TOUGH, powerful and reliable - three words that best describe Mitsubishi’s award-winning Pajero Sport SUV and Triton pick-up.
Those three words were proven when Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia brought a group of 12 journalists from Sabah and Sarawak for its Dakar Rally Experience 2010 adventure across a gruelling 220 km from Miri to Mulu on Oct 8-11.
The adventure was made more special with the participation of two-time Dakar Rally champion Hiroshi Masuoka.
Lapok Road’s rugged terrain was chosen as it was similar to the Dakar Rally.
A day prior to the adventure, media representatives were given a first hand experience on a high speed, special stage ride on a muddy empty land in Miri with Hiroshi showing his driving skills.
The high-speed ride demonstrated the Triton pick-up’s and Pajero Sport SUV’s good off-road handling, durability and superb performance in a fun and exciting manner.
Also giving their thumbs up to the two vehicles were invited guests of the company who did not want to miss out on the stage ride.
With the proven unchallenged engineering excellence, reliability, safety, performance and efficiency of the Triton and Pajero Sport, it was no wonder that both 4x4s received accolades across the globe.
In Malaysia, Triton won the News Straits Time/Maybank Car of the Year Award for three consecutive years beginning 2007. The Pajero Sport SUV, meanwhile, won the Autocar Asean Car of the Year Award 2009 and Asian Auto VCA Industry Award 2009.
The heavy rain the night before our adventure on Lapok Road, a timber road, really put to test the two 4x4s and the two vehicles passed with flying colours.
When heavy trucks got stuck in the mud and small vehicles drove through at a snail’s pace, the Pajero and Triton cruised with ease. On slippery surface, the two vehicles were in control.
Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia chief executive officer Tetsuya Oda said both the Triton and Pajero Sport are equipped with the advance Hybrid LSD (Limited Slip Differential) which gave excellent off-road response, combining the torque-sensing benefit of helical gears and a speed-sensing benefit of a vicious coupling unit, all designed to work together with the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
This is especially apparent when attempting to cross over sections of forest terrain where the occurrence of one wheel hanging in mid-air as the vehicle balances steadily on the other three is a frequent affair.
Such attention to detail to the real-world usability of the Triton pick-up and Pajero Sport GS is again, another feather in the cap for Mitsubishi.
It was not only the sticky and muddy earth road that was a great obstacle for travelling as the uneven surface fully tested how reliable the two vehicles were.
The Triton and Pajero Sport had conquered all terrains including Lapok Road with proven capabilities delivered by the most advanced 4WD systems for both off-road traction holding and on-road efficiency and cruising comfort.
“Since the introduction of the Triton in Malaysia in 2006, we have found more than 20,000 Triton owners in Malaysia. The Triton sales have since grown sharply and it is currently the top two selling pick-up truck in the country,” said Tetsuya.
Mitsubishi Motors has a long history in motor sports including a record-breaking 7th consecutive victory at the Dakar Rally in 2007.
Mitsubishi Motors has achieved an unequalled 12 overall victories in 25 years, a track record that is reflected in the performance and quality of all Mitsubishi Motors vehicles.
After the energy sapping but exciting adventure, Hiroshi, who is the director of Mitsubishi Research and Development Department, summed up that the two vehicles had performed to expectation on the difficult Lapok Road.
What needed to be done, he said, was to improve the visibility of the windscreen to better suit such road conditions.
“When we drove through the watery patches, the muddy water splashed onto the windscreen and after several wipes by the wipers, there was still a bit of mud. This, we need to look into,” he said.
Triton – Easy Select 4WD
According to the vehicle’s specification, power is channelled to the wheels via Mitsubishi’s Easy Select 4WD system which allows the driver to ‘shift on the fly’ from 2WD to 4WD at speeds of up to 100km/h.
What makes the Triton the Number 2 pick-up in Malaysia with monthly sales of 660 units? For city residents, the 2H (High Range) mode of the Triton allows quiet, smooth and fuel efficient performance driving.
The switch from 2H to 4H would instantly send power back to all four wheels with the 4H (High Range) mode, which provides maximum controllability even when subjected to bad road, or weather conditions.
When the going gets rough, there’s the 4L (Low Range) mode. This mode is for the worst nature can throw at the Triton. Four-wheel performance shifts into low gear for maximum traction through mud or sand.
Pajero Sport GS - Super Select 4WD
Sporting the same technological transfer as the Triton straight from Mitsubishi Motors’ rallying bloodline, the Pajero Sport GS also comes equipped with a very advance 4WD system.
Sporting four different modes, the Pajero Sport GS offer the most comprehensive and complete driving characteristics both for on and off road.
