Eclipse Cross is a car we make, but it’s actually selling to people. Like, there’s lots of people who actually want one, and then they use money they’ve earned and give it to us and in exchange we give them one of these cars.

It’s sort of a dream vision for Mitsubishi in America, and I’m so excited to have a part in helping to imagine it, as wild as it sounds. Also, in this universe Shelia will text me back.”

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Thispartinsntreal then grew quiet and would respond to no further questions, though I did note a lone tear tracking down his face on the Zoom call.

It’s exciting times over at Mitsubishi! Good luck, pals!

(Note: the whole concept car part of this was, of course, satire. The update to the Eclipse Cross is real, but I just wanted to goose this a bit.)

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

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DISCUSSION

I’m not sure if this is a parody or not.

That said, I’m still laughing. Mostly because they keep making the front ends of these things taller and angrier. As they do so they keep styling the headlights to be thinner and thinner, like squinted eyes beneath a deeply angled brow. But then their light projection is absolute ass, so they turn them into DRLs and put the actual headlights down where they’re supposed to be, disguising them as vents.

Also, way to go Mitsubishi. You stole the ass end of a Nissan Rogue that’s already a generation out of date. Really something to be proud of there, ain’t it?