The Mitsubishi Raider was discontinued in 2010 after selling relatively poorly over its five-year lifecycle, but it could now be set to make a return.
Patent filings discovered by AutoGuide show that Mitsubishi filed to trademark the ‘Raider’ name for use on “automobiles and structural parts therefor,” on November 15th, 2017. Trademark filings aren’t always indicative of future product, but the timing of this application has us thinking the Raider name could be set for an eventual North America revival.
Mitsubishi, as you may know, was recently acquired by the Renault Nissan Alliance. There has been talk of the Japanese automaker leveraging this newfound partnership to bring some much needed new product to market, which may include a pickup truck. Speaking to Automotive News this month, Mitsubishi’s CEO Osamu Masuko said the automaker is developing pickups for markets which typically buy small trucks, as Americans are partial to large pickups. However, if the Renault-Nissan relationship can give Mitsubishi a truck North Americans will be interested in, they are open to the idea.
"We are focused on developing pickups for non-U.S. markets such as [Southeast Asia] and the Middle East," Masuko said. "So for the U.S., if there is an opportunity, we might get it from Nissan. We would like to consider if there are opportunities from within the Alliance."
It’s also possible the Raider will be a crossover, seeing as the Dodge Raider was actually a rebadged Mitsubishi Pajero. But no matter what it ends up being, a product such as a new Raider is still very far away. Mitsubishi won’t gain access to shared Renault-Nissan platforms and powertrains until 2020, so we’ll probably have to wait until 2021 to see any Renault- or Nissan-based Mitsubishi products.