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.

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  1. Interesting news about the Pajero….

    I like the direction Mitsu is heading, and think that electric drivetrains would be well suited to offroad vehicles….though I’m not sold on some of their current styling trends…

  2. Mitsubishis 3rd quarter financial presentation suggested the next generation pajero “may” be Codeveloped with the next renewal of the pajero sport. Typically these cycles are seven years.

    Not sure the 3.2 did is euro 6 compliant which means with its current drive train its a dead man walking. The 2.4 mivec with its super long stroke doesn’t appear a good candidate for upsizing.

    Middle east sales are keeping it on life support.

      1. Why they didn’t codevelop a new pajero when were doing the current pajero sport is a mistep you would say.

        At the very least they ought to have ensured the MIvec had sufficient scope to cover the heavier pajero., the 8spd fitted and off road terrain program was merely a case of finding a spot on the dashboard. Or, Maybe they have? 😉

        1. Seems strange that Mitsubishi will spin out a new Pajero Sport by 2020, or before, with a new Pajero developed along side it. As you say, they could have done this when developing the current Pajero Sport… Maybe, the big boss man didn’t realise there would be such an outcry when he announced the Pajero was dead?

          1. I suspectulate at the time they were part way along with the development of the Gen 5 which was to be a plug in hybrid showcase things weren’t converging in a timely fashion with battery tech and offroadspec leccy motor drivetrain. more so on cost. Sounds like the boss wasn’t happy with the direction and cost on the project and has figured they’ll road the electric drive train in the lightweight stuff once this expertise is developed and they get momentum in sales they be in a position to execute a reborn pajero.

            Outlander phev’s success in the states this year and next will be watched closely.

  3. Does any body actually care about Mitsubishi any more. Should have gone down with the ship in the GFC. Current crop of cars are second rate in so many areas, most of the designs are ugly and performance is a dirty word now. The world has more manufacturers than it needs and this one wouldn’t be missed.

    1. Possibly. But if it pushes ahead with new technology and tries to recapture its once legendary off-road cred with a modern take on the Lancer Evo it might be okay… It seems to be in a grey area at the moment where’s it’s trying to figure out exactly what it is going forward. – Isaac

  4. Will there be a 2017 model Pajero, I’m saving to buy one.
    Or should I get into panic-mode and buy one ASAP??

    1. I wouldn’t panic. Our information is that the Pajero’s engine is able to meet emissions laws until at least 2020. You can probably expect to see Mitsubishi make minor updates to the thing over the next few years, but there won’t be major updates. – Isaac

      1. Thanks for the reply, but meeting emissions laws isn’t necessarily a savior for the Pajero, I’m afraid that they’ll just discontinue Pajero as they did with Lancer. That’s why I was hoping to know if you have any information regarding the availability of the Pajero in 2017.

  5. I’m on my second ‘Paj’ and love that car for it’s ability to swap from a weekend Off Road warrior, into a classy vehicle that’s a pleasure to drive on the highway or city streets. I understand the economics of it all means that car manufacturers need to please their shareholders. The dreaded bean counters will look at cars like the mighty Pajero and nominate them as first for the chopping block.

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