Mitsubishi is looking to get back into the compact truck market with a sleek and efficient new design based off of the GR-HEV concept. Though it might not have the same radical look of drivetrain, but it could shake-up a truck market long dominated by big American trucks.
Only recently has GM recommitted to the idea of a smaller truck, and one with a diesel engine at that, though Ford and Chrysler have left that dwindling market for other automakers to fight over. This could be Mitsubishi’s chance to muscle its way into an underserved market, at a time when trucks of all sizes are upping the MPG ante.
Details so far are scarce, and all we know is that the new L200, or Triton as its known in markets the world over, will debut this fall with a number of styling cues from the GR-HEV concept. That concept had a 2.5 liter diesel engine connected to a plug-in hybrid drvetrain that delivered a combined mileage of some 36 MPG. That’s 8 MPG better than the closest competitor, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
While the production model isn’t likely to offer a hybrid drivetrain at launch, I can’t help but imagine the drivetrain of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV shoehorned into a mid-size pickup. The only issue, at least as far as us Americans go, is whether or not we’ll ever see it. Importing a truck to the U.S. is a non-starter thanks to a 25% import tariff on trucks, which means it’d have to be built in North America. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi builds its trucks in Thailand, where it exports the L200 to 140 global markets…but not here.
Don’t hold your breath for this one, at least if you live in the U.S.