What if the Mitsubishi L300 had a more modern design?

We fire up our imagination and try to find out
by Andrew Guerrero | Oct 8, 2019
PHOTO: Andrew Guerrero
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Of the two generations of the L300 sold here, the most iconic one is the older model which still survives today in cab and chassis form. This generation of Mitsubishi’s van was introduced in Japan back in 1979 under the Delica name. This explains why its design language looks pretty much like that of the Lancer box-type. We at Top Gear Philippines want to bring Mitsubishi’s van into the twenty-first century.

The flat-front forward control vintage L300 isn’t exactly going to ace any modern crash and safety tests, so we decided to give our modern L300 a sufficient crumple zone. We moved the front wheels ahead of the front occupants and gave it a short hood. The engine bay remains under the seats, making it a front-mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive van. It was important for us to keep the van’s familiar shape, so we pushed the windshield forward to keep the one-box look.

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Up front, it gets a modern interpretation of the early L300 grille and headlights, combined with the front bumper that incorporates Mitsubishi’s trademark Dynamic Shield Design. Moving on to the sides, the semi-angular wheel arches, double horizontal creases, and side gills are heritage design elements. At the back, the squarish taillights and vertical reflectors are tributes to the original van. Despite its compact 4,500mm x 1,770mm x 1,860 mm exterior, its boxy shape allows it to have a roomy interior. It can accommodate eight passengers with a three-row 2+3+3 seating layout.

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The hood contains a 110L vertical storage compartment. This is also where you access the reservoirs for the coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer. The spare tire is located under the rear cargo floor.

Being a modern 21st-century van, expect safety features like multiple airbags and ABS to be standard. All seats are equipped with three-point seatbelts, while rear seats get ISOFIX child seat anchors.

Two engines are available for our modern L300: a base 2.0-liter MIVEC gasoline engine which makes 150 hp and 199Nm, and a 2.4-liter MIVEC diesel which churns out 178hp and 430Nm.

Our modern L300 van uses a monocoque construction with an integrated ladder frame. It has a double-wishbone suspension up front, while the rear gets a coil spring live-axle setup. It is positioned as a compact van that will slot below large vans like the Grand Starex and Hiace. The estimated price range is P1 million to P1.2 million. Our target is to not only capture the spirit of the L300, but to also give it a youthful twist.

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Would you consider this modern L300 if Mitsubishi built it? Leave us a message and let us know what you think.

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PHOTO: Andrew Guerrero
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