Mitsubishi says it has no plans to introduce a rival to the Ford Ranger Raptor ute – or mount a counterattack with a high-powered turbo diesel V6 even though it has access to one thanks to the recent alliance with Nissan-Renault.
Ford and Volkswagen are expected to have turbo-diesel V6 power as part of their next generation pickups due within a few years from now, and Toyota is on record as saying it wants to make up for the HiLux’s power deficit.
However, the chief operating officer of Mitsubishi globally, Ashwani Gupta, told media during a briefing in Australia there were no plans for the Triton to join the power race – even though a TDV6 is “available” through the alliance with Nissan-Renault.
“We have this engine in (Nissan) Titan in the US, but whether we’re going to going to apply it to the Triton, whether there’s a market, whether there’s a business to fulfil, I think it’s too early to say,” said Mr Gupta.
“At present we’ll just watch. One of the purchasing factors for Australian customers is fuel economy, so what is the balance between the passion to drive a vehicle with a high-powered engine and have good fuel economy? This is the question.”
The closest that Mitsubishi fans will get to a sports pick-up is expected to be some of the accessories that debuted on the recent “Absolute” Triton concept vehicle.
“The Absolute came out as a concept car,” said John Signoriello, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Australia, during the same media briefing with Mr Gupta.
“The aim (with the Absolute) was to create some aspiration and from that we get derivatives from it,” said Mr Signoriello. “The feedback’s been really good and on the basis of that feedback there are derivatives of things coming off that (concept vehicle).”
When asked if the changes would deliver a genuine rival to the Ford Ranger Raptor, Mr Signoriello said: “It’s going to take some development to get it to that level. You will see later this year and next year something that will come off (the Absolute concept) but not to that extent (Raptor).”