Mitsubishi’s Tokyo Auto Salon lineup is all about roughing it

Japan’s carmakers continue to preview their modified wares for the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon. The show gained popularity for its vast array of tuned sports cars, but Mitsubishi’s lineup is geared towards overlanding. 

Headlining the roster are a pair of Mitsubishi Triton pickups. The stock Yamabuki Orange example marks an important happening for the beleaguered Mitsubishi — previewing the Triton’s return to Japan this February after a 13-year absence from the market.

Of course, this being the Auto Salon there’s a heavily modified version of the truck that hasn’t even hit showrooms yet. A gray specimen with bigger Toyo tires, beefier bumpers and a snorkel is called the Triton Snow Shredder and is built for heading into the hills. 

A similarly themed four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Delica D:5 provides an example on how to modify the latest generation of the “vanlife” favorite. The van is called the Delica D:5 Chamonix Snow Gear, referencing a special edition of the fourth-generation adventure minivan. 

It’s paired with the Delica Mini Chamonix Snow Gear, based on the Delica Mini kei car exclusive to the Japanese market. Equipped with a brush guard, roof rack and auxiliary lights, it’s about as rugged as a kei car can be. It also comes with AWD and plenty of clever packaging for maximized interior volume.

The only car on display that has an American-market relevance is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Active Field. The one-off custom based on an SUV we also get has Yokohama Geolandar tires, a lifted suspension and lots of blacked out accents. 

It makes sense for Mitsubishi to focus on the overlanding and “vanlife” trends, as it lacks any sporting or racing cars in its portfolio. It’s not an entirely bad way to go, as there are limits to what one can do with an all truck and SUV lineup. Plus, off-roading and overlanding are wildly popular and profitable right now. The company’s sole car, the Mirage, is no longer sold in Japan. Last year saw Mitsubishi return to profitability, and the show cars hope to inject some pizzazz into the recovering brand. 

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