MITSUBISHI PAJERO WILL LEAVE THE AUSTRALIAN MARKET
The legendary Mitsubishi Pajero has built its legacy in the rally world. Especially because it has the highest number of Dakar Rally winnings with a total of 12 times. The Pajero, which gave Mitsubishi the honour to be in the Guinness Book of World Records, sadly will be superseded in 2021. This will leave the Australian car market of large off-road SUVs limited to the Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol.
Mitsubishi is blaming COVID-19 for this decision. However, let us not forget that this off-road SUV icons last real upgrade was in 2006 and has remained the same since. What To Ride thinks that Mitsubishi Motors never intended to invest in developing this beast large SUV. In 2020 Mitsubishi Motors Australia removed one of the variants of the 2020 Pajero and limited it to Pajero GLX and Pajero GLS.
A quick journey through the Mitsubishi Pajero history to remember this large off road SUV and acknowledge an end of an era:
The first Pajero generation appeared in Tokyo Motor Show in 1981 and was launched for the public six month after. Originally, Pajero had a short wheelbase and three doors. A year after, Mitsubishi fine-tuned a version of the Pajero and started its journey in Motorsports.
Mitsubishi launched the long wheelbase Pajero in 1983. It had five doors and was a real family SUV model by adding third row seats making a total of 7 seats.
Mitsubishi was investing in the Pajero at the time. A new model of the Pajero was released in 1987 with two-tone paint and more enhancements including a better suspension system with more comfort and better off-road capabilities.
The second generation went from 1991 till 1999 and was then fully remodelled. The new 4x4 SUV model for saw further enhancements with a bigger body and a revolutionary 4WD system that gave Mitsubishi Pajero a more impressive off road capability.
The third generation Mitsubishi Pajero was redesigned again and went from 1999 till 2006 with integral ladder frame chassis for increased torsional rigidity and dramatic enhancements for the interior. Another new 4WD system was introduced, the Super Select 4 system II which provided the front-to-rear torque setting ranged from 33 to 67, with the ability to adjust to 50/50 depending on terrain conditions; which was controlled by a fully electronic 4WD system.
The fourth generation was presented first in the Paris Motor Show in 2006. The interior and exterior were redesigned with more car safety features. Minor changes were made for the chassis, the same Super-Select 4WD system was used in this new large SUV model. However, it was coupled with Active Stability and Traction Control system. Mitsubishi reduced some of the weight by using a carbon fibre wrap for the rear driveshaft and aluminium bonnet. This Pajero had the same independent suspension as the previous generation. A rear differential lock was added as standard to the fourth generation Pajero and gained a Rockford sound system. From 2006 till today Pajero has had only minor cosmetic changes. What To Ride team was informed by latest car news that Mitsubishi Motors Australia will release a Final Edition, similar to what Japan did in August 2019 when they released a Final Edition of limited 700 units.
The Mitsubishi Pajero maintained a strong reputation for reliability in challenging environments all over the world and every continent. Despite its old age, it is a beast 4x4 SUV to be respected, especially as it is one of the greats. We will definitely miss seeing those longstanding large SUVs but look forward to seeing what else Mitsibushi Motors has in store for the world.