Having already bastardized the Eclipse name by affixing it to a new crossover vehicle, there’s palpable fear within the automotive media that Mitsubishi might try the same with another iconic property. While FTO and 3000GT don’t have the right ring to them, we can imagine trendy performance SUV wearing an Evolution badge â€” to our chagrin.
In our fantasies, we imagine Mitsubishi bringing back a new, harder-hitting Lancer compact and a menacing mid-sized Galant. Maybe the Starion could even make an appearance. However, those models probably wouldn’t sell outside the Land of Make Believe even if they were stellar models. Sport utility vehicles and crossovers are where the money’s at right now, and cash is exactly what Mitsubishi is after.
Keeping that in mind, a new rumor claims the brand is working with Nissan to get its Alliance partner’s modular platform inside the Mirage, or whatever replaces it. The end result will be a small crossover with sporting pretensions, which doesn’t sound bad in the least.Â
Essentially, it’ll be Mitsubishi’s equivalent of the next Nissan Juke, a model that never saw enough love in North America. The report from Japan’sÂ Response (å¿œç”) indicated it should use the Mirage name, either replacing the model entirely or tacking on the CrossÂ appendix and selling the two models alongside each other.
There was also a rumor earlier this year that the Lancer name was being considered for a small crossover yet to be built. This model would certainly fit the bill, so perhaps the naming strategy hasn’t been settled upon yet.
A 0.9-liter turbo engine with three cylinders is presumed to be the base engine. That unit is estimated to output around 94 horsepower, which is an improvement on the current Mirage but not exactly impressive. There’s also a rumored 1.5 liter turbo diesel and the prospect of an EV model. Mitsubishi also intends to implement coupe-like styling so it can compete with the Suzuki Swift.
With those powerplants and that target, it’s easy to imagine this model staying overseas indefinitely.Â However, that would leave Mitsubishi short of a subcompact in North America. The Outlander Sport is roughly the same size as the new Eclipse Cross and both would be about almost a foot longer than the hypothetical Mirage crossover.
Either way, the vehicle is supposed toÂ debut in 2019 as a 2020 model.