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by Matt Campbell

The new-generation Mitsubishi Triton will initially go on sale with a diesel drivetrain, with a hybrid drivetrain expected to follow – but not “for a while”.

Mitsubishi Motors president Osamu Masuko said the final decision of what hybrid drivetrain will be offered in the 2015 Triton, which is expected to debut in production guise at the 2014 Paris motor show in September, is still to be decided.

“We are seriously discussing if we will do this with just hybrid instead of PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle),” Masuko said.

The new-generation Triton was previewed by the GR-HEV concept at the 2013 Geneva motor show. That car featured a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that teamed a powered by a 2.5-litre diesel engine to an electric motor with a high-tech four-wheel-drive system.

But Masuko said the cost of plug-in hybrid drivetrains, like that seen in the new Outlander PHEV, would mean a significant premium compared to standard series-hybrid system.

Mitsubishi-GR-HEV-concept-6

“Because Triton is a commercial vehicle its cost is crucial. Frankly, hybrid can be made more cheaper. That is why we would make that decision,” he said, before confirming the hybrid wouldn’t be a part of the initial launch model line-up.

“The decision hasn’t been yet. You won’t see hybrid for a while,” he said, but gave little away as to whether it would be a petrol or diesel hybrid drivetrain.

“We can just go ahead straight away if the Australian market has enough demand for the hybrid,” he joked.

The all-new Triton will, like the current model, be built in Thailand. It is expected to go on sale either late in 2014 or early in 2015.




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