Mitsubishi’s next-generation Challenger SUV has been given an early unveiling this week, thanks to a gallery of new patent application renderings.
These revealing new images offer a first look at the new Triton-based off-roader, which will debut in the coming months as a replacement for the now seven year-old second-generation Challenger.
When it lands in Australia, likely sometime in the first half of next year, the new Challenger will take on Ford’s Everest, the Holden Colorado 7 and Isuzu MU-X twins, and Toyota’s now confirmed Fortuner.
Like the Challenger, all of those high-riding 4X4s are based on each brand’s pickup utility, giving buyers a more capable option in the passenger-hauling SUV space.
The new Challenger will join its key rivals in introducing a unique look separate to the Triton pickup.
As with the recently facelifted Outlander, the new Challenger will wear Mitsubishi’s new styling language, which focuses on a sharp new headlight design and bold blade-like chrome garnishes reaching across the front bumper.
Large box-style wheel flares and a pair of sharp character lines will dominate the big SUV’s profile, above a set of integrated side steps for easier cabin access.
The profile styling is rounded out by a fast-rising belt line that, while stylish, may present some rear visibility challenges.
At the rear, the new Challenger will wear a conventional lifting tailgate flanked by tall tail lamps that extend into the rear bumper.
The new Challenger will retain its formidable off-road credentials thanks to a short front overhang and high rear bumper, along with a traction-promoting live rear axle.
Recent spy photos also reveal that the new Challenger will be coil-sprung at the rear.
Expect the new Challenger to be powered by the same 2.4 litre turbo diesel as the Triton when it launches either late this year or early in 2016.
As with the current range both RWD and 4WD drivelines should be available, though later in the model's life a plug-in hybrid variant may join the range.
A diesel-electric version of the Triton is already in the works, making a hybrid Challenger a virtual certainty.
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