Mitsubishi launches new Eclipse Cross-over SUV
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Mitsubishi New Zealand is about to launch its first new model in seven years - the medium-sized Eclipse cross-over SUV.
The Eclipse comes with a new 1.5 litre turbo engine, a new eight-speed CVT automatic gearbox, and high-level specifications including a touch-pad 'controller' to operate on-screen functions.
The first two-wheel-drive models will be in showrooms in December, while the all-wheel-drive models will arrive early next year.
Driven was given a brief drive behind the wheel of the up-market SUV Eclipse in Wellington last week, and it handled the mainly urban driving route well. The steering is precise and the gearbox smooth, and the model comes loaded with the latest driver assistance and safety technology.
The chief executive of Mitsubishi New Zealand, Warren Brown, said the Eclipse was the first brand new model for the company since the introduction of the ASX SUV seven years ago.
The company was excited to offer a new model, which would sit between the ASX and the larger Outlander, in wht was the fasted-growing segment of the market, for mid-sized SUVs.
The director in charge of developing the Eclipse, Dr Hiroshi Yamauchi, said the Eclipse Cross-over was aimed at " people with strong belief in their own style, who explore new paths in life."
They were active, confident and determined, and "full of curiosity".
The Eclipse continued a strong Mitsubishi theme at the front, with a slowly sweeping roofline that sweeps gradually lower to the rear door. Rear style is more radical with sharper angles.
The two-wheel-drive models would sell for $41,690 and $45,590, while prices for the all-wheel-drive models would be finalised closer to their release date early next year.
Mitsubishi New Zealand is aiming to sell around 150 Eclipse models a month, and hoped to increase its market share with the addition of the new model.
Warren Brown said the Eclipse was joining the Mitsubishi line-up at a t ime when the company was one of the New Zealand's fastest-growing mainstream brands.
He said Mitsubishi had experienced a 26 per cent year-on-year growth in sales during the six months from April to September. This compared with an overall market growth of 7.7 per cent.
Mitsubishi had two models, the Triton utes and the Outlander, in the top 10 best-selling models in the country, and the Eclipse would add another sales pillar to the model line-up.