After numerous delays, mainly because of the exchange rate situation, Mitsubishi has finally announced its new Triton will go on sale in SA in January 2017.
It is yet another offspring of the new Nissan Navara, with this model also set to hit the market shortly. The Navara has spawned the Fiat Fullback and in 2018 it will be the base model for the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and the Renault Alaskan.
Each manufacturer has been working hard to make the Navara cousins fit in with their own model philosophy and line-up. Mitsubishi will use its latest-generation 2.4l four-cylinder turbocharged common rail diesel engine. This engine features an aluminium cylinder block and can be paired with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox.
Peak power is 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm, with the company claiming more than 350Nm is available from 1500rpm. Mitsubishi says this combination provides an improvement in low-end torque of over 25% compared with the previous 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine.
“Our lightweight turbodiesel engine is fitted with Mitsubishi’s latest generation MIVEC technology and weighs 30kg less than its predecessor, resulting in improved responsiveness, fuel consumption, handling, cornering and braking performance,” says Nic Campbell, GM of Mitsubishi Motors SA.
While the full model line-up has yet to be confirmed, the 4×4 drivetrain will include the latest version of the company’s Super Select II 4WD system.
This offers four intelligent driving modes, which can be engaged from the electronic drive-selector inside the cabin. This multifunction setup includes low-range modes as well as a rear diff-lock.
Unlike some rivals, Mitsubishi has incorporated a mode that distributes torque in a 40:60 ratio between front and rear axles via a centre differential.
The company says the suspension has been extensively revised over the old Triton, although it is unclear if it will follow the multilink rear setup that both Mercedes and Renault are promising.
The cabin is said to combine the interior comfort of a passenger car with the functionality of a multipurpose utility vehicle.
The J-line design of the double cab is said to translate into class-leading interior space with plenty of leg and head room, something that was impressive in the last generation.
On the safety front, Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution body construction features high-tensile steel to absorb energy and maintain cabin integrity. Pre-tensioners tighten the seatbelts in a collision, restraining the occupants and allowing the airbags to work effectively. Active stability with traction control, ABS and electronic brake force distribution give the driver added control in emergency situations.
“Fitted with a new-generation lightweight diesel engine, upgraded suspension and reduced [noise, vibration and harshness] levels, this new sport utility will impress owners with a comfortable ride that hasn’t compromised those workhorse principles and multipurpose functionality,” says Campbell. – Mark Smyth