Introduced in March 2019 as the Absolute Concept, the most off-road Mitsubishi Triton ever is nothing more than a one-off at this point in time. On the upside, two design patents might level up the concept to series production as soon as 2020.
Car Advice labels the pickup in the patents as a “Ford Ranger Raptor challenger,” but that’s not the case. Mitsubishi doesn’t have the suspension technology of Ford Performance, and there’s a bigger problem with the suck-squeeze-bang-blow. Straight to the point, Mitsubishi doesn’t have the engine to take on the 2.0-liter EcoBlue bi-turbo diesel.
The Ranger Raptor delivers 213 PS (210 horsepower) and 500 Nm (369 pound-feet) of torque to the wheels through a 10-speed gearbox Also known as L200, the Triton relies on the 2.4-liter MIVEC turbo diesel with 180 PS (178 horsepower) and 430 Nm (317 pound-feet) of torque, connected to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the Triton is a capable pickup in terms of towing and payload but not a competitor for the Ranger Raptor. The design patents reveal two possible outcomes for the Absolute. One features carved-out inlets at the front while the other integrates the sailplane and sports bar with the cargo area.
At best, the Triton Absolute would compete with the Hilux GR Sport that Toyota introduced in 2018 at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil. Moving forward, the chief executive officer of Mitsubishi in Australia sees the Absolute as the perfect addition to the Triton lineup in this part of the world.
“It demonstrates our commitment to exploring a vision of the future model that will deliver on our ‘engineered beyond tough’ commitment to the Triton series – bold enough to be taken on even more adventurous treks to explore Australia’s rugged outback,” said John Signoriello. Reading between the lines, don’t expect a more rugged chassis for Baja-style dune bashing.
Our guess is that Mitsubishi will re-engineer the suspension with a lift kit while taking inspiration from the Absolute Concept for exterior design. That’s it for now, more so if you remember that Mitsubishi doesn’t have the financial resources of alliance partners Nissan and Renault.