2016 Mitsubishi Challenger revealed
The 2016 Mitsubishi Challenger has been revealed today and will go on-sale in Australia by march 2016.
HOT ON THE HEELS of the Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner, the 2016 Mitsubishi Challenger seven-seat SUV has had its global reveal today in Thailand. Known as the Challenger here in Australia but as the Pajero Sport in markets, like Thailand, where the new SUV received its global reveal. Although, to be fair, Thailand has been leaking images and brochures of the thing for months now…UPDATE: our full technical analysis is now available.
The third-generation Mitsubishi Challenger (Pajero Sport) gets the new Mitsubishi Dynamic Shield snout, as we’ve seen on the new Outlander and, no doubt hints at the front-end look of the new Pajero which is expected to arrive next year.
The new Challenger is shares much of its underpinnings with its Triton sibling and Mitsubishi has previously hinted the ladder frame chassis will allow it to be more ‘off-road’ than some of its competitors. We’ll reserve judgement on that until we’ve tested it.
Powered by a 2.4-litre MIVEC turbo-diesel engine which makes 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm, this is mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, the new Challenger, Mitsubishi says, “achieves improved environmental performance while delivering great practical utility and punchy engine performance”.
The 2016 Challenger shares the same 218mm ground clearance as its predecessor and the same approach angle of 30-degrees, departure angle of 24-degrees and ramp break-over angle of 23-degrees. It offers a wading depth of 700mm. It measures 4785mm long (90mm longer than its predecessor), 1815mm wide (no change) and 1800mm high (no change), relatively compact dimensions for a medium SUV.
The Challenger features an “improved” version of the double wishbone with coil spring front and three-link with coil spring rear suspension configuration used on its predecessor. At the front, the use of a thicker sway bar with a higher rating reduces body roll through corners. Front and rear damper rates have been optimized to improve ride. The rear suspension mount positions and the structure of the lateral rod mounts have been changed to “improve vehicle stability”.
In its statement at the reveal, Mitsubishi said “Handling, stability, ride and quietness have all been improved through optimisation of the suspension and improvements to the body mounts. The use of upgraded sound insulation and a new diesel engine provide a significant reduction in interior noise.
“The 2016 Challenger introduces a range of advanced and comprehensive safety technology that will feature on a Mitsubishi model for the first time.”
For instance, the Challenger will feature safety tech, including “Blind Sport Warning (BSW) and Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS) which, while stationary or at speeds of up to 10 km/h, uses ultrasonic sensors to detect vehicle obstructions and regulates engine power if the drive depresses the accelerator hard by mistake”. It’s not known yet whether this tech will be standard across the range.
Additional safety firsts include a Multi-around Monitor which like similar systems from Nissan and BMW displays a bird’s eye image of the vehicle’s perimeter and the new model gains an electronic parking brake. Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) braking will also feature on the new Challenger. The Challenger will feature seven airbags as standard.
The Challenger uses the latest (and further tweaked) version of MMC’s own Super Select II four-wheel drive system, which means the vehicle’s default will be two-wheel drive, but will also allow it to be run in four-wheel drive on bitumen in the dry without causing diff bind, like the current Pajero. The Challenger also gets a new “Off-road Mode terrain selection system, a first on a Mitsubishi, which gives better all-terrain performance and stability as the road surface requires”.
The Challenger’s Off-road Mode Selector offers four modes ‒ GRAVEL (unpaved roads), MUD/SNOW (mud, deep snow), SAND and ROCK (only in the 4LLc drive mode) ‒ the Off-road Mode Selector tweaks the the engine, transmission and brakes to control the amount of tyre slip and “maximize the car’s all-terrain performance over poor surfaces and its ability to extract itself”.
The new Challenger will go on-sale in 90 countries with sales in Thailand expected to begin in spring. Australian details will be announced closer to the local launch.