The next-generation Mitsubishi Triton, set to be launched later this year, is expected to grow safer and more refined by being more “car-like”, if a report from Drive is to be believed.

According to the Aussie automotive portal, Mitsubishi Australia’s marketing director Antonio Principe said that the new pickup will be a sea change from the current model through the incorporation of many features, echoing the general movement in the market that can be seen in cars such as the Ford Ranger and the new Nissan NP300 Navara.

“You’re going to get something that’s practical, yet drives even better than the model today. There’s obviously a move towards making them a lot more passenger car-like,” said Principe. “Manufacturers are fitting them with a lot more amenities, and they’re more car like to drive. That said, it’s still important that these utes still have the flexibility, the big towing capacity and everything else.”

2014 Triton Facelift-17

The company is also aiming to achieve a five-star Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) safety rating with the new Triton to ease consumer worries about the outgoing model’s four-star score. With such an improvement in equipment as well as safety, Principe does concede that a price hike will occur.

“With all the updates and a better safety rating, it won’t be as cheap as the current version. The market will dictate what we do with pricing, but it will definitely be competitive.”

Mitsubishi GR-HEV-05

The next-generation Triton was leaked last month, showing styling that, while still obviously inspired by the Concept GR-HEV shown at the Bangkok Motor Show last year, has been significantly toned down.

The new pickup should continue to be offered in the usual single cab, club cab and double-cab formats with either two- or four-wheel drive. Engines and transmissions are also expected to be carried over, while a hybrid variant as teased by the Concept GR-HEV remains a possibility.

Mitsubishi Concept GR-HEV at Bangkok 2013