When Mitsubishi took the wraps off the Triton Absolute concept at the Bangkok motor show in March, it looked to all the ute-loving world like the Ford Ranger Raptor was about to get speared by a triple diamond-encrusted challenger.
But as production-realistic as the Absolute looked, it’s set to remain a concept and result in little more than a handful of Toyota HiLux Rogue, Rugged and Ruggex X-style accessory packs in the near future.
This is despite the Absolute touring Australian dealers since in the hope of drumming up support for a genuine mechanical monster, but Mitsubishi Australia CEO John Signoriello clarified its intent with Australian media last week.
“Absolute came out as a concept car, and the aim there was to create some aspiration, and from that we’d get some derivatives from it," he said. "It’s going to take some development to get it to that (the concept’s) level. You’ll see later on this year and next year something that will come off of that, but not to that extent.”
The Absolute concept sports a tough looking bodykit comprised of pumped wheelarches and lower body add-ons all round, plus a Wildrak-eque sail plane and expedition-spec roofrack with built-in LED spotlights.
Suggesting it would have the performance to match the looks are a set of Baja-style wheels with mud-terrain tyres and a two-inch suspension lift.
It therefore sounds like we’ll see versions of the body bits added to the Triton’s options list, but not the suspension, tyres or any engine upgrades that would require costly engineering for production.
Given Australia’s current love for accessorising dual-cab utes, this is far from bad news, and we can hold out hope for a genuine Raptor rival when the next-generation Triton leads the rest of the new jointly-developed Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance utes to market in around 2023.