Call it whatever you want: What if Mitsubishi is trolling us?

(Photo by Oskar Speruda)

This is the famous Polish Mitsubishi Eclipse called “Szarak” (“szarak” means “a hare”, the word comes from “szary” which means “grey”) modified by a talented rally racer Aleksander Ilczuk. You are also invited to visit his site).

At the Geneva International Motor Show Mitsubishi has shown the Eclipse Cross. It’s a SUV. It has an “Eclipse” badge, which is important for automotive culture, also because of “The Fast and the Furious”. So, “They must be kidding us!” are the most polite words that can appear in petrolheads’ comments.

The automotive culture demands that every brand should respect its sport heritage. Mitsubishi makes fun of it instead! While “Fate of the Furious” was making its way to the screen, we were seeing the “Twilight of the Furious” in Geneva.

Well, almost..,

Almost, because the model name is “Eclipse Cross”, which means that Mitsubishi has left a chance to build a car that will be called just “Eclipse.” Two-word names often work like that:

  • Range Rover Sport – was a supplement to Range Rover. Before Evoque has appeared, the RR i RRS formed a line of two conceptually related cars (technically RRS was based on Discovery).
    Since the Evoque is offered, Range Rover is a subbrand, growing with the introduction of Velar.
  • However, Land Rover has also a typical model line- Discovery i Discovery Sport- technically different, meant for different customers but built with a common thought…
  • … Mitsubishi itself also offers such pair of cars- Pajero and Pajero Sport, …
  • … moreover the ASX is called the “Outlander Sport” in the United States.
  • The Jeep Grand Cherokee coexists with the Cherokee. In the beginning, the Grand Cherokee ZJ and Cherokee XJ had common styling cues . The word “Grand”…
  • … is also used in the minivan world to distinguish the long wheelbase model (Grand Voyager, Grand Espace).
  • The Volkswagens with the “Cross” badge, like Cross Polo, are also an interesting case. In fact, they are just versions, but the company seems to want us to treat them as special models. Even by using the “Cross Polo” word order instead of “Polo Cross”.
  • Ok, sometimes the two-word name is used just for the successor like with Fiat Grande Punto, Punto Evo and Suzuki SX4 S-Cross.

So, if there are two words in the name, and it’s nothing like the “Monte Carlo” (proper name) or “Rapid Spaceback” (body type), we can expect that some related vehicle will exist. It means that the Eclipse Cross may … be something like a teaser for the Eclipse coupé.
Of course- no automotive company would design a SUV only to tease with the sports car freaks. But a deliberate choice of the controversial name for the car, that was anyway needed, is something to believe in. There was an idea to create something between ASX (Outlander Sport) and Outlander, somebody designed a Pontiac-Aztek-like model, but someone else created an ingenious marketing plan. Before Mitsubishi joins the Japanese sports car attack that is led by Toyota’s trio (GT86, the new Supra and the MR2’s successor) and Honda/Acura NSX which can have a “little brother” soon, Eclipse Cross will be hated, but the voices “we want a true Eclipse!” wil rise. And when the true Eclipse appears, it will be more awaited than before the introduction of Mitsubishi Aztek.

Errr, excuse me, Eclipse Cross.

(C) by Andrzej Szczodrak

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