Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Outlander get hardcore off-road makeovers

Mitsubishi has given two of its most popular models an off-road makeover, with the Eclipse Cross Weekend Explorer and Outlander PHEV NERV concepts to debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon next month.

The Eclipse Cross Weekend Explorer, for example, gets a tougher look – including new roof rails – but also gets an under-the-skin overhaul designed to give it more off-road readiness. 

New air suspension (from Air Force Suspension Japan) gives the driver the option of raising or lowering the ride height via a smartphone app or an in-car remote control, while new all-terrain tyres (Toyo Tires Open Country) ensure you can really put the new suspension to work. Engine and gearbox options are unchanged, making the Eclipse Cross a particularly close-to-reality concpet.

The Outlander PHEV likely isn’t the first vehicle that springs to mind when you think of off-road capability, but Mitsubishi hopes to change that with the NERV concept. It too gets Toyo all-terrain tyres, but the idea for this concept is to venture into disaster areas where it can use its hybrid powertrain as a temporary power source. On top is a satellite antenna that also provides a go-anywhere internet link, too.

They’re concepts for now, sure. But the Eclipse Cross especially could easily be put into production, given the changes are largely limited to available modifications.