Mitsubishi have thrown down the L200 Challenger – a special edition of the fifth-generation model.

Using the L200 Warrior as a start point, the new Challenger will be available in three body colours – white, grey and black – the latter of which match the finish of its 17-inch alloys and the detailing of the front grille and much of the exterior furnishings.

It will also match the black leather interior, which comprises electric driving seat, which is heated along with that for the front passenger. Other aspects include a 7″ screen which is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, as well as having Mitsubishi’s Smartphone Link Display Audio system and DAB radio.

As with the Warrior models, standard equipment is high with reversing camera, LED DRLs and xenon headlights, automatic wipers plus lane departure warning, hill start assist and trailer stability assistance all as standard on Challenger trucks.

It also utilises Mitsubishi’s 180bhp diesel unit with Super-Select 4WD system and a towing capacity of 3.5-tonnes. It too retains the one-tonne payload, so can be registered as a commercial vehicle, whether the six-speed manual or the automatic transmission is optioned.

To get a Challenger onto the road as a commercial haunt, the manual will cost £27,705, with the automatic available for £29,105. The L200 Challenger is on sale now, and will crossover in showrooms with the new sixth-gen truck when that goes on sale in the autumn.

The D23 Nissan Navara is a good truck – which is just as well as the headlines of the new update are uniform suspension, a new manual gearbox, bigger brakes, engine upgrades and more tech as standard.

King Cab models will now feature the same multi-link suspension as used in the double cab models, which in turn has provided a 46kg increase in the payload of two-door trucks, with the rear also sitting 25mm higher.

The 163bhp engine is now fitted with two turbochargers, matching the tally of the 190bhp version, which has upped torque to 313lbf.ft, a digit increased by 16. An all-new six-speed transmission is joining the revised powertrain, with linger ratios and a shorter throw, meaning changes are less frequently required but more pleasant to enact.

Braking should be more assured in the updated Navara, with rear drums replaced for discs and callipers whilst the front discs are 4mm bigger. The results? a claimed 40% reduction in braking force.

Standard level equipment has increased with the update, N-Connecta models and above getting an eight-inch touchscreen to communicate the Nissan Connect entertainment system, with Apple CarPlay and mobile integration, whilst all models also get Trailer Sway Assist as standard.

Styling upgrades are limited on the new model, with new black bezel inlays for the LED headlights, plus new 17 and 18″ alloy designs.

Updated models go on sale from the 1st July, with the range kicking off with the manual King Chassis Cab Visia at £21,850 as a CV and topping out at £31,125 for the N-Guard double cab, again as a CV.

In rather surprising news, Skoda have revealed a pick-up truck.

The Mountiaq concept is a Kodiaq-based pick-up that is the culmination of this year’s work from the class of the Skoda Vocational School in Boleslav.

A team of 35 Skoda apprentices envisaged the truck, from the light bar on the roof, down to the winch and even the specific Sunset Orange paintwork.

It has taken the team of apprentices in excess of 2,000 hours over the last eight months to build the Mountiaq, with production starting in January. After the sketching phase was completed, the body was reinforced before the roof of the Kodiaq was removed and the tough work began. A new rear panel was then fashioned, along with new windows for the double-cab body type.

Another key component of such a shape is the truck-bed, which had to be designed and fabricated and took the overall length of the truck to a whisker under five metres. The bed includes a hidden storage compartment beneath the surface, and the longer and wider stance means that the doors were redesigned to fit, whilst both front and rear bumpers were modified – clearly, as the Kodiaq doesn’t come with a winch…

Ground clearance has been improved, tallying 29cm to the Kodiaq Scout’s 19, with the upsized 17″ Rockstar alloys and more aggressive tyres playing a part. The overall wheelbase is now 2.79-metres, whilst vehicle width is a touch over two metres and it stands at 1.71-metres tall.  A 190bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol powers the Mountiaq, which also has a snorkel, bullbar and specifically designed winch mount.

Inside, the Mountiaq features plenty of cool features. There’s a glowing Skoda logo in the headlining, a fridge, uniquely embroidered seats and a set of walkie talkies. interior highlights also match the exterior Sunset Orange.

Being students, they’ve also whacked a bigger sound system in there, adding 4,000 watts split evenly between an amplifier and subwoofer, whilst numerous facets of the car are suavely underlit to give it a real edge. The Skoda badge, engine bay, bed sills and radiator grille are all lit, whilst there’s Skoda branded puddle lights, too.

One thing is for sure: we wouldn’t mind a jot if this entered production…

The second special edition for the Mercedes-Benz X-Class has been released, with the ELEMENT Edition X 250d 4MATIC.

Based on the Progressive model, the posh pick-up comes with an enhanced equipment list along with custom graphics along the rear quarter.

This means that the truck comes with painted bumpers, a simulated underguard in matte black, aluminium door sills with Mercedes-Benz inscription, a matte silver finish grille, chromed door handles and the useful load securing rail system in the bed and heated side mirrors. The added kit on the ELEMENT Edition includes a black roof-liner, the Comfort Pack that includes Artico leather upholstery, a set of 19″ multi-spoke alloys, LED lights all around which, along with roof rails, privacy glass and running boards come as part of the Style Pack, a bed liner and sports bar along with the aforementioned special edition livery.

