The Mitsubishi Triton is a compact pickup truck produced by Mitsubishi Motors. It was originally known as the Mitsubishi Forte in Japan from 1978 to 1986, when the name was discontinued as the pickup was not sold in its home market for a while. It returned to Japan in 1991 as the Strada. In the United States two captive imports of the Forte were sold by the Chrysler Corporation from 1979, as the Dodge Ram 50 and Plymouth Arrow Truck. Mitsubishi itself imported it as the Mighty Max when it began selling directly in the U.S. from 1982 to 1996, at which point the Plymouth ceased to be available. In North America, after the Mighty Max was no longer offered, the Mitsubishi Raider was offered, sharing a platform with the Dodge Dakota. In Japan, it was sold at a specific retail chain called Car Plaza.
For most export markets the name L200 is used, though it also been known as the Rodeo, Colt,Storm, Magnum, L200 Strakar (badge used in Portugal since 1999, Strakar is a portmanteau of Strada and Dakar), and others.
Cumulative sales of the first three generations exceeded 2.8 million units around the world.
The first generation model of Mitsubishi's compact pickup truck was first sold in Japan as the Mitsubishi Forte in 1978 and continued until late 1986, when the line was cancelled in the Japanese domestic market for five years. In Japan the Forte was sold with a 86 PS (63 kW) 1.6 litre G32B engine and two-wheel drive (LO25) or with four-wheel drive coupled to the 2 liter Sirius G63B with 110 PS (81 kW) (LO26). Offered in basic Deluxe trim, the larger-engined version was also available in leisure-oriented Custom trim. The Custom also has a smoother and less utilitarian bed, without provisions for fitting a canvas top and with fewer hardpoints for strapping down loads.
In export versions, the 2 liter gasoline version has 93 hp (69 kW) (88 PS DIN), while a larger 2.6 liter unit offered 105 hp (78 kW). Also popular in many markets, and frugal, was a 67 PS (49 kW) 2.3 liter diesel engine. The 73 PS (54 kW) 1.6 litre Saturn engine rounded out the lineup downwards in many countries. A naked cab and chassis version was also available in some markets.
The Dodge Ram 50 (called the D50 for 1979 and 1980) was a badge-engineered version sold by the Chrysler Corporation from 1979 on. The label lasted until 1993, through two generations of the truck. Plymouth also received a version of the truck known as the Arrow Truck, sold from 1979 to 1982. This was Chrysler's belated answer to the Ford Courier from Mazda and the Chevrolet LUV by Isuzu (both of which had been introduced in 1972.) Mitsubishi itself imported it as the Mitsubishi Mighty Max when it began selling directly in the U.S. from 1982, at which point the Plymouth ceased to be available. The Dodge version has twin rectangular headlights, while Mitsubishis had single units in North America. In the rest of the world, importers could choose between single or double rectangular units, as well as twin round headlights.
Four wheel drive was added for 1982. This created the Power Ram 50 in the US, as in Dodge's nomenclature the "Power Ram" name was used for four wheel drive models. A turbodiesel engine was available in US models between 1983 and 1985. The 1983 turbodiesel was fitted with a TC05 non-wastegated turbo and produced 80 hp (60 kW) and 125 lb·ft (169 N·m) torque. The 1984–85 turbodiesels were fitted with a TD04 wastegated turbo which resulted in 86 hp (64 kW) and 134 lb·ft (182 N·m) torque.
The second generation model was introduced in 1987 for most markets. In Japan the pickups were not sold for a few years, making their return as the Strada in Japan in June 1991. It continued to be produced until 1996. The car usually has a 68 hp (51 kW) 2.5 liter diesel or a 84 PS (62 kW) turbodiesel engine. The diesel-engined L200 was not a spirited performer, with a four-wheel drive diesel having a top speed of 126 km/h (78.1 mph). The second generation Mitsubishi truck was also produced in Thailand. In the US it was known as the Mitsubishi Mighty Max or the Dodge Ram 50. Gasoline engines include a carburetted 92 hp (69 kW) 2.0 liter inline-four or a 2.6-liter ditto with 109 hp (81 kW). Four-wheel drive was also available, as were different bed lengths and both extended and double cab options.
The Ram 50 was redesigned for 1987, which was the same year Chrysler introduced the Ram 50's successor, the Dodge Dakota. Despite this, sales of the Ram 50 continued for another seven years until 1993, possibly because the Ram 50 was a compact and the Dakota was a mid-size. The difference in size and cost left a niche for the Dodge 50, and its cancellation may have been due more to a desire to show independence from Mitsubishi than because of any product overlap. The Mighty Max ended production after the 1996 model year.