Mitsubishi's New Truck Is Not What We Hoped For

Spy Shots / 5 Comments

Another missed opportunity.

Mitsubishi is working hard to rehabilitate its lineup. The new Mitsubishi Outlander has been a huge sales success in the US but the rest of the lineup is showing its age despite some recent updates. There's no doubt models like the Eclipse Cross and Outlander Sport are good vehicles packed with value and solid reliability records, it's just that the competition one-ups them in many categories. But there's one segment the Japanese automaker does not compete in stateside which it probably should: midsize pickup trucks.

The last time Mitsubishi sold one in the US was the Raider, a poorly rebadged third-generation Dodge Dakota. Now that Mitsubishi is part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, you'd think there'd be some interesting truck opportunities. And you'd be right.

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Alas, Mitsubishi isn't taking advantage of one for the US, specifically a rebadged and heavily restyled Nissan Frontier. Instead, it intends to keep selling trucks overseas. Our spy photographers just caught an early test mule for the next generation L200/Triton performing winter testing in Sweden. The current model launched in 2014 and received a facelift for 2018, and its redesigned successor should arrive in 2023.

However, that successor is being developed with Renault and Nissan and isn't slated to come to the US. These latest photos show the current truck's body bolted to the new chassis, which has a slightly longer wheelbase, hence the fact the body doesn't fit particularly well around the wheels.

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Because of its alliance partnership, there's a good chance the new L200/Triton will offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain option. Additional details remain unknown at this time but more should arrive in the coming months. Unfortunately, there's still no plan for a US market truck. The newly redesigned Frontier would be the natural starting point.

The midsize truck segment is very competitive in this country as the Frontier faces off against the likes of the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger, the latter also about to be redesigned. But if Mitsubishi were to offer an affordable truck with a PHEV powertrain here as well, then it stands a good chance of luring in new and old customers alike. Here's hoping.

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