Yes, that headline is correct.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC), by virtue of sheer determination, has successfully resurrected one of their greatest and longest selling models ever: the L300 van.
If you remember, the L300 was one of the casualties of the implementation of the more stringent Euro-4 emissions standards, and MMPC had to cease production of the high volume model at the start of 2018. The other two locally-produced models that were halted due to the newer standards include the Mitsubishi Adventure and the Isuzu Crosswind.
Two years ago, however, we already got word from Mitsubishi Motors that they developing a solution to get the L300 to meet Euro-4. And the reasoning was easy to see: with the production and sales of the L300 stopped, it was clearly a huge hit for Mitsubishi. The L300, after all, was the default choice in the automotive market for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are in need of a van that could (almost) literally carry anything, and so Mitsubishi saw fit to re-invest to revive the old platform.
Now they got the L300 to meet the emissions standards, and they did it by redoing a lot of the engineering with the van. And chief of that is the engine: the new 2019 L300 has a new turbodiesel with an exhaust system that meets the Euro-4 standards.
Mitsubishi hasn't released any of the figures yet for the L300's engine, but it does have common-rail direct injection, a far cry from the outgoing model with the much older motor.
While many would see the installation of a new, more efficient and more emissions compliant turbo engine as a simple task, Mitsubishi had to do a lot of retrofitting like rewiring, adding more modern emissions control systems, and the like. More importantly, they had to make sure the van's chassis can handle it.
We were even told that Mitsubishi tested the L300 with the new engine in Japan to make sure it will stand up to the renewed power and torque. The L300, after all, was initially developed at a time when modern diesel were not putting out as much power and torque as they are now.
The L300 that we have come to know in the Philippine market is the second generation model of the Delica line. The current generation is already the fifth, though we don't get it in the Philippines.
The second generation L300 is also available in Indonesia, though their emissions standards are still Euro-2.
Mitsubishi has not released the pricing of the new 2019 L300, though we expect that information to be released in due time. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines had a display unit of the L300 at their 1-million sales milestone event held in Makati with a new rear end and some other updates, but overall, it's still the same van, albeit with a new and upgraded heart.
The resumption of production and re-introduction of the L300 is a big win for Mitsubishi Motors Philippines; it means more jobs at their Santa Rosa facility as well as all along the supply chain, and it shows that you can't really keep a good van down.