Preview of Next-Gen Triton At Bangkok Motor Show

By Lee Pang Seng

THE recent 44th Bangkok Motor Show dazzled with several fascinating displays that were definitely of interest to Malaysian car buyers. This included the preview of the next-generation Mitsubishi Triton along with the latest Honda CR-V and Toyota Hilux.

This came in the form of the XRT Concept complete with striking camouflage body making it hard to miss at the motor show as it stood out so prominently among the glittering and shimmering display of vehicles, new and existing models.

Mitsubishi Motors said the camouflage design for this show stopper was inspired by ‘lava rocks packed with condensed energy’ and the sides were adorned with ‘a graphic of the 10-parallel line Ralliart brand icon that expresses Mitsubishi Motors’ passion for driving’.

We certainly could relate to Mitsubishi Motors’ description of the new generation Triton via the XRT Concept… ‘characterised by a fierce expression on the front and a robust hood that continues to the side with bold, horizontally-themed styling. Further, the concept car is fitted with front and rear over fenders as well as mud-terrain tyres, giving it the powerful drive to compete in gruelling rallies and the dynamism to dash across the terrain’.

Mitsubishi Motors has carved out a solid reputation in the Dakar events and developments of the competition vehicles have filtered down to the production range such as the Triton. Its attention is also focused on events in Asia and plans are afoot to take part in the Asia Cross Country Rally 2023 under Team Mitsubishi Ralliart. The competition vehicle is a prototype cross-country model of the all-new Triton as Mitsubishi Motors aims for a second straight victory in the event.

This 2000-plus kilometre event, held around mid-August,  is seen as the largest scale cross country event in the region and had been run 27 times. It is held primarily in Thailand and has included neighbouring Laos in recent years.

Mitsubishi Motors said it used expertise gained from rallies as feedback in the development of production vehicles as it sought to create vehicles with ‘Mitsubishi Motor-ness’ and ‘which delivers safe, comfortable driving enjoyment in any weather or road condition’.

Based on this background, it is safe to say the sixth generation Triton, due for launch in July, would be something to look forward to. Mitsubishi Motors said this next-gen Triton was the first full redesign in about nine years. Although the current Triton was introduced in late 2018, it only came with an all-new body but the platform and engine series were from the earlier generation model.

Mitsubishi Motors president and chief executive officer Takao Kato, who was at the Bangkok Motor show, to present the XRT Concept said the Triton to come had a completely new platform and engine series that the company had solely developed in-house. He said the XRT Concept was somewhat close to the eventual production model.

He added that the all-new Triton was currently going through final touch-ups in preparation for its release and ‘we have performed rigorous endurance tests around the world while also incorporating the know-how gained from rally activities’.

While he didn’t give a hint of when the new Triton would be introduced iin Malaysia after its July launch in Thailand, speculation is rife that it would arrive on our shores before year end. Kato said: “Fiscal 2023 (April 2023 to March 2024) is an important year for Mitsubishi Motors to accelerate our business in the Asean region with the launch of a fully revamped Triton and an all-new compact SUV (sport utility vehicle).”

The pick-up and SUV sectors in the Malaysian automotive market saw good sales numbers in recent years as more vehicle owners became more receptive and the trend is expected to continue. Common flash floods, probably, might have a hand in that but the vehicles in these sectors are comfortable to drive and ride in while being reasonably good on fuel mileage.

It is definitely a growing market and this year would see many new models being introduced here to via for a piece of the expanding pie. Among them, the powerful looking sixth-generation Triton is bound to turn heads when it gallops in.

The Triton is Mitsubishi Motors’ top selling model that is manufactured at its Laemchabang factory in Rayong, Thailand. As such, it has served as the company’s global strategic vehicle that is exported to about 150 countries. Following its Thai launch, Mitsubishi Motors said the new Triton would be released sequentially in Asean, Oceania and other global markets.