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July 5, 2024

Mitsubishi 100 Percent To Take On Asia Cross Country Rally With All-New Triton

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart is 100 percent ready to take on the 2024 Asia Cross Country (AXCR) happening from August 11 to 17. The team will be competing with four all-new Tritons in the AXCR 2024, which will be held in southern and central Thailand.

This will be the third year that Team Mitsubishi Ralliart takes on the challenges of the AXCR with the Triton pickup truck. The first year (as the Philippine market Strada), it claimed an overall victory, and the second year, the team switched to a new model and came in third place overall. In both rallies, the Triton demonstrated a high level of durability and exceptional maneuverability, and road handling on rough roads. This year, the Triton’s driving performance has been significantly increased, and the team will be aiming for another overall victory, its first in two years.

Based on the production Triton, the Triton AXCR uses the same 4N16 2.4-liter turbocharged diesel engine routed through a 6-speed sequential transmission. In race trim, it produces a minimum of 204 horsepower and 470 Nm of torque thanks to a HKS AXCR 2024 competition exhaust system.

Reflecting on last year’s results, the Triton’s driving performance has been greatly increased to enable it to compete against vehicles with high-displacement engines in high-speed stages.

A new 6-speed sequential racing transmission with a high torque capacity has also been selected to improve both durability and maneuverability. Further, the tread size has been increased, and the rear suspension has been switched from leaf springs to 4-link coil springs. This will allow the vehicle to absorb major shocks on rough roads and improve its traction on extremely bumpy road surfaces, significantly enhancing its road handling on rough roads.

It also features full-time all-wheel drive, Cusco front and rear LSDs. Work 17 x 7 J alloy wheels shod with Yokohama Geolandar M/T 003 245/75R17 tires, Endless ventilated disc brakes with monobloc calipers and pads, and carbon fiber on the front fenders, door panels, and cargo panels.

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart is owned by Tant Sport (Thailand) and helmed by Hiroshi Masuoka, a team director from Mitsubishi Motors who claimed two consecutive victories in the Dakar Rally. Mitsubishi Motors engineers will develop the rally cars and accompany the team to provide technical support during the competition.

As with last year, the drivers and co-drivers will be Chayapon Yotha (Thailand) and Peerapong Sombutwong (Thailand), who took the overall victory in AXCR 2022, and Japanese duo Katsuhiko Taguchi and Takahiro Yasui, who came in eighth place, the highest of any team of Japanese drivers, in the AXCR 2023. They will be joined by the team of Sakchai Hantrakul (Thailand) and Jumpol Doungthip (Thailand), highly experienced rally drivers with a deep knowledge of Mitsubishi vehicles, and Mitsubishi Motors’ test driver Kazuto Koide (Japan), and co-driver Eiji Chiba (Japan), who has achieved a podium finish in the past AXCR. Together, the team will be aiming to claim the championship with the T1 prototype.

From June 21 to 27, Team Mitsubishi Ralliart conducted high-stress endurance tests of the Triton rally cars, envisioning actual rally conditions, on an off-road course near Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. The reliability and durability of the rally cars’ bodies, chassis, and engines, which acceleration performance has been further improved, were confirmed by driving roughly 800 kilometers over the course of the seven-day endurance test, and adjustments were made in preparation for the actual competition.

“Last year, we tried for a second consecutive victory with the all-new Triton, which had just gone on sale, but we were unable to bring out its full potential, ending in third place,” said Hiroshi Masuoka, team director of Team Mitsubishi Ralliart. “With this year’s Triton, we have made major improvements primarily to driving performance and rough road handling, further enhancing our four-vehicle team as we aim to reclaim our position as champions. This year’s drivers will also include Kazuto Koide, a test driver who I have worked with in developing Mitsubishi vehicles for over two decades. At Mitsubishi Motors, we leverage our experience in grueling motor sports for vehicle development, so I hope to pass on this tradition to the next generation.”

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