Is it possible that Mitsubishi — gone from the U.S. truck market since 2009 when it stopped selling the Mitsubishi Raider (the twin of the Dodge Dakota) — is reevaluating the pickup market?
From the looks of an experimental high-tech, car-based hybrid crossover pickup set to debut at the 83rd annual Geneva International Auto Show, it seems like Mitsubishi might be thinking about making a midsize truck segment comeback. Here's what the press release says about the diesel hybrid, called the GR-HEV sport-utility truck (SUT):
"The MITSUBISHI Concept GR-HEV is a concept for a sport utility truck (SUT) which delivers high environmental and driving performance using a FR3 diesel-hybrid system (under development) in a pickup truck, one of the most popular vehicle categories in emerging economies. Combining a high fuel-efficiency clean diesel engine with a high-output motor and battery, the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) system achieves on-road CO2 emission levels of below 149 g/km to give it environmental performance among the best in its class. The concept also uses a next-generation 4WD system which incorporates the Super Select 4WD honed in the Pajero series and Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamics integrated control systems to deliver high stability traction and driving performance under all road conditions."
We'll find out more about the SUT when Mitsubishi reveals the concept during media days (March 5-6) at the Geneva show, open to the public March 7-17.
It will be interesting to see the reaction to this lighter-duty concept SUT. As you might recall, there have been several vehicles of this type in the past — GMC Denali XT and Dodge Rampage, to name a couple — but no manufacturer has taken the leap to production. The prospect of such a vehicle could be attractive to buyers if this extended-range advanced technology can be done at a reasonable cost.