© CarsGuide.com.au The next-generation Mitsubishi Triton is the brand's "core focus" in Australia.
The next-generation Mitsubishi Triton is a “core focus” for the brand in Australia, with the Japanese company’s local product team stating it has had its hands on the recipe for the all-new model for three years already.
An important component of the new-generation Triton, likely due in 2022 or early in 2023, will be the powertrains used - and there could be plug-in hybrid petrol or plug-in hybrid diesel powertrains, according to the brand.
“If you look at the ute market generally, it’s clear that sometime during this decade there will be all sorts of forms of electrification of utes. It’s a matter of what form that will take and when,” said Owen Thomson, senior manager of product strategy for Mitsubishi Motors Australia.
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“From day one, electrification has been part of the plan for the new-generation Triton,” he said.
Mitsubishi isn't the only ute likely to adopt plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology as part of its next-gen ute - Ford is working on a Ranger PHEV, and that could well mean the co-developed VW Amarok will run a plug-in powertrain, too.
“It can work in Australia - it depends on the user, and some users may take advantage of it, but for others it may be a disadvantage,” Mr Thomson said, indicating that plug-in technology may deter customers who just want a regular ute, while other buyers may appreciate the option of something more technologically advanced.
Describing the Triton as the brand’s core focus at the moment, Mr Thomson suggested that in the ute-buying marketplace, there is no easy solution when it comes to electrification.
© CarsGuide.com.au The next gen Triton is expected in 2022 or early in 2023.
“I can’t see a petrol PHEV ute work for remote regional customers,” he said, before stating that petrol models of any kind are banned on some worksites in remote areas due to safety concerns - mining companies will only use diesel or electric vehicles because of the far reduced risk of explosions in volatile environments.
Mr Thomson indicated that a petrol PHEV might well be an ideal option for an urban customer or someone using their ute more as a lifestyle vehicle than a work truck.
It’s not yet clear whether the petrol plug-in powertrain would simply be the same unit employed in the Outlander PHEV and the new Eclipse Cross PHEV - a 2.4-litre four-cylinder backed up by front and rear electric motors (all-wheel drive) and a small-capacity battery pack.
There has been no indication on what a diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain from the brand would consist of as yet, either. It may not even be under consideration.
© CarsGuide.com.au Electrification is part of the plan for the new Triton.
“We’re very much part of the conversation with the parent company for the new Triton and we’ve had quite an input… we started on it three years ago - there is always testing done in Australia, and the vehicle was brought here some time ago ... (but) the reality is that COVID has put a spanner in the works for local testing,” said Mr Thomson.
However, he indicated that would not delay the launch of the new-generation model, meaning it might not meet all the desired points put forward by Mitsubishi Australia.
The next-generation Triton will also form the basis of the future Nissan Navara, as the brand’s both fall under an alliance that is seeing Mitsubishi take the lead on development of the commercial vehicle line.
Stay tuned for more on the new-generation Triton.