Remember the Raider? Don't worry, few do.
Last week we learned about Mitsubishi's future plans which don't include a sports car revival. However, there is talk of returning to the pickup truck segment in the US, specifically in the mid-size category which is currently experiencing a resurgence. And now AutoGuide has discovered an interesting filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that shows Mitsubishi filing a trademark for the 'Raider' nameplate. If anyone recalls, there was once a Mitsubishi Raider sold in the US between 2005 and 2009.
It was nothing more than a rebadged Dodge Dakota and, not surprisingly, didn't sell very well. Could Mitsubishi be planning a second go around? Possibly, and the Raider name does sound pretty cool. However, don't hold your breath for a launch anytime soon. Thanks to becoming a part of the Renault Nissan Alliance, Mitsubishi was saved from a likely death. While a turnaround plan is already in process, Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko has gone on record stating that crossovers and hybrid tech are the current priorities, as evidenced by the upcoming Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV. A new sedan, presumably a Lancer replacement, is also being discussed.
As for the pickup truck, Renault Nissan has a great platform available that underpins the Nissan Navarra. However, it hasn't been homologated for North America. A new US market Nissan Frontier is on the way, so that could certainly serve as a basis for a new Raider at some point. For now it seems Mitsubishi simply wants to secure the Raider nameplate. This is a very common practice with automakers as sort of 'just in case' scenario, so nothing is guaranteed about its future.