Though this might be seen as a rather negative writeup, please know that this comes from a place that started with a lot of hope, and now ends with much frustration.
The Eclipse Cross' 4B40 engine is designed from the earlier 1.5L cast iron block 4A92 used primarily in passenger vehicles. No performance variants were available for the 4A92, and this becomes the basis for what's now the Eclipse Cross' powerplant. (Though the Colt Ralliart did sport a similar engine, but with different cylinder heads and a proper turbocharged I/E setup. ) Turbocharged and all, one might think there's promise here. Think again. The 4B40 in the Cross is mated to an IHI turbo (think Econo-turbo) that's about the size of a fist. Then consider that the exhaust port on the heads is INTEGRATED with the cylinder head itself! In other words, no way to properly design it for better flow. (other than perhaps a P&P job) No clue as to the flow characteristics on the head, though one can guess it's probably meh.
But, the biggest problem with the Cross, IMO, isn't the powerplant. That can be tweaked.
It's the transmission.
The Jatco CVT7 variant in the Cross is weak. It's no different than any other Jatco in other Mitsubishis and Nissans since, oh I'll throw out a year - 2008? … Save for a few programming tweaks saved on the transmission. The stepped 8-speed programming is all that's different in this transmission compared to that of the Outlander or Outlander Sport. They're the EXACT SAME HARDWARE. Biggest gripe: Mitsubishi could have shelled out the extra cash to get the CVT7 that has a higher torque capacity of 250Nm (the chain-driven one), but instead they opted for the belt-driven model (which taps out at about 180Nm). I've called Jatco, no joy there. I've tried to find info on the transmission internally via Mitsubishi. The only info you'll get is that it's rated at 189 lb-ft Tq, exactly as it's stated in Jatco's OEM product catalog.
Guys and gals, I'd hate to say this, but the Eclipse Cross just cannot be modified unless:
- You're willing to replace the transmission and properly mate this with the driveline.
- You're willing to go to a 100% custom ECU / engine management solution. This includes a way to properly control S-AWC. (Maybe GEMS?)
- You're willing to be the first one to put skin in the game.
As for what I've done thus far to substantiate these claims, here's a little bit of what I've done:
- Contacted Mitsu for tech info on the Cross. Does that ever really work?
- Contacted Jatco for tech info on the CVT. That obviously yielded no results.
- Gotten all the available TSBs for the Cross to date (as of July, when we bought ours). Not a lot there.
- Purchased a genuine FSM from Helm. Very helpful, of course.
- Engaged Eric @ Kozmic Motorsports in Houston, who specializes in Evos, and particularly the DCT470 (TC-SST) in the X MR.
It was Kozmic who ultimately convinced me that this is a lost cause. I hope someone proves me wrong.
Better yet, I hope Mitsubishi does better with future iterations of the Cross and its other product offerings. Because at this point in time, it's nothing but a really nice, smooth passenger vehicle … that does nothing to win back its old clientele, nor the old "Driven to Thrill" or "Wake Up and Drive" appeal.
The one saving grace in the Cross --- the S-AWC in it is surprisingly very close to that of the Evo X
(This coming from a guy who has two.)
I hope this helps.