The global head of Mitsubishi Motors has suggested the next-generation Triton won't likely be offered with a V6 engine, while also hinting a hybrid powertrain is on the cards.
Ashwani Gupta, who was appointed as the Japanese brand’s chief operating officer earlier in 2019, told Australian media the next-gen Triton bakkie and Pajero Sport SUV would in all likelihood be electrified in some way.
“On Triton and Pajero Sport, obviously we believe that they will need electrification. One of the core strengths of Mitsubishi is to have electrification and ICE (internal combustion engine) in the same car, so we don’t have a policy to develop a dedicated electrified car,” Gupta said, according to motoring.com.au.
“We have the technology and the know-how to use the same platform to be adaptable to ICE, to be adaptable to electrification like you see today with Outlander PHEV,” he added.
Gupta added Mitsubishi had yet to determine whether a regular hybrid arrangement or a plug-in hybrid powertrain would be employed.
“The specific requirements of the next Triton – which is towing capacity, which is payload – the question is whether our existing PHEV [plug-in electric vehicle] technology will fulfil these specific requirements,” he said.
“In terms of the truck specification, whether PHEV is the right technology or HEV [hybrid] is the right technology, that is what we’re studying now, but it will need electrification. We are working on two or three options to make sure that we come up with the right strategy. We are studying all the possible options.”
Gupta also suggested the automaker had no concrete plans to offer a V6 engine in the next Triton.
“It’s available in our [Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi] Alliance – we have this engine in Titan in the US – but whether we’re going to apply it to Triton, whether there’s a market, whether there’s a business to fulfil, I think it’s too early to say. At present, we’ll just watch,” he said, according to the Australian publication.
Interestingly, Gupta furthermore revealed Mitsubishi was taking the lead with development of the Alliance’s next bakkie platform (despite Nissan late in 2018 saying this would not be the case), hinting the firm would beat partners Nissan and Renault to market.
“On the pick-up, it is very much understandable that Mitsubishi has got the competitiveness on the Triton. We started having the best practice exchange with Nissan; we do a lot of benchmarking on the current pick-ups, to understand each of them.
“On the next pick-up, we are obviously working together but with all the core markets we have with Mitsubishi, we have only one manufacturing base, which is Thailand. How and when Nissan and Renault get onto the boat, we will have to wait. As of today, we are taking the lead.
“It is a matter of each brand’s business decision on when they will launch, but as far as Mitsubishi is concerned, this is our core market, and we are going ahead with the development of Triton successor.”