Mitsubish May Finally Update the Shogun, aka Pajero After 20 Years of the Same
The SUV is still adored by enthusiasts and fans all around the globeby Sidd Dhimaan, on
A wise man once said that SUVs don’t need upgrades and facelifts regularly as these beasts age gracefully. I think that man worked at Mitsubishi because, at a time when companies update their monsters every 3-4 years, the Japanese automaker is continuing with same old design on their Shogun that, essentially, dates back to last century. However, Mitsubishi has announced that the SUV could finally get a makeover.
The Shogun Hasn’t Changed Much in 20 Years
The Shogun, also known as Pajero in some markets, was launched in 1982 and is currently in its fourth generation. The SUV was last updated in 2006 but was heavily based on the previous generation that was launched in 1999. The heavy-duty, seven-seater SUV is one of the oldest running models for the automaker.
The Pajero was sold as the Montero in the U.S. and was very well received.
In fact, it was a benchmark for other SUVs in terms of ruggedness and off-road skills. After two decades, Mitsubishi lost the plot as the prices kept increasing and the automaker couldn’t cope with the competition. In fact, the SUV was deemed unsafe in the early 2000s, which slowly led to a downfall and in 2006, it left U.S. shores.
The Future Hangs In The Balance
The current Shogun is nearing its death for sure, thanks to the strict emission and safety regulations.
Mitsubishi said that although it is planning a new generation of the Pajero, it won’t commit to its development until it can be sure that the SUV is a profitable product.
The demand for such a hardcore off-roader is limited, and the Japanese have struggled to balance the high cost of developing it and earning revenues from it. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is beginning to implement shared platforms across its brands, to keep the development cost in check for all of them; but this would not help Mitsubishi and as neither Renault nor Nissan make any such rugged off-roader that could lend its underpinnings.
What They Had To Say
Trevor Mann, Mitsubishi’s chief operating officer, said the firm “has a passion” to produce a new Shogun but that “we’ve not defined our position yet”.
“It’s something that our engineers really want to do, but we’ve got to make sure we have the right business case, and that segment is naturally shrinking due to emissions regulations. We need to make sure that when we do something, we do it properly and it’s future-proofed.”
Currently, the Pajero is sold with a wide variety of engine options - seven to be specific - ranging from the smallest 2.4-liter unit to a capable 3.8-liter mill. Despite this, the company is not seeing a major spike in sales figures, which is because the SUVs design language is too long in the tooth. Now, Mitsubishi has made it clear that the new generation will come only if the Pajero can rake in numbers.
Read our full review on the 2007 Mitsubishi Pajero.
Read our full review on the 2006 Mitsubishi Montero.