Mitsubishi’s updated upmarket partner for the popular ASX, the 2021 Eclipse Cross, is getting a significant makeover.

    Leaked images posted on Cochiespas reveal the 2021 Eclipse Cross will get a sharp new look with slim LED daytime running lights, a more aggressive Dynamic Shield grille, and more prominent detailing around the headlight cluster.

    Down back, there’s a new lighting signature for the taillights and new detailing for the bumpers. As with most mid-life updates, there will be new wheels and trim options as well.

    The new look is closely inspired by the e-Evolution concept revealed in 2019, although the production Eclipse Cross is unlikely to borrow the concept’s tri-motor drivetrain.

    The updated Eclipse Cross will, however, gain a plug-in hybrid option for 2021. We don’t yet know which drivetrain it will use.

    It could feature the same drivetrain as the current Outlander PHEV, which pairs a 2.4-litre petrol engine with front and rear electric motors and a 13.8kWh battery, or it could premiere the new PHEV drivetrain that’ll be used in the next-generation Outlander PHEV due next year or early in 2022.

    The introduction of the Eclipse Cross PHEV will allow Mitsubishi to sell plug-in hybrid technology at a lower price point.

    But while Mitsubishi once had the mainstream plug-in SUV market to itself, there’s a raft of new PHEV SUVs on the way including the Ford Escape PHEV and MG e-HS.

    The facelift and addition of a PHEV model could help Mitsubishi boost sales of the Eclipse Cross. Year-to-date, Mitsubishi has sold 3186 of the small SUV while its similarly-sized platform-mate, the ASX, is Australia’s favourite small SUV with a total of 9716 sales so far this year.

    The Eclipse Cross is pricier than its more popular stablemate, however. The ASX starts at $23,990 before on-road costs while the Eclipse Cross range opens at $29,990 before on-roads, though the latter has a torquier turbocharged engine and a more modern cabin.

    Introduced in 2017, the Eclipse Cross uses an updated version of the ASX and Outlander’s GS platform that dates back to 2007.

    The updated Eclipse Cross will arrive in Australian showrooms next month, though its new plug-in hybrid variant is still set for a 2021 launch.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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