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Japanese marque developing a more family-friendly and car-like dual cabute. 10-07-2014

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Mitsubishi Australia has foreshadowed whats in store for its upcoming Triton ute, confirming it will be softer, safer and more car-like than before. The companys local marketing director, Antonio Principe, has told Drive the all-new model is due to land in Australian showrooms in the first half of 2015 and will likely represent a significant departure from the current rugged offering that has found favour with tens of thousands of buyers. The next generation, particularly from what we have seen, will be much more car like, he said, citing a similar trend in rival products including the Ford Ranger and upcoming Nissan Navara. You are going to get something thats practical, yet drives even better than the model today. There is obviously a move towards making them a lot more passenger car-like. Manufacturers are fitting them with a lot more amenities, and they are more car like to drive. That said, it is still important that these utes still have the flexibility, the big towing capacity and everything else. Mitsubishi gave two previews of the upcoming Triton at last year Geneva and Tokyo motor shows though the production version wont receive the same radical styling. However, Principe outlined Mitsubishi intentions to deliver a five-star rating in the next-gen Triton, making it more appealing to resource and mining companies who have shied away from the current workhorse because of its four-star ANCAP score. What may put the new Triton at odds with the hordes of current buyers is that the updates will likely coincide with a moderate price hike. With all the updates and a better safety rating, it wont be as cheap as the current version, Principe said. The market will dictate what we do with pricing, but it will definitely be competitive. The current-gen Triton, which was first released in 2006, remains one of the most sought-after offerings in the dual cab ute segment in Australia. Last month alone, Mitsubishi sold more than 4000 examples across the Triton range, a milestone it only has broken twice before during its long history in Australia. Much of the sales success has stemmed from its cheaper purchase price usually hovering at about $30,000 and the fact that the current model is one of the few options offered with a full-time all wheel drive feature. It is expected the next-gen Triton will be offered with a similar range of body styles as present including a single cab, extended (Club) cab and dual cab and with either a two-wheel drive or four wheel drive transmission. It is likely to be powered by revised versions of the current 2.4-litre petrol (only available in the entry-level GL 4x2 model) and 2.5-litre turbo diesel. There is also scope for Mitsubishi to offer a plug-in hybrid version, after the company hinted at the configuration in the recent concept releases.
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