Mitsubishi will debut the all-new Eclipse Cross at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March. It will eventually make its way to the US, which Mitsubishi USA confirmed to us, and it's likely to carry the same name across all markets. Thus, the US will once again receive a Mitsubishi Eclipse... just not the one anybody expected.
Enthusiasts will bemoan the fact that the name of a once-popular sports car is now being used to peddle mall-crawler-caliber vehicles, but it's not like Mitsubishi has cared about enthusiasts for a while. The Lancer Evolution died a slow, unchanging death after its competitors kept issuing new versions of their cars.
Hell, even the Eclipse itself transformed from an all-wheel-drive icon to a front-wheel-drive embarrassment before disappearing entirely.
These moves were not intended as a metaphorical kick in the enthusiast crown jewels, though. They were necessary business decisions made under the intention of saving a brand facing an uphill battle. Between 2009 and 2014, sales dropped precipitously. While it may have sold 345,111 cars in the US in 2002, it pushed just 53,986 units in 2009.
Mitsubishi's new formula, wherein it relies heavily on a stable of affordable crossovers, seems to be reversing that trend. Both 2015 and 2016 saw sales nearing the 100,000-unit mark for the first time since the recession hit. Enthusiasts just don't buy new cars at the rate that families and other individuals do, and the numbers back that up.
We'll get to see the Eclipse Cross in person in just a few weeks.