According to a report on the Australian website Motoring.com.au, the next-generation Mitsubishi Triton pickup (and its SUV counterpart, the Pajero Sport) is set to gain the company’s plug-in hybrid technology, which will make the Triton the world’s first mainstream hybrid 1-tonne light commercial vehicle.
The publication from down under spoke to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross’s chief engineer, Masahiro Awano, who said that they were studying a variety of plug-in hybrid powertrain options including tri-motor and quad-motor setups which could form the basis for performance-oriented models too.
When the publication asked if the current PHEV system seen on the Eclipse Cross could be transferred to rugged models like the Triton and Pajero Sport, Awano replied that an upgraded version of the current PHEV system would be installed on next-generation Mitsubishi cars and pickup trucks.
It’s possible that Awano was talking about the new powertrain Mitsubishi introduced in the new-generation Outlander PHEV in October 2021. A 98 kW/195 Nm 2.4L petrol engine works with an 85 kW/255 Nm front motor and a 100 kW/195 Nm rear motor, and a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds the motors. The electrified Mitsubishi Triton may not be ready at launch when the new generation pickup debuts next year, but by 2025, it will be on sale, senior executives of the company confirmed.
Hybrid planned since Day 1 for the new Mitsubishi Triton
Owen Thomson, senior manager of product strategy for Mitsubishi’s Australian subsidiary, told the local media (via Drive) in September 2021 that the company has been planning electrification for the next-gen Triton from the very first day of its development. Electrification of utes this decade is inevitable, and electrified utes can achieve success in Australia, Thomson suggested. A petrol PHEV ute is probably a good thing for urban customers, but it won’t work for remote users on mining sites because of safety concerns, he added. Expect the range to include petrol, petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, and diesel variants in the future.
It is to be remembered that the next-generation Mitsubishi Triton is being developed in parallel with the future versions of the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan. Mitsubishi is likely leading the vehicle development, and more clarity should emerge in the first half of 2022 on these product programs.
Styling cues for the new Mitsubishi electric truck could come from the Mi-Tech concept shown at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The Mi-Tech, despite being a beach-buggy type model, featured strong design elements for its front and rear fascia, which is expected to be carried over to new Mitsubishi models like the Triton and Pajero Sport, expected through this decade.
The next-gen Mitsubishi Triton may have a sporty Ralliart variant that goes up against the Ford Ranger Raptor. During the announcement of FY2020 Financial Results, Mitsubishi confirmed that it’s relaunching the Ralliart division and teased a current-gen Triton Ralliart.
We have decided to relaunch our RALLIART brand for customers in Mitsubishi Motors plans who want to add to Mitsubishi Motors-ness even more. In the future, we plan to develop items as genuine accessories for a wide range of models, and we would like to take opportunity to be involved in motorsports, as well.Mitsubishi Motors (FY2020 Financial Results)
Enthusiasts hope for a Triton Ralliart with performance mods
A few years from now, a next-gen Triton Ralliart featuring unique styling and modified components honed for performance could replace the newly-introduced Triton Ralliart, which is simply an accessorized truck. The brand has to mature before it can compete with the likes of Hyundai’s N division or the Toyota GR line.
Mitsubishi’s Australian subsidiary was quite pumped up about the potential Triton Ralliart. A local spokesperson told CarsGuide in May 2021 that “people love fast, tough utes,” and a performance model like the Triton Ralliart “will resonate with Australia.” However, when Thomson spoke to CarSales Australia in September 2021, his tone suggested that the return of Ralliart to Australia is not in the near future, and that they would like to “see it brought back (to Australia) in a proper way.”
Australia and New Zealand should be among the first markets to receive Mitsubishi’s next-gen one-tonne ute.
Mitsubishi Triton Hybrid FAQs
What is the Mitsubishi Triton PHEV release date?
The Mitsubishi Triton PHEV is expected in the next-gen Triton family, which is due for launch in 2022 in ASEAN & Australian markets.
Which pickups will rival the Mitsubishi Triton PHEV?
The Mitsubishi Triton PHEV will go up against co-developed products Alaskan & Navara, aside from the Hilux, D-Max & Ranger.
What will be the price of the Mitsubishi Triton PHEV?
The Mitsubishi Triton PHEV is expected to cost from about AUD 40,000 (USD 30,000).
Featured image: Mitsubishi