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How the 2024 Mitsubishi Triton was made for Australia: Bespoke suspension and handling, big towing upgrade, and significant local testing program for one of Mitsubishi's most important markets

The new Triton will be customised for the Australian market, and the brand has spent significant resources on local testing.

The 2024 Triton is set to mix up the Australian ute market with its bigger, better, and more capable frame and its upgraded engine. And while it is also predicted to come with a price-hike, it’s been designed with our market in mind from the beginning.

This is according to the Chief Product Specialist for the Triton range, Yoshiki Masuda, who explained the Triton would get market-specific suspension, including a unique set-up for Australia.

“We can do every single country, but Australia is a very important country, and very particular about these things.”

“Some parts are carried over to the Japanese market, but Thailand for example is totally different.”

When asked what else needed to be customised for Australian tastes, Masuda explained upgrades to towing and handling were particularly important.

“Towing, straight-line ability, and on-centre handling was very important, and of course safety equipment” he said, noting the electric steering also allowed different market-specific tunes. “In order to get a higher level of steering feel, we had to tune in Australia.”

How much tuning? A significant amount, according to Masuda, who says during “durability testing” the team of engineers clocked up the equivalent of 300,000km in Australia. “We did many tests, we used test courses, we drove on-road, off-road, and combined with MMAL (Mitsubishi Australia) to discuss what was good [for Australia]. We dispatched many engineers [from Japan] over a long time for the ride and handling test”

The Triton's towing capacity is up 400kg to a more industry-standard 3500kg in the new-generation offering.

Masuda also noted the new truck was benchmarked against two of Australia’s most popular vehicles, the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux during development, and noted that the Triton unveiled in Thailand was a ‘base’ from which the brand can build on. “From there we can increase to a sport version, rally version, Ralliart maybe,” he said, whilst also noting the Triton’s new, larger frame opens up alternate drivetrain opportunities. 

Speaking on the possibility of a V6, he said: “Depends on the V6. We increased the track including the distance [width] of the ladder frame, and also the axle mass capacity is significant, so it should be compatible with a bigger engine.”

Masuda’s comments were backed by Mitsubishi’s local Managing Director, Shaun Westcott, who explained how the Triton will compare to its rivals when it arrives in Australia.

“I think it’s going to stack up,” he said, “The current Triton is consistently third-place in the market, this vehicle is significantly improved from the current Triton. The numbers are pretty good for the current vehicle, and this vehicle is much better than that.”

“We believe it addresses our core market and their needs - it’s a big step up from the last one, and what you haven’t seen yet is the spec list where we’ve made comparisons to competitors, and in quite a few areas we have technology and size which is a benefit over those competitors. Safety tech is standard across the range - we believe that will be class leading.”

Will it cost more? Westcott couldn’t give us a figure yet, but he did warn that increases in technology and standard equipment would come at a price.

“It will be more expensive. If you look at Outlander, we’ve significantly improved the vehicle, and the quality of that car has proven we’re able to sustain that [higher] price in the market. So there will be a price step-up over the current generation.”

“We’re not playing the price game anymore, we’re not a low cost producer of cars, we believe we are undermining the value of our Japanese craftsmanship by playing as a low cost brand.”

The new Triton will arrive in Australia in Feburary of 2024, with the first examples built for the Australian market hitting the Thailand production line in December of 2023. Westcott is also largely confident there won’t be major supply issues, although if there are, it won’t be related to procution capacity.

“The challenge we have right now, even as semiconductor prices have dissipated to some degree, logistics has picked up and created a headache on its own. With a current lens on where logistics and shipping capacity is at, harbours, ports, quarantines, there may well be some challenges at the launch of the vehicle. If we’re looking at current backlogs, I have this nasty feeling there may be some logistics challenges. The problem isn’t production capacity, it’s logistics issues.”

“We don’t have the same kind of waiting time that some of our competitors do. We have three months, at the worst seven months. Our wait times have reduced significantly with all the things we’re doing around shipping - chartering our own ships - we carry that cost.”

Stay tuned closer to the new Triton’s 2024 launch for Australian pricing and spec, although the new truck will launch in four familiar spec levels, the GLX, GLX+, GLS, and GSR, only in automatic 4x4 variants initially. Cab chassis versions and a six-speed manual will make a return at a later date.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive as many as possible. His fascination with automobiles was also accompanied by an affinity for technology growing up, and he is just as comfortable tinkering with gadgets as he is behind the wheel. His time at CarsGuide has given him a nose for industry news and developments at the forefront of car technology.
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