In 1968, Mitsubishi Motors launched a range of trucks and MPVs in the form of Mitsubishi Delica. The design of the Mitsubishi Delica was based on the small pickup truck revealed just a year back in 1967 as Delica. The term ‘Delica’ was derived from the English word ‘Delivery’. The Delica, a truck as well as commercial was marketed in export market with many different names. For instance, it was sold as L300 and L400 in European and New Zealand markets, Express and Starwagon in Australian market, while in United States it was sold simply as Mitsubishi Van and Wagon. From 1979 to 1994, there were produced a passenger car version called the Delica Star Wagon. However, in 1994, Delica SpaceGear was introduced known simply Star Wagon in European market. The most latest and current non-commercial vehicle is the Delica D:5.
From 1999 to 2010, the badge-engineered Mazda Bongos was sold as Delica Cargo in Japanese market. Suzuki Solio is sold as D:2 since the start of 2011.
First Generation (1968-1979)
In July 1968, the first light commercial cab-over pickup was introduced with a chassis code T100. It was powered by a KE44 1088 cc engine developing 58 PS (43 kW) with a top speed of 115 km/h (71 mph). The maximum payload of Delica was 600 kg (1323 lbs). A cargo van and passenger van was introduced in 1969. However, the passenger van named the Delica Coach was ceased in 1979.
The vehicle received its first facelift with minor changes in 1971 as Delica 75 with a chassis code T120 and was powered by 1.4-L 4G41 Neptune engine. Later in 1974, the second facelift was introduced as Delica 1400. In 1976, a vehicle with longer wheelbase (T121) was introduced as 1-ton truck.
Colt T100/T120 was the common names used to refer to the Delica in export markets.
Second Generation (1979-1986)
In June 1979, a second generation Delica was introduced with all new designing. As of external dimensions, the second generation Delica received a width of 1690 mm (67 inch). It also featured an independent wishbone construction at the front, while the rear received a leaf spring. Besides this, it also received a sliding side door and a one piece gas strut tailgate. In 1982, a 4-wheel drive version was added in the lineup and regarded as the first 4-wheel in the Japanese van market. The Delica came with different engine options like 1439 cc 80 PS (59 kW) Saturn 4G33 and 1.6-L 1597 cc 4G32 Saturn engines. In May 1980, a 1.8-L Sirius 1795 cc 4G62 developing 100 PS (74 kW) was added in the lineup. In November 1983, a 2.0-L petrol 1997 cc 4G63B was made available in all 4-wheel versions. The 2.3-L diesel 4D55 was substituted by larger 2.5-L 4D56 version in 1986.
In October 1982, 4-wheel drive version was introduced in Japanese market.
Third Generation (1986-Present)
The third generation Delica was introduced in June 1986. It came with more improved monocoque construction as well as with safety features. The company retained the passenger version for third generation as well and marketed it as Delica Star Wagon (Starwagon in Australia). The commercial version was sold as ‘Express’ in Australia and still sold in Australia at this time.
It was available with wide variety of engines, ranging from a 1.4-liter petrol up to a 2.5-liter turbodiesel.
Fourth Generation (1994-2007)
The fourth generation model was launched on May 12, 1994 by Mitsubishi Motors. For the fourth generation, no truck version was offered and the passenger version was marketed as Delica Space Gear in home market. The different body versions offered were XR, XG, Exceed, Super Exceed and Royal Exceed (both in long-and short-wheelbase). It shared its platform with Mitsubishi Pajero and available with engines ranging from 2.5-K to 2.8-L intercooled turbodiesel.
An upgraded facelift model was introduced in 1996.
Fifth Generation (2007-Present)
The fifth generation Delica was announced on October 30, 2006. The company based this version on the Concept D-5 appeared at the 39th 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. An eight-seat version comes with Mitsubishi’s AWC 4-wheel drive system and INVECS-III CVT. The engine offered is 4B12 2.4-L MIVEC straight-4. It was officially launched on January 31, 2007.