Triton gets tough look
The new-look Mitsubishi Triton ute range unveiled last week in Bangkok, Thailand, is expected to reach the New Zealand market by late-december.
Mitsubishi has applied refinement and safety upgrades to the Triton along with a bold new look — inspired by the “Dynamic Shield” frontal design theme of the latest Outlander and Eclipse Cross SUV models.
Under the skin the ladder-frame chassis, cabin structure, key dimensions and the 2.4-litre MIVEC diesel engine are carried over from the current Triton. The major mechanical upgrade for 2019 is a new six-speed automatic transmission — that replaces the five-speed unit in current models — to provide a broader spread of gearing for improved acceleration and efficiency.
The transmission upgrade is solely responsible for the performance and refinement gains with no changes expected for the 4N15 MIVEC diesel engine which has 2442cc displacement and develops 135kw at 3500rpm with 437Nm of torque at 2500rpm.
The sheetmetal refresh is reasonably extensive and bring a new-look to the Triton. The Mitsubishi designers have raised the leading edge of the bonnet by 40mm to provide a squarer look and there are changes to the front guards, headlights, grille, side steps, door mirrors, fuel cap cover, rear bumper and tail lights.
The flagship VRX model gets LED headlights with integrated daytime running lights.
The 1815mm body width is unchanged but the new design attempts to widen the Triton’s stance by pushing the squarer guards out to where the wheel arch flares previously provided the width.
A move to 18-inch alloy wheels — with a two-tone machine finish — and taller 265/60 R18 tyres on the GLX-R and VRX grades gives the Triton a 15mm increase in ground clearance.
Triton’s Super Select II 4WD system — available in top-of-therange 4WD models — will be equipped with new driver selectable Off-road Mode featuring Gravel, Mud/snow, Sand and Rock settings. When engaged, Off-road Mode controls engine power, transmission and braking to regulate the amount of wheel slip and thereby maximise all-terrain performance.
The addition of Hill Descent Control to Triton’s off-road functions provides further assistance in challenging situations, maintaining a constant vehicle speed during descents by regulating braking force to each wheel, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering.
Triton introduces the latest in Mitsubishi’s active safety and driver assistance systems. Among the safety features which are new to Triton are Forward Collision Mitigation and Lane Departure Warning available on GLX (wellside ute) and GLX-R models.
Top-of-the-range VRX models will also benefit from Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Multi Around View Monitor and front and rear parking sensors. With the move to 18-inch wheels the VRX and GLX-R models also feature larger front brake discs and two pistons in each caliper for improved braking performance and greater safety overall.
For the New Zealand market the MY19 Triton range will comprise four 4x2 models and 10 4x4s and Mitsubishi Motors NZ holds high hopes for the upgraded Triton to gain a larger share of the ute market.
“More and more Kiwis are looking to combine the luxuries of a lifestyle vehicle with the performance of a ute and Triton’s increasing popularity reflects its ability to deliver that. This new model brings enhancements to the durability, capability and comfort developed over decades of improvements,” said Reece Congdon, Mitsubishi Motors NZ head of marketing and corporate affairs.
Year-to-date (January-october) the Triton is the fourth best-selling ute in the New Zealand market. The Ford Ranger leads the sales race with 8306 registrations followed by the Toyota Hilux with 6760 and Holden Colorado with 3924 registrations. The Triton has achieved 3829 registrations and is in a battle for the number three ranking with the Colorado .