Confirmed: Mitsubishi is working on a hybrid Triton ute
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The age of injecting electric technology into the world's pick-up market appears to be nigh. Rumours of a hybrid Toyota Hilux have been well covered, Ford are producing a fully electric F-150, and the power combo (pun not intended) of Tesla and Rivian are both working on utes of their own.
Now, Mitsubishi has confirmed that it too is joining the mix with a Triton model coming down the pipeline.
The Japanese company confirmed the news recently to Australian press via Ashwani Gupta, global chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Motors. Gupta discussed the news specifically in regards to the upcoming all-new Triton, as opposed to the newly updated Triton that came out earlier this year.
The next-gen Triton will be developed alongside a new Nissan Navara, with the two set to look different but share the same platform and power-trains. By the sounds, the joint Nissan/Mitsubishi project will be headed by the three diamonds.
“We started having the best practice exchange with Nissan on the current vehicles and we did a lot of bench-marking of each other,” said Mr Gupta. “For the next pick-up obviously we are working together. We have only one manufacturing (plant) which is Thailand, so naturally we are taking the lead to develop the next generation of pick-up.”
“The next Triton should be technical enough to have electrification. One of the core strengths of Mitsubishi is to have electrification and (internal combustion engines) in the same car.
“We don’t have the policy to develop a dedicated electrified car. We have the technology and the know-how to use the same platform to be adaptable to (internal combustion engines) and adaptable to electrification.”
If any car-making pair was going to have a sound crack at adding electrification to utes, it may as well be Mitsubishi and Nissan. The duo have already established themselves with the technology. The Nissan Leaf is one of the world's best-selling EVs, while locally Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV is New Zealand's best-selling plug-in hybrid.
Mitsubishi didn't confirm the exact engine format it's most likely to pursue, with plug-in hybrid petrol, plug-in hybrid diesel, and standard self-charging hybrid tech all seemingly on the table as possible options.
A hybrid Triton will position Mitsubishi nicely for a hybrid transition, as it will likely follow a replacement for the Outlander PHEV.