GAC Celebrates 40 Years of Mitsubishi L200
Mitsubishi, represented in Oman by General Automotive Company (GAC), recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Mitsubishi L200. Launched for the first time in 1978, the L200 has over the next four decades, brought mobility to over 4.7 million people worldwide.
Looking back at the storied history of the L200, Manoj Ranade, the GM of General Automotive Company said, “When it was first launched, this new Mitsubishi 1-ton pickup ushered in a new era for the pickup truck market. The very first of these models were appropriately named FORTE, while most exports were badged L200; the latter of which remains in use today. From the very beginning, the L200 was engineered to be a tough, dependable transport for people and their goods, yet be as easy to drive, have a combination of rugged reliability, easy-to-drive nature, and impressive carrying capacity.”
As a result, the pickup quickly earned itself a reputation for its outstanding reliability, durability, and payload performance. And it did so while being able to handle practically any type of road, anywhere on the planet; while at the same time offering levels of drivability, utility, comfort, and ride that is on a par with a passenger sedan.
Taking the vehicle a step further, Mitsubishi Motors added a 4x4 version to the range in 1980. It was this system that would set the foundation for all Mitsubishi 4WD vehicles to come such as the Pajero, Montero, and Delica.
The pickup, which was shortly thereafter renamed to TRITON in several markets, had a profound effect on Mitsubishi Motors’ business too. The first and second generation platforms were primarily produced at Mitsubishi Motors Ohe Plant. Ever since the thirdgeneration model, introduced in 1995, production has been concentrated in the Laem Chabang Plant in Thailand, from where they are exported worldwide. It is now Mitsubishi Motors’ biggest factory, producing about 400,000 vehicles a year.
Even today, over four decades later, the latest L200 models deliver performance that ranks amongst the best in its class. This is primarily thanks to an improved version of the well-proven 2.5-litre turbo diesel and 2.4-litre petrol engine used to power its predecessor. The 2.5-litre turbo diesel is available as a 4WD variant, producing 136PS at 4,000rpm and 33.1Kgm of torque at 2,000rpm. A 2.4-litre petrol engine is available in both 2WD and 4WD variants and produces a class-leading 128PS at 5250rpm and 19.8Kgm of torque at 4000rpm. Transferring this power to the road is a smooth-shifting 5-speed manual transmission.