Like the Triton, it can operate in 2H (High Range) mode, giving a comfortable, quiet and fuel efficient ride. Even on speeds of up to 100km/h, the Pajero Sport GS can then shift into 4H (High Range) transferring torque to all four wheels to give excellent tractability and handling while maintaining outright composure with the dynamic
50:50 front/rear torque split for greater control on high speed driving.
Once approaching the point to veer off-course, the convenience of again switching into either 4HLc or 4LLc mode pulled through the roughest terrain or the stickiest mud with maximized low-end torque delivery.
Superior Power Delivery
With the best off road and on road vehicle control 4WD systems in its class, Mitsubishi can then power them with exceptional drive trains that are powerful, reliable, and fuel efficient.
The range topping Triton is powered by a 3.2-litre engine producing 160PS and 343Nm of torque, while the Triton and Pajero Sport’s 2.5-litre engine produces 136PS and 314Nm. Its DI-D (Direct Injection Diesel) commonrail engines are DOHC (Double Overhead Camshaft) 16-valve units with turbocharger and intercooler.
Such performance figures are achievable because of Mitsubishi’s pioneering engine technology, which electronically manages precision fuel delivery allowing for an increase boost in performance.
Both engines are equally capable when it comes to acceleration, cruising speeds, going off road, carrying extra payload or pulling power with the larger 3.2 litre engine giving more at all fronts.
To effectively and efficiently transfer power to the 4WD system, the Triton comes with an advanced automatic four-speed transmission with smooth, intelligent shifting whereas the Pajero Sport is equipped with the INVECS-II 4 Speed transmission with Sports Mode.
Sports Mode gives drivers direct command over shifting with all the control of a manual transmission and the convenience of an automatic.
Uncompromising Safety and Comfort
The most unique feature of the Mitsubishi Triton is the interior where comfort, style, quality and extreme durability are fused together, giving an interior that is finished in high grade, durable fabric, extremely robust panels with high quality fit and finish that will withstand the harshest environment where most Tritons feel at ‘home’.
The center console sports the RV meter where crucial environmental information can be accessed by the driver. Information such as a compass for direction, a barometer for atmospheric pressure, and an altimeter for altitude and height are all life saving instruments that the Triton is equipped with.
Also, there are two cupholders integrated into the rear seat center console armrest, and a huge cargo bed for all kinds of goods.
Whereas the Triton makes use of its stylish cabin and advance instruments to get the job done next to its effectiveness in both covering on and off-roading, the Pajero Sport makes do with plenty of talent that arguably has a taller job-order-ferrying seven people in absolute comfort while matching the Triton on off-roading turfs.
Given a different ‘natural habitat’, the Pajero Sport comes with a touch screen console panel with integrated reverse camera and entertainment system, luxurious leather seats for each and every passenger, even the rearmost passengers get their own set of air con vents.
Not only so, both second and third row of seats offer a multitude of variable adjustments to suit different lifestyles or activity.
Both Triton and Pajero Sport are equipped with an array of active and passive safety systems to ensure maximum protection.
With dual SRS airbags up front, Mitsubishi’s exclusive RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body is built with high tensile strength steel with different areas of impact absorption zones to ensure the occupants received all round protection.
Both Triton and Pajero Sport are also equipped with ABS and EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) where braking distances are drastically reduced and vehicle stability under heavy load braking substantially improved to help avoid or mitigate imminent crashes.
For Sarawak, the Mitsubishi Triton 3.2 litre 4x4 Double Cab is currently priced at RM99,915.00 OTR W/O Insurance whereas the 2.5 litre 4x4 Double Cab Automatic is priced at RM93,890.70 OTR W/O Insurance and the 2.5 litre 4x4 Double Cab Manual is priced at RM89,020.80 OTR W/O Insurance.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
For Sarawak, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.5 GS 4x4 is priced at RM163,096.70 OTR W/O Insurance, whereas the 2.5 GL is priced at RM146, 287.20 OTR W/O Insurance.
Both Triton and Pajero Sport owners will enjoy a two-year or 40,000km free maintenance program. This programme is offered on top of the manufacturer’s three years warranty.
Current line-up of Mitsubishi vehicle consists of the Lancer sedan, Grandis MPV, Triton pick-up truck and Pajero Sport SUV.
The Triton family consists of the Triton 3.2-litre 4x4 automatic, Triton 2.5-litre 4x4 with automatic and manual transmissions and Triton Lite 2.5-litre 4x2 manual.
Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia has a total of 41 showrooms nationwide (out of which 15 are 3S Centres) and 54 service centres.
For more information, please visit your nearest Mitsubishi Motors showroom, or log on to www.mitsubishi-motors.com.my or call customer care line at 03-7622 2202.