13 Nov 2018

Mitsubishi to lead Renault-Nissan Alliance on utes

Next-gen Triton to underpin Nissan Navara, Renault Alaskan. 
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Mitsubishi has shot down suggestions the next-generation Triton ute will be based on Nissan’s Navara platform, arguing that it has more experience in the field than Nissan or Renault.

Mitsubishi joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 2018, becoming part of what is now the world’s largest automotive group. Part of the plan is to find cost savings by sharing platforms between brands, in the same way large entities such as the Volkswagen Group use the same underpinnings for the likes of Audi’s Q7, the Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus.

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Nissan’s Navara serves as the basis for the Renault Alaskan and Mercedes-Benz X-Class pick-ups. But Mitsubishi chief operating officer Trevor Mann says Mitsubishi will lead development of future body-on-frame vehicles such as the Triton and Pajero Sport, as well as pushing forward with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology and adaptive four-wheel-drive systems such as the Triton’s switchable high-speed four-wheel-drive, or the super all-wheel-control torque vectoring of the Outlander PHEV and discontinued Lancer Evolution..

“When we look at the job shares between the Alliance from a development point of view going forward, it’s indicated that we would take the lead, if you like, on frame development and PHEV development, because that’s our know-how,” Mann says.

“Now obviously Nissan also has a level of four-by-four capability. But I think what we have with our four-by-four capability in terms of our super all-wheel-control, that defines our brand.”

Nissan’s current-generation Navara had a tricky start in Australia, adopting coil-sprung rear suspension which required running changes and multiple redesigns. 

While the Triton could take over from the Navara as the core platform for utes within Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, other Mitsubishi models will have close ties to Nissan products.

“We will be converging on platforms,” Mann says.

“The first platform we will be converging on is called CMF-C, which means that the next Outlander will be on the same platform as the Nissan equivalent and Renault equivalent platforms.

“Everything that the customer sees, feels, experiences and touches will be Mitsubishi.

“So that’s the way we are going - those platforms will be jointly developed.

“The company that has the best expertise of a certain category will take the lead on that, which is why I intimated that we would be the potential leader for a frame platform or commercial platform.”

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