Shaking down the Strada
A day after the global launch of the all-new Mitsubishi Strada last November 9 at the Centara Grand at Central World at the heart of Bangkok, Mitsubishi Motors prepared an off-road event for the media to take the new pick-up truck through its paces.
The off-road camp allowed the participants to test the 4x4 qualities of the all-new Strada
Held at the IMPACT Lakeside in Tambon Ban Mai, Amphoe Pak Kret, members of the motoring media were divided into groups as each participant were provided downtime with the different versions of the all new Triton/Strada. At the helm of the test drive team was legendary Japanese driver Hiroshi Masuoka, who delighted the media with a shotgun ride around the track at full throttle. This writer held on to dear life as Masuoka-san attacked the dirt track in reckless abandon, sliding around corners and managing a jump at a small hill along the track. To say that the ride was fast is an understatement. “ Can you feel the suspension at play around the bumpy portions Dino-san?” he asked me after the two lap ride around the track.
Legendary Japanese rally driver Hiroshi Masuoka attacks the course in full throttle
The robustness of the new Strada is evident by the boldness of its front fascia, which Mitsubishi design engineers refer to as the “Dynamic Shield” concept, with the headlamps strategically placed 700mm from the ground. They are designed to function normally event when submerged in flood waters.
This section of the off-road course tested the articulation of the suspension system of the new pic-up truck
The interior cabin has been enhanced to be more visually appealing and functional. The center console is solid and clean shaped with controls within easy reach of both the driver and front passenger. The dashboard layout is squarish and modern in design accentuated with metal panel garnish.
This writer decided to drive the Strada around the technical part of the test track. The first obstacle was a steel structure which allowed participants to experience the hill decent control system of the Strada. Derived from Mitsubishi’s sterling motorsports experience, the Strada’s suspension system can be adjusted to suit any off-road condition. At a switch of a button, the driver can shift from Gravel, Mud&Snow, Sand or Rock. The next step along the dirt course allowed us to experience the articulation of the suspension and the stiffness of the chassis.
Step two for the Strada experience was a fast drive around a controlled portion of the test track. Here, this writer was able to test the acceleration and power of the 2.4 liter MIVEC engine. Power was equally distributed down to the four wheels by a smooth shifting six-speed automatic transmission.
We also managed to drive a manually equipped Strada around the busy streets of Bangkok. Coming from a country that drives on the left side of the road, the experience driving on the right side took a bit of getting used to at first, but I managed to gain control and confidence after a few blocks.
The author and Arlan Reyes of Mitsubishi PH takes a breather after a long drive going from Bangkok going to the off-road camp
According to Arlan Reyes, Mitsubishi Motors PH corporate communications official, expect the Strada to be introduce locally in the first quarter of 2019. Pricing has yet to be announced and judging from the driving characteristics and performance of the new Strada, it seems that Mitsubishi PH will knock this one off the ballpark.