TOKYO, July 26, 2023 – (JCN Newswire) – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (hereafter, Mitsubishi Motors) announced that Team Mitsubishi RALLIART, for which the company provides technical support, will be competing in the Asia Cross Country Rally (hereafter, AXCR) to be held from Thailand to Laos in August of this year, using rally cars based on the all-new Triton(1) launched today in Bangkok, Thailand.
The all-new Triton has been fully redesigned and evolved significantly in all aspects. The Triton rally car, which has also been modified in line with AXCR vehicle restrictions, offers even greater performance than last year’s rally car, improving its durability and reliability – for which the vehicle already had a solid reputation – as well as sporty and stable handling, powerful and responsive driving performance across the full speed range, and the ability to deal with tough road conditions such as muddy roads.
AXCR 2023 special website: www.mitsubishi-motors.com/en/innovation/motorsports/axcr2023/
Team Mitsubishi RALLIART will be taking on the AXCR 2023 with three cars driven by Chayapon Yotha (Thailand), champion driver of last year’s AXCR; Rifat Sungkar (Indonesia), who placed 5th overall last year; and Katsuhiko Taguchi (Japan), who won the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in 1999 and 2010. Team director Hiroshi Masuoka and Mitsubishi Motors engineers will work with the rally crew, accompanying the team throughout the rally in the Delica D:5, an all-around minivan with the road handling of an SUV and the comfort of an MPV. They will do everything from analyzing competition conditions through racing segments and formulating strategies to providing technical support at service park.
Comment from Team Mitsubishi RALLIART team director Hiroshi Masuoka:
“We are very excited to be able to take on the competition with the all-new Triton, which has been fully redesigned and evolved significantly in all aspects. Triton rally cars have undergone over 2,000 km of endurance testing in Japan and Thailand with no major problems, and we have confirmed that they provide even better performance than last year’s model in every stage, from flat dirt high-speed stages to muddy low-speed stages. We will be driving with three rally cars, each of which is competing for the overall victory, and we want to take the championship position up on the podium for another consecutive victory.”
Overview of the all-new Triton rally car
The all-new Triton rally car is based on the Thai-spec double cab model, modified in accordance with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Group T1 restrictions for modified cross-country vehicles. The concept car that was revealed at the Bangkok International Motor Show in March featured silver and black coloring inspired by lava rocks packed with condensed energy, but the AXCR rally cars will have a red and black motif that represents the energy of gushing lava.
The Triton rally car is modified with a roll cage and bumper guard, and carbon fiber parts including the hood, front and rear doors, and cargo bed. With major weight reductions in the vehicle’s interior components, the new Triton rally car’s body weight is equivalent to previous rally car while the body size is larger than the previous model.
In addition to extending the tread of the base car, the rally cars have rally-specific front and rear suspension and LSD for sporty and stable handling performance that puts drivers in full control. Using lightweight aluminum wheels and narrow off-road tires compared to the last year’s rally car has improved road handling on tough road surfaces such as mud. The already tough chassis has been evolved with front and rear twin dampers, along with bump stops, to absorb severe shocks from road surfaces.
The newly developed 2.4 L diesel turbo engine has been tuned to reduce friction loss and weight, and a new turbo charger has been used to raise output across the entire range. AXCR’s special stages include river crossings, so each component’s sealing has been improved and the rally car has been outfitted with a snorkel, or an intake duct, to handle driving in water.
Overview of the Delica D:5 support car
Celebrating the 55th anniversary of Dellica, Mitsubishi Motors will provide a total of four Delica D:5 support cars to assist Team Mitsubishi Ralliart. The Delica D:5 support cars leverage all the features already offered by the Delica D:5, such as the strong body produced by its rib bone frame and electronically-controlled 4WD system, which provides optimal maneuverability and road handling in any weather or under tough road conditions. It has been customized to be able to drive through the entire rally, from flat dirt to mud, by equipping aluminum wheels from WORK and mud-terrain Yokohama Rubber tires which offer exceptional mud performance. The vehicle that will be transporting team director Masuoka as he observes the rally cars from the side of the rally course and formulates strategies will have front and rear suspension from JAOS for even better road handling on rough terrain. Like the all-new Triton, the Delica D:5 support cars will also bear red and black motifs that symbolize the energy of gushing lava.