Long ago, Mitsubishi imported an L200 (rebadged Triton) for members of the media to review.
Mitsubishi once offered seriously cool SUVs in the Raider and Montero – they know “trucks”.
This is not meant to be an in-depth analysis of Mitsubishi in North America. Let’s just consider it a very brief overview of the “What if?”. The midsize truck segment is hotter than a volcanic eruption at the moment and another offering would only serve to fuel the fire. Especially one as cool as the new Triton. But first, a few details on Mitsubishi’s truck.
This sixth-generation model, fully redesigned for the first time in nine years, is a guaranteed future hit. With the Triton’s robust lineage comprising of 5.6 million pickup trucks sold across five generations in 150 countries, Mitsubishi Motors has further enhanced the new model. The sixth-generation Triton, boasting a beefed-up body size and an all-new 2.4L clean diesel turbo engine, adheres to the product concept “Power for Adventure.”
The Triton comes with a reimagined interior and exterior design, a newly developed chassis, and a ladder frame. The vehicle is offered in three body types: the double-cab offering SUV comfort, a single-cab variant for basic use, and a club-cab type that provides additional cargo space. Enhanced drive modes, Active Yaw Control (AYC), Super Select 4WD-II system, and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) further bolster its road performance.
The clean diesel engine, the 4N16, comes in three different output specifications for various purposes. The high-output version reaches a maximum output of 150 kW and a maximum torque of 470 Nm, providing responsive driving. The two standard versions have a variable geometry turbo charger, performing variable control of turbine capacity. Buyers have the option to choose between a six-speed automatic transmission with Sports mode, or a six-speed manual transmission with shift-by-wire that reduces vibration.
Adopting the Beast Mode design concept, the new Triton maintains the robustness and toughness expected of a pickup truck. The Dynamic Shield front face design, T-shaped taillights, large, solid surfaces, and horizontally-themed body sides create a strong, commanding presence. Inside the cabin, practicality and utility merge with soft pads and geometric shapes for a modern, stylish space.
Coming to NA?
There are two main issues with the new Triton: The Chicken Tax and the diesel engine. The Triton has previously been heavily related to the Nissan Frontier which is currently assembled at Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Mississippi. There’s a strong chance that the next “really new” Frontier will share numerous components with the Triton thus, there’s a slim chance that the Mits could be assembled at the same plant. As for the diesel engine, a new Frontier will not offer one, a new petrol/hybrid/electrified could possibly replace the current V6. This is how two big problems could be solved.
The question that remains is: Would it sell in the US and Canada? In Canada, it’s unlikely that Mitsubishi would move enough units to make it profitable. Despite looking good, offering pedigree, and Team Mitsubishi RALLIART participating in various rallying events, the competition from Toyota, Ford, and GM would leave little room for the Triton. In fact, with Frontier sales declining severely in 2023 in both the US and Canada, it’s altogether possible that there will be no new generation here in the future.
What are the odds that Mitsubishi will bring the new Triton to North America? Slim to none. At least in our opinion.