Hello everyone, I stumbled on these forums as I was potentially considering trading in my 2011 Outlander Sport for one of these Eclipse Cross vehicles. I already have a 2011 Evolution X MR that is north of 600 horsepower these days that I track at time attack events but that doesn't mean I would completely ignore modding my foul weather car to keep it punching above it's weight class.
I've managed to tune my Outlander Sport on a dyno after some breathing mods (cams, intake, exhaust, lighter wheels etc) and went from the stock 148 crank hp to around 190 crank hp after converting from the whp dyno numbers and it's shaved a solid 1.5 seconds off the 0-60 times. It's not anywhere close to where the Evo is but it still is better than stock and the CVT transmission has held up just fine despite it's less than amazing track record for holding torque.
When it comes down to it the real limitation of the CVT transmission is a torque rating which means if I can get an OpenSource XML definition created to tune the ECU in these I could intentionally keep the torque in check at low RPM's with reduced boost/timing/mivec while still letting a modded turbo stretch it's legs in the mid to top RPM range. Likely the stock turbo will be struggling to flow above 200 crank hp but it could be possible to modify it with larger wheels after some portwork and possibly target 250 crank hp and then tune the car to hold at 190-200 torque to keep the transmission happy. That would likely shave another second off 0-60 times or about 2.5 sec faster than stock which would definitely be noticeable.
Would all of that be worth it? That all depends on how well the car takes to mods to the intake like the airfilter area, intercooler piping, Intercooler, and throttlebody. On the exhaust side probably a 2.5" mandrel bent exhaust with high flow cat will wake it up quite a bit, I have no idea if there would be any cams that would swap in as performance upgrades but you never know. The fuel situation is another mystery but it would be pretty easy to calculate the injector duty cycle if I can get the tuning software talking and the car strapped to the dyno, swapping in larger injectors and a fuel pump isn't hard at all if really needed. Assuming all of that gets figured out swapping larger turbo wheels into the current housing or possibly just the compressor wheel might be enough to bump the power up significantly. If the stock turbo is so small that it's barely holding the factory boost then it would probably make more sense just to replace it all but then you are talking quite a bit more custom fab work and my goal would be for a budget minded mod list.
As far as the suspension goes I would likely start out with lighter and wider wheels, the stock Evo X wheels worked great on my Outlander along with Goodyear Eagle Sport tires. Specialty products eccentric bolts for the front should also allow some needed negative camber for better cornering along with a strut tower bar and polyurethane anti sway bar bushings. Add a touch of toe out up front and it should really improve the handling over stock before resorting to a coilover setup.
I guess if anyone has spotted others modifying the performance side of these cars already I would be interested to see what has been done so far before I pull the trigger on one. The local Mitsu dealership knows me well enough to where I can likely arrange a test drive on one for a few days and really look the car over but if some legwork has already been done it never hurts to see what has already been explored.
Here's hoping they come out with a fun car out of the gate that has a stronger transmission and larger 2L+ turbocharged engine in the future! Until then people like me will just have to build their own Mitsubishi.