One of the advantages of selling vehicles imported in CBU (Completely Built-Up) form, as opposed to assembling locally, is that they can be introduced into the market very quickly after the global launch. With local assembly of CKD (Completely Knocked Down) packs, extra time is needed for the localisation of some parts and sometimes, the ‘mother factory’ may not start preparing CKD packs as it is too busy producing CBU vehicles for export first.
This is the case with the all-new Mitsubishi Triton which has been launched in Malaysia just a few months after its global debut in Thailand. In fact, the public already had a preview of the new pick-up model at the 2018 KL International Motor Show at the end of November and over 800 bookings have already been taken.
With this new generation, the fifth one since the pick-up line began in 1978, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia expects to sell 600 units a month, which would be a 28% increase in Triton sales compared to 2018. Its confidence comes not just from having a brand new product but also that the sales of the Triton last year rose 24% even though the pick-up segment in Malaysia increased by only 8%. Approximately 30% of Tritons sold are to fleet operators which purchases a significant number of units at one go.
Speaking at the launch today, Tomoyuki Shinnishi, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia said: “Pick-up trucks are the foundation of Mitsubishi Motors and the company has been producing pick-ups since 1978. Over 40 years, much experience has been gained not only in engineering reliable and durable vehicles but also understanding the needs of diverse customers. As such, Mitsubishi Motors has been able to keep improving the vehicles and today, we are proud to introduce the new Mitsubishi Triton as the fifth generation of a successful line of pick-up trucks.”
“With the concept of ‘Engineered Beyond Tough’, the project team strived to offer a vehicle which would be trend-setting, tough and safe. Besides drawing on 40 years of experience in developing pick-up trucks that are durable, reliable and comfortable, the new Triton adopted four pillars under the 4Sure Handling Unique Selling Points: 4Sure Power; 4Sure Control; 4Sure Agility; 4Sure Safety. With these four pillars, customers are assured of a vehicle that is built to high standards and performance,” explained Mr. Shinnishi.
The new Triton’s styling incorporates the latest evolution of Mitsubishi Motors Dynamic Shield design language. The front end is somewhat ‘chunky’ and a bit ‘Transformer-ish’ but this is the sort of image which gives a bold and aggressive image. We understand that Mitsubishi distributors and importers had asked the designers for something ‘more powerful and imposing’ and this is what they came up with.
While retaining some of the original styling cues – including the J-Line design for the cabin – that made the previous generation a trendsetter among pick-ups, the designers have added body curves with contrasting sharp lines, extended wheel flares and bright accents that add modernity.
Five variants of the new Triton are powered by the latest version of the all-aluminium 2.4-litre MIVEC turbodiesel engine (above), while the Quest variant which is aimed at business operators uses a 2.5-litre turbodiesel. The proven 2.4-litre powerplant produces 181 ps/430 Nm which is transferred to the 4 wheels through a new 6-speed automatic transmission and Mitsubishi Motors’ Super-Select 4WD-II system or Easy-Select 4WD, depending on the variant. The manual transmission option has a 6-speed gearbox, providing a good spread of ratios for takling any situation.
The Super-Select 4WD-II system, developed with decades of experience in off-road competition such as the Dakar Rally, enables the Triton to travel over all kinds of terrain. Available only in the top VGT Adventure X variant, it includes a new Off-road Mode for increased capability in different off-road conditions such as gravel, mud, sand and rock. When engaged, Off-road Mode regulates engine power, transmission and braking for optimum wheel traction in various terrains conditions. Selection of various modes is easily done with a rotary dial (shown below) on the console between the front seats.
Complementing the Super-Select 4WD-II system is Hill Descent Control which makes driving down slopes easier and safer. In the past, such a task required some skill and experience but now a computer manages the speed, automatically applying the brakes when necessary and all the driver has to do is watch out for obstacles and steer the vehicle in the desired direction.
Just as important as all-terrain capability is manoeuvrability which the Triton can claim to be very good in; in fact, it has a best-in-class turning radius of 5.9 metres. This will be much appreciated by drivers considering that a pick-up truck is long. All variants have power-assisted rack and pinion steering.
Safety is also an important consideration, especially when there is a possibility of the vehicle skidding off a muddy track or into trees. To ensure that the occupants are well protected, the new Triton has a high-durability, high-reliability ladder-type frame on which is bolted a strong cabin structure. For the VGT Adventure X, there are no less than 7 airbags for the front and sides of the cabin.
This is complemented by advanced active safety and driver assistance systems that include Forward Collision Mitigation which can detect vehicles and pedestrians ahead. There’s also Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist, which helps avoid colliding with another vehicle when changing lanes by detecting vehicles behind or at the rear quarter and alerting the driver with an audible alert and flashing light in the left or right door mirrors.
Also helping to enhance safety is Rear Cross Traffic Alert (above) which helps avoid collisions when reversing out of a parking bay. Often, the view from the driver’s seat is obstructed by other vehicles (even though it is high up) and so the system scans the area on either side. If a vehicle is detected approaching, the driver will be alerted to take appropriate action. As before, a rearview camera is also provided which gives a view of the area directly behind the vehicle.
An Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System is fitted to help reduce accidents resulting from improper use of the accelerator when moving off or reversing in carparks and other confined spaces. This system sounds a buzzer and displays a warning if front or rear sensors detect a nearby obstacle. Engine output is also automatically reduced if the driver suddenly accelerates during such situation.
For convenience and added safety, the new Triton VGT Adventure X also has an Auto High Beam system. The camera sensor detects oncoming vehicles and automatically switches to low beams so as not to dazzle other drivers. This allows the high beams to operate automatically for better illumination of the road at night.
As with the exterior, the interior restyling also follows the theme of ‘Engineered beyond Tough’, with a sporty and modern feel. Since the model gained the Triton name in 2005, the cabin has been comparable to a passenger car’s and with each new generation, the level of quality (both perceived and felt) has risen. This latest generation is no exception with additional soft padding in seating areas such as the armrest and knee pads, and double stitching for a more premium appearance.
Some nice new features are the smartphone charger and storage area for the rear passengers who also get more cool air brought to them through two vents on the ceiling.
The new Triton is still the only pick-up truck (up to 2.4-litre category in Malaysian market) with a 200,000-km (or a maximum of 5 years) warranty. As an introductory offer to celebrate the launch of the model, the first 1,000 customers will receive exclusive limited edition Thule Subterra Luggage worth RM2,000.
Visit www.mitsubishi-motors.com.my to know more about the new Triton and where you can test it.