A Mitsubishi executive in Australia has admitted the Japanese firm sees an “opportunity” to build a hardcore version of its facelifted Triton to take on the new Ford Ranger Raptor.

James Tol, head of product planning at Mitsubishi Motors Australia, told motoring.com.au the automaker “will talk about that down the track”.

“There’s certainly an opportunity there, but I’m not going to speculate as to whether we are or we aren’t ,” he told the publication.

“At the moment, we’re concentrating on getting the model range we have bedded down and launched. I’d never say never… we will talk about that down the track.”

As motoring.com.au points out, the comments suggest those eager for a hardcore variant may have to wait until the next-generation Triton (which will share bits with the next Navara) rolls round.

Tol added the updated Triton had the substance to take the fight to the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.

“The new Triton certainly has a much better visual appeal, and we think that ‘harder edge’ is needed in this market, but it’s got the substance that comes with it,” he said.

While it runs on the same ladder-type frame as before, the updated bakkie’s front end now features Mitsubishi’s so-called “Dynamic Shield” design, a visage similar to the one worn by Mitsubishi’s latest SUVs, such as the Pajero Sport and Eclipse Cross. Styling changes have been made round back, too.

From what we understand, the 133 kW/430 N.m 2,4-litre turbodiesel continues unchanged, although automatic versions of the vehicle will switch from the current five-speed to a six-speed transmission.