Paint options include Chisana White, or a metallic finish in Diamond Silver or Kabara Black. As with all X-Class models, standard equipment includes Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Hill Start Assist, a reversing camera and stop/start function.

You can get your name down for an ELEMENT Edition at your local Mercedes-Benz Vans centre, with business users able to get behind the wheel for just £459 per month.

One of the strengths of the Isuzu D-Max is its ability to tow heavy stuff – 3.5 tonnes worth of heavy stuff.

The breakdown recovery specialists have paired with Isuzu and Strongs Plastic Products to adapt 50 D-Max models into the ultimate RAC patrol vehicle. Retaining the ability to carry the 500 parts and tools that are required by RAC mechanics, the D-Max also adds the new All-Wheels-Up recovery system, which brings flatbed recovery capability to the fleet of breakdown patrollers. There’s also space for the RAC’s EV Boost charging system for electric cars that fall flat.

Making the adaptations to the D-Max has lowered it’s towing capacity to a degree, but at a 2.8 tonne capacity the RAC Heavy Duty 4×4 Patrol Van will be able to cope with the overwhelming majority of cars and light commercial vehicles on the roads of Britain.

Strongs Plastic Products have designed and produced the new van bodyshell from a tough polymer plastic that combines high strength with low weight – something that is important in keeping the conversion as effective as possible. It accommodates all of the RACs paraphernalia – including the All-Wheels-Up tow system – and it comes with a 20-year guarantee. The plan is that the shells will be used on several vehicles throughout their lifetime with the RAC.

It’s become ritual for Isuzu to reveal a new special edition D-Max at the Commercial Vehicle show each year. but this year we’ve been treated to two.

But where to start?

After flipping a coin, it’s with the XTR. This striking truck, which is currently a prototype, is aimed at serving clientele who use their truck both for work, but also as a recreational off-roader. But how have they done this?

The D-Max XTR sits on a bespoke suspension and braking setup from specialists Pedders. This includes a new front upper arm that works in conjunction with freshly designed dampers that allow longer articulation. This means that the XTR sits higher than a stock D-Max, with 250mm ground clearance, but the system doesn’t compromise the handling performance of the truck on the road.

The brake discs have been bolstered at the front to performance numbers that champion consistent brake feel and are made to survive hard wear and combat corrosion. They’re fully vented and slotted for better heat dissipation and outright braking performance. The pads they work with are Kevlar ceramics, so you know they’re properly tough.

Both the springs and shocks are set up to provide a consistent and comfortable ride on road, and have been tuned with the XTR’s new wheels in mind. The 17″ XTR alloys have been designed to a popular tyre size – 17×8.5″ – to give XTR drivers plenty of choice if they choose a new set of tyres. Engineered to be tough, the alloys don’t affect the D-Max’s 3.5-tonne towing capacity nor it’s 1.1-tonne payload. The XTR is also the first truck to take the Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus tyres as standard.

No doubt you’ll have been taken aback by the styling of the XTR makeover, but let’s break it down. A dramatic front bumper guard, bonnet protection and headlight frames give the D-Max XTR a mean stare. Extended wheel arches add yet more attitude, finished in black with a vibrant green insert that matches the theme around the rest of the truck. Around the back, there are spoilers on both the tailgate and the rear bumper, whilst matching door mirror covers and door handles complete the look. Like the bodykit, the side-steps are Raptor-coated. The green highlights also appear on the brake calipers and selected suspension parts to add a flash of colour.

Inside, the XTR treatment continues, with the D-shaped suede and leather steering wheel featuring green stitching matches the grey leather, suede and durable carbon-fibre leather seating with the same accenting.

It’s not often that a truck with 35″ tyres is the subtler of a pair, but compared to the XTR, the Safir is just that. Based on the automatic D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 double cab, Safir is happy to let the XTR take the ooh’s and have the aah’s for itself.

Finished in the beautiful Sapphire Blue Mica paint, the Safir looks calm and collected with its silver sports bar, matching Mountain Top rollover cover and a Safir branded aluminium underguard.

It also has Lazer Lights set into the front bumper and on a roof-mounted light bar – which is brand new for the D-Max range. The 17″ alloys are AT numbers in a new Hyper Dark diamond cut finish.

Bespoke leather seating adorns the interior, with the headrest embroidered Arctic Trucks logo in a matching sapphire cotton that matches the overstitch about the rest of the interior. The Safir also features a D-shaped steering wheel and the infotainment system has been upgraded to a 9″ touchscreen with a nine-speaker sound system that includes a subwoofer. The upper glovebox contains a wireless mobile charging pad, and a bumper mounted front camera makes parking and manoeuvring a doddle.

The Safir, like the XTR, is covered by Isuzu’s 125,000 mile five year warranty, and also retains the towing and payload capacities of the work-happy D-Max.

