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Upcoming Raider powers struggling Mitsubishi...

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Link: http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=103028

Upcoming Raider powers struggling Mitsubishi into mid-sized pickup segment
KATHY JACKSON | Automotive News
Posted Date: 8/23/05
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Talk about swaps.

From 1986 to 1990, Mitsubishi produced an SUV for Dodge called the Raider. It was based on the Mitsubishi Montero.

Now Mitsubishi is using the Raider name to sell its first pickup since 1997, when it stopped sales of the Mighty Max. The 2006 Mitsubishi Raider is based on the Dodge Dakota and goes on sale in late September.

The truck comes on the heels of the successful launch of the redesigned Eclipse sports coupe in May.

Mitsubishi wants the Raider to reinforce its reputation for sporty vehicles that are loaded with power.

" 'The only mid-sized import pickup truck with a V-8' will be our rallying cry," Dave Schembri, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said here at a media event introducing the truck. "Why drive a pickup when you can drive a pick-me-up?"

Plenty of power

The Raider comes in three trim levels: LS, DuroCross and XLS.

A 210-hp V-6 engine is standard on the base model. A 230-hp V-8 is available on the DuroCross and XLS. Both engines are supplied by the Chrysler group.

Base models of the Raider's two major import-brand competitors, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, are powered by four-cylinder engines. The Tacoma's base engine gets 164 hp and the Frontier's gets 154 hp.

The V-6 on the Honda Ridgeline makes 255 hp. But the nearly $30,000 price tag on the entry-level Ridgeline is almost $10,000 more than the entry-level Raider.

"This truck can do as much or more than any other mid-sized truck," Schembri says.

The Raider V-6 is teamed with either a six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The V-8 has a five-speed automatic.

All models come in either extended cab or four-door configurations and are available in rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is standard on the XLS.

Standard features on the base model include antilock brakes, air conditioning, tinted glass, rear access doors and an audio system with a CD player and four speakers.

Sirius Satellite Radio will be offered for the first time on any Mitsubishi vehicle.

"This truck will give us a good shot in the arm," says Al Gossett, owner of Gossett Mitsubishi in Memphis, Tenn. "But for it to be successful, it must be super, super, super competitive pricewise."

Schembri says prices will be announced close to the sale date. But he says they will range from under $20,000 to about $30,000.

"This launch will not be easy because we're starting from a zero awareness base," he says. "But Eclipse has set a foundation for us."

Healthy ad spending

Schembri says Mitsubishi will spend about the same to market the Raider as it did the Eclipse, an estimated $40 million to $50 million.

In addition, dealers will have extra money for regional advertising.

The automaker revived dealer advertising groups in April. Dealers started drawing on that money in July.

The first Raider ads probably will begin appearing on the Internet and on billboards before the vehicle goes on sale, Schembri says. TV commercials may start in the last week in September, he says.

Schembri would not predict sales.

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I have a feeling this isn't going to help Mitsubishi a whole lot. If anything, it may hurt Dodge.

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I agree. I think it's a very bad investment on Mitsubishi's part. The midsize truck market is pretty much saturated with a wide variety of models. Luckily, Mitsu actually changed the look of the truck. It didn't just slap its badge on a Dakota.
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Thank you for saying 'changed' instead of' improved as I think it looks rather cheesy.
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You're right, it doesn't look good.
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actually i find that the new tacoma like the x-runner is hot as shit when it comes to cosmetics and the nissan frontier wasnt iproved, it still is a fine looking car, it just doesnt meet the type of truck expectation of being rounded, squared , and blockish, this new raider, poop
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I really like the exterior.....but the interior is complete poop.... If you haven't seen it, it uses the same cheap, hard, hollow plastics as the Dakota but at least in the Dakota, the dashboard design is fairly attractive. The Raider's take on the dash is much less attractive with round air vents that don't seem to fit the look of the interior, etc. The truck's underpowered too. I really like the 4.7L engine. It's a very smooth and refined V8 but the horsepower is just not competitive in a market where import trucks are producing anywhere from 245hp to 270hp from V6s....
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It's not always about horsepower. I tend to like good torque in a truck.

Interior shot:

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Posted Image Edited by HarleyEarl
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Can't say it looks much goofier than the Toyota or Nissan:

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[post="2620"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yeah, you definately can.

How about the Raider vs. the Canyon/Colorado twins? Which one is goofier? :rolleyes:
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They spent a lot of money trying to differentiate this thing from the Dakota, and dare I say I think it looks much better than that truck. Mitsubishi has been out of pickups so long that its owners base is gone, but if they price this right, I think it could do ok. I have not been impressed with non-HEMI Dodge truck engines.
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Can no one design a good looking truck anymore? I haven't seen one since... hold on, I'm thinking... Damn, it's been so long that I have forgotten. This, the Dakota, Tacoma, Frontier, Titan, and even the half-assed Ridgeline. Ugliness has devoured the truck market. Even the Colorado/Canyon are far from perfect (but still the best looking midsize).
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I do believe that your wish will come true. I think the new full size Chevys are going to be very good looking trucks.
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The truck's underpowered too.  I really like the 4.7L engine.  It's a very smooth and refined V8 but the horsepower is just not competitive in a market where import trucks are producing anywhere from 245hp to 270hp from V6s....

[post="2702"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Even if the Raider doesn't get the HO 4.7L with 250 hp, and 300 ft/lbs. It still has the regular 4.7L with 230 hp, and 290 ft/lbs.

The Toyota may or may not actually have 245 hp, and 282 ft/lbs.....after the corrected SAE hp ratings.

I think the torque is more important in trucks. Especially for doing truck chores like towing and hauling stuff. So, I really wouldn't say it's exactly "underpowered".
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I'll give the Raider one thing and that is it fixes the Dakota bumper underbite...
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That Mitsubishi is one ugly looking truck. I'm not a fan of black plastic on any vehicle and the Raider has too much of it. I don't think this will do a whole awful lot for Mitsubishi's sales.
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