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New models - Mitsubishi - Triton - GLX-R

Mitsubishi's Triton true

Up-spec: The GLX-R comes with uprated exterior and interior, along with sharp pricing.

Late in the Triton’s model life comes a sporty GLX-R ‘crossover’ variant

Mitsubishi logo17 Mar 2005

By JOHN WRIGHT

MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited describes its latest Triton range as 05.5 model year in recognition of a styling change made just last year in readiness for 2005.

That upgrade endowed the third-generation Triton, launched in 1996, with Mitsubishi’s new corporate look but did not address the lack of a dedicated sports variant.

Enter the GLX-R, which is aimed at the consumer – often a small business owner – who wants a crossover ute ideal for workhorse duty during the week and recreational activity at the weekend.

Mitsubishi Australia’s research shows “massive growth” for such highline models.

The 4WD double-cab market now represents 34 per cent of the light truck market, while highline models account for almost half of the 2600 or so 4WD double-cab utes sold each month.

The research also indicates that customers rank exterior design ahead of value, performance and functionality in this growing crossover segment.

Mitsubishi Australia’s Completely Built Up (CBU) vehicles manager Rob Chadwick cited the success of the Nissan Navara ST-R, which was clearly used as a benchmark for the GLX-R.

The ST-R, introduced in 2001, has increased its sales from less than 50 units per month to “a very impressive 635” according to Mr Chadwick, and Mitsubishi Australia is looking for a share of this action.

But while Mitsubishi’s hyped-up Triton is aimed squarely at the ST-R, its stiffest rival could come from the new HiLux range, to be launched later this month.

Based on the GLX, the R-rated Triton gets a body-coloured sports grille with black mesh insert and floating triple-diamond symbol, body-coloured bumpers and fender flares, chrome ‘nudge’ and sports bars, a soft tonneau cover, 16 x 7 alloy wheels, side steps, privacy glass and unique badging.

It comes in four colours, one of which (Gunmetal) is unique to this model variant. The interior makeover extends to a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearknob, titanium-look instrument panel and air-vent surrounds, full console, sports trim, full carpeting and dual airbags.

It is priced at $36,990 for the manual and $38,990 for the automatic model. Air-conditioning will be fitted as standard to models sold between launch and June but will then return to the options list at $1900.

Pricing of all other models is unchanged.

21 center imageAnti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution are standard on GLX and GLX-R models, and are now an option for all V6 and turbo-diesel Triton variants ($1500 in a package with dual airbags).

Engines and transmissions are unchanged. The 3.0-litre, single overhead camshaft, 24-valve V6 develops 133kW of power at 5250rpm and 255Nm of torque at 4500rpm, while the 2.8-litre intercooled turbo-diesel achieves peaks of 92kW at 4000rpm and 294Nm down and dirty at just 2000rpm. Automatic transmission is not available with the turbo-charged engine.

Mitsubishi (very precisely) forecasts total monthly Triton sales of 737, of which 395 will be Double Cabs. GLX-R should account for 224 (39 manual petrol, 45 automatic petrol and 140 manual turbo-diesel).

2005 Triton GLX-R pricing:
Triton GLX-R (m) $36,990
Triton GLX-R (a) $38,990

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