13 November, Kota Kinabalu– When Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) first unveiled the then all-new Triton pick-up on an unsuspecting world back in 2006, it sent shockwaves through the motoring community.
The radical shape was unlike anything the trucking community had seen before, as was the unprecedented levels of interior trim and passenger comfort that put many passenger saloon cars to shame. Fast forward to 2015 and the latest incarnation of the Triton has pushed the envelope of civilised trucking even further.
Despite the adage about not judging a book by its cover, however, there were sceptics who doubted that a vehicle that looked this sleek and handled this well in the city could be as tough as 4X4 trucks are supposed to be.
The question is especially frequently asked in Sabah and Sarawak, where the ubiquitous 4X4 double cabins are expected to perform equally well on smooth macadam roads as well as in the rough and tough interior where oil palm and timber tracks are the norm.
To win the doubters over, the Triton had to undergo a trial by ordeal. And what proving ground could be better than Sabah’s Borneo Safari, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year?
The task was to take a standard Triton VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo) 2.5L Common Rail diesel with five-speed manual transmission, add the minimum equipment mandated by the Borneo Safari organizers to see how well it would fare on the eight-day seven-night expedition through some of the hardest terrain Sabah has to offer.
The compulsory equipment comprises a winch, a snorkel and a set of Extreme tyres. Ordinary Mud Terrain (MT) tyres will not do.
A Warn 9,500-pound (with 4.5-tonne pulling force) was fitted on a bull bar that afforded frontal protection, plus a rear metal bumper with suitable recovery points, and heavy-duty side steps cum sill protectors.
For tyres, the GT Radial Komodo Extreme 35 10.5 16 (also rated as 280/85 16) was chosen for its proven ability to grip in all the ground conditions likely to be encountered.
“We are very proud that the all-new Triton VGT MT has successfully completed the Borneo Safari!
The event is known to be the world’s toughest 4X4 expeditions hence we decided to rise up to the challenge and to conquer the trails of Borneo Safari! MMM is happy to say that the all-new Triton is the tougher and better truck, since 1977,” said Mr. Yang Won-Chul, Chief Executive Officer of MMM.
The event was piloted by former motoring journalist and full-time 4X4 enthusiast, Paul Si from Kuching, Sarawak, a five-times veteran of the Borneo Safari, and Lionel Yew from Selangor, who has had over a decade’s experience in four-wheel-drive adventures, including two Borneo Safaris.
“The all-new Triton can complete the tough trek in one piece with minor adjustments. Obviously, a car that is purpose built or modified for the task would perform better on the off-road track, but at the expense of on-road comfort and performance,” Si added.
“You should have seen the other guy(s)”, as the saying goes. Up and down the trail, there were multiple reports of overturned cars. By all accounts, there were more incidents of rollovers in this year’s event than the past five years combined.
Even the Triton was not spared from the drama, enduring a cliff-hanger moment that lasted over an hour as the two right-side wheels fell off the track and the whole vehicle teetered on the edge over a 50-metre ravine until teamwork and winches from three cars were deployed to get it back on track.
The Triton team went in prepared for problems usually associated with modern vehicles with independent front suspension set-ups, carrying spare drive shafts and steering tie-rod ends but these were not needed. Even the rubber boots protecting the front drive shafts against mud and sand, which are ususally shredded by the end of a Borneo Safari, remained in pristine condition.
When the “as-stock-as-possible” Triton drove into the parking lot at Kota Kinabalu’s Hakka Hall for the closing dinner, all doubt was removed. It could do the job, and it had indeed done the job.
More information on the all-new Triton VGT MT
The all-new Triton has been developed to be the “Ultimate Sport Utility Truck”, combining the comfortable interior of a passenger car with the functionality and reliability of a pickup. Muscular, sleek and dynamic styling which evokes the form of a well-honed athlete, the all-new Triton also provides generous interior space, ample payload capacity, and class-leading handling.
