Once upon a time, pickup trucks were vehicles that served strictly rugged and utilitarian purposes. More recently, however, these vehicles have become increasingly refined and are firmly established as viable alternatives to passenger cars.
The pickup truck’s journey from the rough surroundings of estates and construction sites to the comfortable porches of residential homes has been remarkable, and one of the most important steps of this journey was made by Mitsubishi Motors.
During the late 1990s, when the surge in popularity of pickup trucks was at its infancy, Mitsubishi made the crucial move of putting an automatic transmission into the L200 Storm. It was a calculated gamble that became an instant success – it broadened the pickup’s appeal to urban dwellers seduced by the convenience of automatics.
Inspired by the L200 Automatic’s runaway success, rivals eventually caught up and began offering their versions of automatic transmission-equipped trucks, further fuelling the segment’s widespread popularity. Today, every pickup truck in the market has the option of automatic transmission, and the industry owes Mitsubishi one for leading the way.
The L200 was eventually succeeded by the Triton in 2006 and once again, Mitsubishi set new standards of comfort and refinement previously unattainable by vehicles of such rugged disposition.
Putting its decades of experience in rallying to good use, Mitsubishi tuned the Triton’s chassis to offer an unprecedented combination of robustness and dynamic sharpness. At the same time, the Triton’s comfort levels surpassed all contemporary pickups and could rival even passenger cars.
On top of its top notch pedigree, the Triton also wore striking curvaceous sheet metal that flew in the face of straight-faced looks favoured by pick-ups of the time. Just because it is a vehicle for heavy duties doesn’t mean it has to look boring.
An interesting design feature of the Triton is the J-line joining its cargo bed and cabin. Besides giving the Triton a distinctive silhouette, the J-line serves a functional purpose in allowing Mitsubishi to package a bigger cabin than otherwise possible within the confines of its wheelbase.
As the succession of pick-up trucks in the market today are lauded for their increasingly refined comfort and dynamic designs, it is worth noting that Mitsubishi had already reached these benchmarks with the Triton a little over a decade ago.
The present day Triton continues the job of its forebears by setting new standards in delivering passenger car comforts and pick-up truck robustness in one reliable package. Further enhancing the supple ride and dynamic sophistication of its predecessor, the all-new Triton raises the game by pioneering the introduction of xenon headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights, paddle shifters, tilt & telescopic steering adjustment, and keyless entry in the pick-up truck segment. These features have begun appearing in other trucks now, but Mitsubishi was there first.
As pickup trucks continue to expand their role to encompass private and lifestyle-based utilization, we see many of the newly-launched models in this segment become increasingly refined and sophisticated vehicles; many of which are become good enough to be legitimate alternatives to passenger cars.
In two generations of the Triton as well as its predecessor, the L200, Mitsubishi has played a key role constantly raising the standards of comfort and refinement in pickup trucks whilst maintaining the robustness and reliability that these vehicles continue to require.