Reborn Mitsubishi Pajero not coming in 2021… : UPDATED
Mitsubishi has confirmed the Mitsubishi Pajero is dead, but Mitsubishi’s UK boss has now said a new Pajero will be released but not for a very long time…
MITSUBISHI’S CEO announced last year there would be no new Pajero due to the company’s desire to concentrate on volume-selling markets. But, in an interview with Auto Express, Mitsubishi’s UK boss has confirmed the company will launch one new SUV every year until 2021.
UK boss, Lance Bradley, confirmed what Practical Motoring had been told at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015, that Mitsubishi, going forward, would concentrate on producing SUVs with both conventional, hybrid and electric drivetrains. The Japanese car maker will release a new Nissan Juke-sized crossover, a larger ASX, a new Outlander, the Pajero Sport and a new Pajero. The current-size ASX will remain in the range until 2020.
Apparently, the first new SUV to arrive will be a slightly larger ASX which will be based on the XR PHEV II concept shown at the Tokyo Motor Show. It will eventually replace the ASK beyond 2020. Bradley said the aim of Mitsubishi was to become a niche player and draw on its experience with the Outlander PHEV to launch SUVs with hybrid and electric drivetrains.
Bradley said: “That’s why I want to move the brand, not quite to a Land Rover level, but to a niche position where we are known for building four-wheel drive SUVs that have electric power. No-one else will be able to say that.”
But it’s the buried deep in the interview comments about the Pajero we’re most interested in. Due to the age of the current Pajero (16 years old), it would be reasonable to expect it to have been replaced years ago, but Mitsubishi just keeps on keeping on. And it would seem the thing really will die in its current state, before being reborn beyond 2020.
“A vehicle reaches an age and doesn’t get any older and Shogun [Pajero] is kind of there,” said Bradley. It’ll be appearing in 2020 or 2021 as Mitsubishi concentrates on the sectors with the most volume potential. “We could sell 10,000 B-SUV and the new small SUV a year; Shogun [Pajero], in its peak year, sold 6000 [in the UK]. We won’t be selling much more than that with the new Shogun [Pajero].”
In his interview, Bradley talked about the Pajero Sport but that vehicle is unlikely to be imported into the UK as Mitsubishi wants a Europe-wide launch for that vehicle. So, the Pajero as we know it will die before being reborn as a brand new vehicle in 2020, or 2021. But, will it be the off-road focussed vehicle it is today? Who knows, but it will most definitely be a seven-seater with alternative drivetrains.
UPDATE 11/03/2016: We have spoken to Mitsubishi Australia and they have confirmed that there is definitely, categorically no plan to replace Pajero, and the strategy is as described in Toyko – smaller, hybrid-based SUVs. But like any prudent company they do not rule out an eventual replacement, but that’s a long way off plans for one, or even plans to make plans. Simply: Pajero as we know it will be no more, so buy one while you can!
Mitsubishi’s many Pajero fans need not worry though. The Pajero Sport is a fine vehicle in the Pajero tradition, and while we only get the 5-seater in Australia there are 7-seat versions overseas, and we speculate they will be here as soon as, if not before the last Pajero is sold.
- Mitsubishi at the Toyko Motor Show
- Mitsubishi eX Concept (future SUV)
- Pajero GLS 2016 review
- Pajero Sport review – we have also lined up a Pajero Sport for a highly detailed offroad review so check back soon.