The front design is characterised by a distinctive grille design which, together with the stylish headlamps, gives a strong 3-dimensional look to the bonnet. Viewed in profile, the all-new Triton has a forward flowing design and a ‘J-line’ between the cabin and rear deck is an innovative solution to maximize interior space while providing plenty of cargo volume.
Just as the previous generation of the Triton set new standards in the pick-up segment, its successor also brings to the segment first-in-class features such as Push Start Button and Keyless Operation.
Best-in-class features include most powerful in its class engine performance with maximum output of 178PS, maximum torque of 400Nm and a turning radius of 5.9 metres. New features in the Triton VGT MT also include Touch Screen Audio and Auto Climate Control.
Offering more comfort and convenience, the 4×4 model now measures 5280mm long (down 15mm), 1815 wide (up 15mm) and 1780mm tall. Ground clearance is rated at 205mm across all 4×4 variants. Interior dimensions have improved boasting an increase of 20mm in legroom and 10mm more shoulder room.
The all-new Triton comes with an improved and proven 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine with an intercooled Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) which offers high performance with high fuel economy. This technologically-advanced Double Overhead Cam (DOHC) 16-valve turbodiesel engine with a common-rail system now produces 178 PS of power at 4,000 rpm and 400 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm (50 Nm more torque than before) to give the Triton even stronger performance in any conditions.
Imported as a Completely Built-Up (CBU) vehicle from Mitsubishi Motors’ global production hub in Thailand, the all-new Triton is available in five variants for the Malaysian market. The following prices (without insurance, GST inclusive for private registration) are quoted for the all-new Triton in Peninsular Malaysia:
|No||Variant||On-The-Road Price without insurance GST inclusive (RM)||Available Colours|
|1||Triton VGT Adventure Automatic||110,218.56||Earth Green, Pearl White, Shadow Black, Red Solid|
|2||Triton VGT Automatic||98,549.28||Sterling Silver, Pearl White, Shadow Black|
|3||Triton VGT Manual||92,114.64|
|4||Triton Manual||83,162.68||Sterling Silver,
|5||Triton Quest Manual 4×2||68,576.08|
The all-new Triton comes with 2 Years of Free Maintenance and a factory warranty of 3 years or the first 100,000 km.
The Triton is the best-selling model for Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia. Since launch in 2006, over 56,000 units have been sold nationwide. Since 1978, over 4 million units have been sold worldwide.
An efficient 5-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode is available, as well as a 5-speed manual transmission. This is coupled to Mitsubishi’s Easy Select 4WD system which distributes power to the front and rear axles. The Easy Select 4WD system has been continuously improved over two decades and is a robust drivetrain able to handle high torque levels.
Like other Mitsubishi models, high safety performance is a top priority. The all-new Triton has Mitsubishi’s RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body construction which uses high tensile steel that effectively absorbs and disperses crash energy from all directions while also significantly reducing overall weight. Impact bars has been added within the side doors for additional protection against side collisions.
Other safety features that are standard across the range include dual SRS airbags, a collapsible steering column and anti-intrusion brake pedal, which is made to fold away during an accident. Anti-lock braking (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) is also available. EBD optimizes braking in any loud conditions.
MMM Sales Network and Others
MMM is represented by 58 showrooms (out of which 49 are 3S Centres) and 53 service outlets throughout Malaysia.
Since 2005, MMM has sold more than 90,000 units of vehicles in Malaysia. The ASX 2WD and 4WD compact SUV is locally assembled in Malaysia while the other Mitsubishi models are imported as CBU (Completely Built-Up) units from Thailand (compact hatchback Mirage, compact sedan Attrage, Pajero Sport SUV, Triton pick-ups) and Japan (Lancer).
For more information, visit www.mitsubishi-motors.com.my or ‘Like’ us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MitsubishiMotorsMalaysia . Visit Mitsubishi showrooms nationwide to find out more and to register for interest.