Lack of buyer demand puts oil-burner off the cards

Mitsubishi Motors Australia says a diesel powertrain is unlikely to feature in the new Eclipse Cross SUV.

Speaking to media in Melbourne, James Tol, head of product planning for Mitsubishi Australia, said a lack of buyer interest means the range isn't likely to include a diesel option.

"It's not on our radar," Tol said. Diesels make up just five per cent of all ASX sales, although they account for a larger chunk (around 10 - 15 per cent, according to Mitsubishi) of registrations in the bigger Outlander.

"Now we've got this small capacity turbo-petrol, with high efficiency and really good performance, it didn't seem a lot of point to putting the diesel into the range."

"If you think about the passenger car space, and the smaller SUV space, there seems to be a certain drift away from diesel," Tol argued. "And I think that's got a lot to do with the fact these small-capacity turbo petrol engines have become so much more efficient and more powerful".

"What used to be a much stronger business case for a customer to purchase a diesel is starting to be eroded," he added.

Above: Diesels only account for a tiny slice of ASX sales

At launch, the Eclipse Cross will only be available with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol. It'll be mated exclusively with a CVT, now offering eight 'steps' to mimic a conventional torque converter.

Although a diesel is off the cards, a hybrid powertrain was flagged as a potential future model. There's no word on when it might arrive, or what form it will take at this point.