Mitsubishi passenger cars haven’t appeared here at The Lego Car Blog all that often. In fact Mistubishi’s World War 2 fighter plane – the A6M Zero – has made more appearances. This is probably because the Japanese manufacturer’s current product range is a bit… shit, and thus it’s a bit of a bleak place from which to draw inspiration.
Mitsubishi’s woes are larger than a tiny market share cobbled together from a bland line-up of nothingness though. World news has been full of the Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ scandal, where some crafty engineers (and morally bankrupt management) signed off a ‘cheat’ that means cars are producing up to forty times their stated pollution level, but what you may not know is that Mitsubishi Motors are currently the subject of a criminal investigation in Japan for undertaking similar practices.
In fact it’s been found that Mitsubishi have been falsifying the fuel economy figures of their domestic-market vehicles for twenty five years, with over 620,000 cars affected.
All of this has resulted in a company that’s now in a precarious position, but luckily for fans of the brand (and their thousands of employees), the Renault-Nissan Alliance has stepped in. No doubt helped Mitsubishi Motor’s falling share price, the French-Japanese partnership recently completed a $2.2Billion purchase of a controlling stake in the company, and simultaneously turned Renault-Nissan into the fourth largest automotive group in the world.
With both Nissan and Renault now on a roll after years in the automotive doldrums it can only be a good thing for Mitsubishi’s products, which will be able to share the platforms, engines and electrics of their parent brands. That’ll make things interesting for the bright spot in Mitsubishi’s current range, their highly successful L200 ‘Triton’ pick-up truck. With Nissan’s own Navara spawning a new pick-up for Renault (and one for Mercedes-Benz soon too), should the L200 end up platform-sharing as well there’ll be four pick-ups all spun from the same design.
Until then though, the current L200 remains a stand-alone* product (and quite a good one too), and TLCB favourite paave has recreated the popular pick-up superbly in Technic form. With remote control drive and steering, accurate independent front and leaf spring rear suspension, and opening (and locking) doors, hood and tailgate, paave’s double-cab Triton is packed with features too. Head over to MOCpages for all the images, plus a video of the model in action.
*Er… sort of. This is complicated. Nissan make the Navara, and are in partnership with Renault. Renault will re-badge the Navara themselves to create the Renault Alaskan next year. This platform has also been shared with Mercedes-Benz, who will make their first commercial pick-up truck, the X-Class, next year too.
Mitsubishi, now owned by Renault-Nissan, make their own truck, the L200 pictured here. This will likely also become a Navara clone when the current generation is replaced, but for now it’s a separate entity. Except the L200 platform has been sold to Fiat so that they can re-badge it to create their own pick-up, called the Fullback, which launched last month…
But none of these are a Toyota Hilux.