Pricing for the special trucks begins at £33,999 for the D-Max XTR and £45,000 for the Safir as a Commercial Vehicle.

The XTR is expected in showrooms later this year, whilst to act on your interest in either truck you should contact your local Isuzu dealer.

An updated version of the Toyota Hilux Invincible X will be unveiled at the CV Show later this month.

Visual enhancements are centred around a deep two-tone theme – black and dark grey – and will be available exclusively in double-cab form. There’s a smoked grey chrome finish for the upper front grille surround, fog lamp bezels, door and tail handles and side mirror casings. It’s the same for the front and rear under-runs and rear bumper corners, too. Each axle is capped with two-tone, machine-finished 18″ alloys.

The cabin is black leather throughout, with leather and piano black inserts broken up with chrome detailing around the instrument panel. There has been a redesign to the driver’s binnacle, which now features a Hilux animation when the ignition is switched on. A new design also sits on the key, which is now model specific, with a silhouette sketch of the truck’s front facia now taking pride of place.

As of 2019, all Hilux models, not just the Invincible X, will be available with the Toyota Safety Sense package which adds a suite of advanced safety features. These include the Pre-Collision System with pedestrian detection; Adaptive Cruise Control; Road Sign Assist and Lane Departure Alert. This will come into effect when the 2019 models go on sale in August, with more details on the Invincible X pricing expected nearer to the time.

Especially for the 40th Bangkok International Motor Show, Mitsubishi have debuted the Triton Absolute – a rugged and rowdy take on the recently face-lifted L200.

Triton, of course, is the name that the L200 goes by in markets outside of Europe, and the concept appears to have the Ford Ranger Raptor in its sights. It’s bolstered by protective body panelling, more defined tough styling and additional lighting systems, all of which help it live up to the strap line “ABSOLUTELY Beyond Tough”.

There are also front and rear skid plates, plus the tailgate has been redesigned. It sits on a wider track and off-road biased wheels and tyres, and an uprated suspension system offers improved travel and also raises ride height by 50mm.

Like the new facelift model, the Triton Absolute makes its debut in Thailand, where the new L200 is already on the market, albeit under its pseudonym. The new truck is expected in the UK and Europe later this year.

The updated Ford Ranger has been revealed, with refreshed engines, improved connectivity and driver aids introduced to the range alongside a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford have given the Ranger a trio of 2.0-litre EcoBlue, four-cylinder diesel units. There are two single turbo variations, producing either 130bhp and 251lbf.ft or 170bhp and 310lbf.ft, with the units capable of 35.3 and 34mpg respectively. The range-topper features both a variable-geometry high-pressure and a low-pressure fixed geometry turbo, which results in figures of 213bhp, 369lbf.ft and can cover 30.7 miles on a gallon.

Some clever features have been engineered into the engine to reduce friction within the unit, such as a 10mm offset crank design that reduces chafing against the cylinder walls of the iron block. The valve-train has been optimised and features a single-piece camshaft module.

As well as a six-speed manual transmission, Ford are offering the 10-speed automatic ‘box from the irrepressible F-150 truck. You know, the one that is driven by nigh on all Americans… It sounds like overkill, but the extra notches are designed to give the Ranger more adaptability, as real-time adaptive-shift scheduling alters the transmission depending on the situation. This means it’ll behave differently when you’re towing a trailer to when you’re dropping the little ‘uns off at school.

An on-board modem enables the Ranger to function as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and the FordPass mobile app makes it easy for the driver to keep on top of vehicular status. Oil level, tyre pressure and mileage can be checked remotely, whilst there is also a vehicle locator for those who are either forgetful or victimised and it is also possible to toggle the vehicle’s central locking from the app.

The third version of Ford’s Sync multimedia system can be voice activated or by using the 8-inch touchscreen and is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled. The Ford MyKey system allows fleet managers to limit the driver’s speed and radio volume, plus it can permanently switch on all of the Ranger’s safety features.

Those safety features include pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and intelligent speed-limiter as standard. The latter of these monitors road signs, and if the speed limit is lower than the set speed of the adaptive cruise control, it will slow down and then speed back up again in line with the speed limit. The 2019 Ranger also features lane keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, parking sensors both front and rear, a rear view camera and electronic stability control that features both rollover mitigation and trailer sway management.

On the updated version, both Wildtrak and Limited spec will include a new easy-lift tailgate with a torsion bar that increases the ease of closing it back up.

There is no word on pricing as of yet, but the updated one-tonner will be arriving in mid-2019.

Over the next three years, Ford will supply a fleet of 450 vehicles to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

This year, the national charity will take delivery of 210 vehicles, with another 120 arriving both next year and in 2021.

The 2019 fleet will include twenty 4×4 Rangers, which will carry out their duties on the British shorelines as the fleet for the RNLI’s beach patrols.

All of the RNLI’s on-road transport will also be covered by Ford, with a fleet including Fiestas, EcoSprt, Focus, Kuga and three variations of the Transit.