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Next Mitsubishi Triton targets safety

Safe bet: Mitsubishi is aiming for a five-star Euro NCAP crash rating for its next generation Triton ute, that is expected to be released in 2014.

Mitsubishi refines its redesigned Triton bestseller to be safer, more efficient


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11 Mar 2013


MITSUBISHI has revealed that the next-generation Triton utility and its Challenger SUV offshoot that will be unveiled sometime next year, will be the safest ever, with a predicted five-star crash-test rating.

To help achieve that goal, advanced accident prevention technology like radar-controlled cruise control is likely to be made available, while improved driver-aid systems like stability management programs will be standard on the Triton.

Speaking at the Geneva motor show last week, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation board member and head of projects and strategy Ryugo Nakao, said that achieving top crash-test results is one of his engineers’ biggest priorities.

“We will try to reach the target of ENCAP five-star,” Mr Nakao revealed, “with the help of prevention safety systems.” Confirming its development program, the next-generation Challenger SUV based on the Triton pick-up truck will also adopt the same technological advancements when it is released, most probably later in 2015, according to Mr Nakao.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Nakao added that meeting future tighter emissions regulations has been another driver in the new Triton’s development.

This includes a 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with hybrid technology, as per the GR-HEV concept truck displayed on Mitsubishi’s Geneva stand.

“With the development of the Triton replacement, decreasing carbon dioxide emissions with diesel/hybrid combination is the best way to meet stricter regulations,” he said.

Whether the production Triton and Challenger fully adapts the show car’s diesel-electric hybrid system, which mates a 2.5-litre ‘clean diesel’ with an electric motor and battery pack, is unclear, with Mitsubishi refusing to elaborate on future product.

Another step forward for the upcoming pick-up truck is its improved levels of interior refinement, with improved design, dashboard layout, and trim materials introduced.

Available again in single and dual cab formats, attempting to increase comfort and functionality while reducing noise, vibration and harshness properties reflect the Triton’s burgeoning role as a part-time workhorse and part-time leisure vehicle, according to Mr Nakao.

Nevertheless, he also promises that there will be no downsizing in terms of interior space, towing capacity, or cargo-carrying capability.

“We intend to increase performance, dynamics, and reduce NVH, with a more luxurious vehicle,” Mr Nakao added.

However, ravaged by falling revenues and global recession, it is unlikely that MMC will provide the sheer level of mechanical or model differentiation as some competitors such as the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

“Our company is not so a big company, and we are limited in resources, so we have to concentrate our resources,” Mr Nakao said.

Currently in its fourth-generation, the Triton is built in Thailand for Australia – a situation that is expected to continue in the Mk5 version.

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