ORANGE CRUSH

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

Orange could be the new black with next year’s Tri­ton. On show at the global re­veal was a “Tri­ton Plus” con­cept with orange paint­work and black alloys, grille and bumpers. In­te­rior trim com­bined orange leather and grey suede. Mit­subishi is wait­ing for feed­back be­fore pro­gress­ing but given the pro­lif­er­a­tion of black edi­tions from var­i­ous mak­ers it’s more than likely the one-off will be­come real­ity.

PUT IT THERE, PART­NER

Mit­subishi’s ute ex­per­tise is tipped to un­der­pin the next gen­er­a­tion of Nis­san and Re­nault equiv­a­lents. Mit­subishi boss Trevor Mann says it’s “highly likely” the Tri­ton plat­form will be the ba­sis for fu­ture Nis­san Navaras and Re­nault Alaskans (not avail­able in Aus­tralia). The trio’s al­liance aims to “tur­bocharge” each busi­ness and de­liver economies of scale. Mann says each brand will con­trib­ute its lead­ing ex­per­tise and in Mit­subishi’s case that will be the Tri­ton’s un­der­pin­nings. “The plat­form de­vel­op­ment is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly more ex­pen­sive be­cause of the reg­u­la­tions in var­i­ous parts of the world (on) safety and emis­sions,” he says. “We will be con­verg­ing on plat­forms ... which means the next Out­lander will be on the same plat­form as the Nis­san and Re­nault equiv­a­lent. Ev­ery­thing the cus­tomer, sees, touches, ex­pe­ri­ences will be Mit­subishi.”

PLUG-IN UTES NEXT

The dawn of the plug-in hy­brid ute is a mat­ter of when, not if, says Mit­subishi’s prod­uct strate­gist. It will come in re­sponse to grow­ing pres­sure to re­duce emis­sions and the guil­lo­tine hover­ing over diesel cars in Europe, ac­cord­ing to com­pany vice-pres­i­dent Vin­cent Cobbee. He reck­ons in­creas­ing global reg­u­la­tion and “chang­ing hori­zons” will bring plug-in hy­brid tech — as em­ployed in the com­pany’s Out­lander SUV — to utes. “There will be a limit to what tra­di­tional com­bus­tion en­gines can pro­vide, es­pe­cially be­cause the de­mand for power, torque, tow­ing will re­main. If you put all of this to­gether there is not that many tech­nolo­gies that can pro­vide no range anx­i­ety, high power, high torque and low CO2.”

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