There are 800 of one, 20 of the other – but plenty more to come afterward.
TWO impending special edition versions of the Triton – one limited to 800 units, the other to just 20 – are not the first sign of the current model’s runout, the brand says.
“A new model is coming – but it is further down the track. It won’t be this year,” said Daniel Cook, MMNZ general manager vehicle sales and marketing, in acknowledging that a widely-distributed image of what has been identified, despite heavy camouflage, as an updated Triton under test in Australia might spur thought that a change is close.
Cook has confirmed that the edition undergoing validation trials across the Tasman is a final big facelift of what we have currently – the big change appearing to be a revised tail and a whole new nose.
The latter appears to be the ‘Dynamic Shield’ frontage introducing across not only brand-new product, such as the Eclipse Cross, but also current product, most recently the Pajero Sport.
The spotlight is coming on Triton anyway, with Porirua-based MMNZ being the first of the domestic ute providers to reveal its sales strategy for the national Fieldays at Mystery Creek on June 13-16, which Cook identifies as still being singlemost important event to spur one-tonne volume, even though it’s not as key as it once was.
“Field days is our peak period (for Triton sales) although, in saying that, it is probably less of a peak than it used to be, because ute sales are very buoyant now. We certainly sell a lot month in, months out.”
MMNZ has two doublecab diesel products associated with the national rural showcase – the Triton Black Edition, based on the just-returned GLS trim level in four-wheel-drive and starting at $40,235 in manual and $2300 more in automatic when GST is included - and the Huntaway (above), a productionised version of a high-riding, toughened-look concept of the same name which attracted such huge interest that MMNZ decided to create 20.
Also running the 135kW and 437Nm 2.4-litre turbodiesel, Huntaway is spun off the $38k GLX-R edition but sits much higher; the $69,990 price tag is the highest yet attached to the Triton.
MMNZ plans to reveal full details next week but says the radical revision to the model’s massive wheelset – 20 rims shod with 30-inch mud tyres - and 2.5 centimetre-elevated ride height has required to lose the factory-fitted wheel arch panels in place of much wider items crafted by the Upper Hutt specialist that helped on last year’s concept
“We made a prototype last year and it attracted massive interest – it just about broke our website.”
The one this year is toned down just a tad but is still extreme enough, he promises.
“The main point of it is that we put a very big bodykit on it, with full replacement front and rear guards in fibreglass that replace the full panel there.
“So it’s quite a bespoke, unique-looking Triton. Quite a bit wider overall because we’ve pressed the guards out quite a bit and there’s a big offset tyre as well. It’s quite menacingly bigger in the flesh. We don’t think we will have any trouble selling those.”
All going to plan, the bulk of the 800 Black Edition examples will be gone over the bulk selling period of May-June; so lifting the 400 unit monthly sales average MMNZ has been experiencing to around 600 units over those two months.
“It will not deliver entirely additional volume, I would say about 50 percent of that would be additional … but the appetite for four-wheel-drive utes around that time of the year is certainly quite healthy, so it’ll give a definitiet lift.
“We have quite number pre-sold to customers already and the 800 units are entirely wholesaled to the network already, so I think they will sell through that period without too much problem.”
Cook has described the Black as being a ‘barn-burner’ of a deal, claiming it “… does offer a whole lot of bang for your buck.”
The model has a factory-fitted body kit including black 17 inch wheels, black over-fenders, black sports bar, black door handles, black wing mirrors, black front grille, black tailgate handle, black running boards black rear bumper, black door sashes and black headlight surrounds.
Other exterior GLS features include fog lights, high-intensity discharge headlights with integrated daytime LED running lights, and electric fold mirrors with turn indicator.