GAC Cel­e­brates 40 Years of Mit­subishi L200

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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.

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