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Mitsubishi unwraps Triton AXCR rally ute

Does TMR’s cross-country racer point to the Raptor rival we’ve been waiting for?

26 Jul 2023

MITSUBISHI might be keeping quiet on the likelihood of its all-new Triton spawning a rival to the Ford Ranger Raptor or Toyota HiLux GR Sport, but its Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) contender shows there’s a chance a ‘Ralliart’ Triton is in the pipeline… or so we hope.


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart (TMR) showcased its Triton AXCR at the unveiling of the sixth-generation ute in Bangkok, Thailand, giving the world’s media a taste of what might come from a more capable off-road model.


Set to compete in the AXCR event from Thailand to Laos next month (August 2023), the “fully redesigned and evolved” Triton is said to offer sporty and stable handling and even more response across the rev range, making it ideally suited to the event’s expectedly tough and muddy roads.


Three examples of the Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Triton AXCR will take part in this year’s event, piloted by Thai rally driver and former winner of the event, Chayapon Yotha, Indonesia ace and fifth-place getter in last year’s event, Rifat Sungkar, and Japanese off-road specialist Katsuhiko Tagichi who won the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in 1999 and 2010.


“We are very excited to be able to take on the competition with the all-new Triton, which has been fully redesigned and evolved significantly for every aspect,” said TMR director Hiroshi Masuoka.


“Triton rally cars have undergone over 2000km of endurance testing in Japan and Thailand with no major problems, and we’ve confirmed that they provide even better performance than last year’s model in every stage, from flat dirt high-speed stages to muddy low-speed stages.


“We’ll be driving with three rally cars, each of which is competing for the overall victory, and we want to take the championship position up on the podium for another consecutive victory.”


Modified within Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Group T1 restrictions (for modified cross-country vehicles), the Triton AXCR boasts a full roll cage and bumper guard, and carbon-fibre bonnet, front doors and cargo bed.


Further weight reductions come from the removal of unnecessary interior components giving the vehicle an equivalent kerb weight to last year’s model despite an increase in size.


As well as widening the track of the Triton AXCR, TMR engineers have equipped the vehicles with rally-specific front and rear suspension with twin shocks and hydraulic bump stops on all four corners, a Cusco limited slip differential on both axles, high-mount snorkel, Endless four-piston brakes, lightweight Work aluminium wheels and narrow off-road tyres for improved mud performance.


The rally version is powered by the same 4N16-series twin-turbocharged 2.4-litre diesel unit found in the road-going Triton with 150kW/470Nm. It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and Mitsubishi’s acclaimed Super Select II 4WD system.


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