Mitsubishi’s award-winning Triton pickup has received a mid-life facelift with increased cargo volume and a bolder appearance among its key updates. The model range remains unchanged, with the 4×2 Triton Lite occupying the entry-level slot beneath the 2.5-litre auto and manual variants. Top of the range is 3.2-litre 4×4 automatic.
Not that Mitsu needed to revise the models on offer anyway. Each of the Triton’s variant has an award to its name. The Triton 2.5 and Triton Lite have both bagged Autocar ASEAN’s Pick-up of the Year Award in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The 3.2, meanwhile, picked up the equivalent title at the 2008 NST-Maybank Car of the Year award.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, held at Desa Park City, Kuala Lumpur, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) CEO, Mr Keizo Ono said, “The Triton has been nothing but a success to us here at Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia. Since its launch in 2006, Triton sales has grown sharply and it is currently the top two selling pick-up truck in the country. Already Malaysia’s most awarded pick-up truck, this facelift model’s bolder outlook and improved versatility is set to increase the Triton’s popularity.”
Compared to other pickups in the market, the Triton’s aesthetics are both distinct and unmistakable. In essence, the Triton’s look defines its identity in the segment. As such, characteristic features of the Triton’s existing fascia has been retained, but with subtle touches applied to (in Mitsu’s words) give it ‘a bolder, more prominent outlook’.
In what is an unwritten international standard facelift procedure, the front bumpers have been re-profiled. The fog lamps are now surrounded by angular cutouts. The radiator grille slats, previously diagonal running parallel to the triangular protrusion housing the three-diamond logo, have been replaced with a new honeycomb design in the 2.5 & 3.2. On the Triton Lite, the grille design comprises of a pair of horizontal slats either side of the three diamonds. As part of the facelift exercise, the Triton Lite now gets painted bumpers as well.
|Triton Lite gets much improved appearance with coloured bumper.|
However, an unusual exercise undertaken by Mitsubishi in this facelift was that they took the effort to redesign the Triton’s cargo bed. The bed is now lengthened by a good six inches, and also made deeper for increased cargo carrying volume.
Interior enhancements come in the form of a new RV meter sitting in between the central air-con blowers. The meter, unique to the 4×4 Tritons, carries the trip computer, digital compass, barometer, altimeter and outer thermometer. In the Triton Lite, this space is occupied by a lidded storage compartment. The Lite also makes do without a tachometer, leaving a gaping blank area in its instrument panel.
|No tacho for Lite.|
The existing diesel powerplants of the pre-facelift Triton, together with their paired drivetrains, remain in service. The top of the range Triton 3.2 gets the 3,200cc 4M41 inline-4 turbodiesel motor rated to produce 158hp @ 3,500rpm and 343Nm @ 2,000rpm.
|3.2-litre 4M41 turbodiesel rated at 158hp and 343Nm.|
Going down a rung, the Triton 2.5 gets the 2,477cc 4D56 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC turbodiesel engine also found in the Pajero Sport. In this application, the engine produces 134hp @ 3,500rpm and 314Nm @ 2,000rpm.
|Triton 2.5 good for 134hp and 314Nm.|
The 2.5 and 3.2 receive Mitsubishi’s Easy Select 4WD system, able to execute ‘shift on the fly’ between 2H and 4H modes at speeds up to 100kph. Both versions also get the hybrid lim-slip diff (LSD) to prevent wheel slip. The 2.5 is offered with the option of a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. The 3.2 gets the 4-speed auto as the only transmission option.
Under the hood of the Triton Lite, is a significantly detuned version (with engine cover gone too!) of the 4D56. Making do with half as many camshafts and valves (8V, SOHC), the Triton Lite also produces around half the output with 74hp @ 4,200rpm, and 149Nm @ 2,500rpm. Drive goes to the rear wheels with a 5-speed manual the only transmission on offer.
|No engine cover for detuned 4D56|
The Triton’s chassis, which comes with double wishbone suspension up front and leaf springs behind, features the Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) structure with embedded collision beads in the frame for impact absorption. Additional safety comes (for the 2.5 & 3.2, of course) in the form of Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), seat belt pre-tensioners and dual airbags.
For more information, please visit www.mitsubishi-motors.com.my.