Mitsubishi Pajero Sport The Makings of a Living Legend

Automotive Press Releases Thursday November 15, 2018 17:11
Bangkok--15 Nov--Mitsubishi Motors

On Mitsubishi Motors' stand at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1973, the world saw Mitsubishi Motors' 'dual-purpose' vehicle for the first time. Designed to work both on and off the road, it was an open-top vehicle. However, the prototype had consumer-friendly features including comfortable seats, a modern design and a thick roll-bar for safety. Mitsubishi Motors had a simple name for it – the 'Pajero'. In today's terms, that prototype Pajero would be termed merely as a recreational vehicle, but the foundation had been laid, on which rests the DNA that would later shape a modern-day legend, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

The prototype Pajero was arguably the genesis of modern-day 'dual-purpose' vehicles. Designed to be an everyday vehicle with a comfortable interior and ride quality, it also had the performance and durability to challenge more serious and dedicated rough-use off-roaders that offered little in terms of comfort and drivability.

However, Mitsubishi Motors did not put the prototype Pajero into production, preferring instead to take more time to endow it with more refinement, safety and performance. The automaker debuted a second prototype in 1978. Finally convinced there was demand for such a vehicle, the Pajero was officially launched.

The first production Mitsubishi Pajero, launched in 1982, was a huge departure from the prototype from all aspects. It had modern design cues (in those times) and more appealing aesthetics without sacrificing the tough and robust off-road appearance. The years spent honing the product also allowed Mitsubishi Motors to launch the production Pajero with a fully-covered wagon body further adding to the Pajero's toughness and payload. The first Mitsubishi Pajero had two variants – a three- or five-door model. Comfort, refinement, performance and safety were the defining qualities on which the modern-day Mitsubishi Pajero Sport would eventually be built on.

Even in those early times, the Mitsubishi Pajero made headlines. Customers loved its four-wheel-drive system, performance, safety and interior comfort. The first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero featured a turbocharged diesel engine, front double wishbone suspension with torsion bar, power steering and suspension seats. The latter proved to be a popular feature with drivers commenting how the Mitsubishi Pajero was still comfortable even when going over rough and uneven terrains.

The Pajero became the vehicle of choice for all categories of customers – from those who wanted a high-riding everyday vehicle with performance, comfort, safety, space and carrying capacity to enthusiasts for its superior off-road performance. In fact, so good was the Mitsubishi Pajero that it was soon entered into the toughest test any vehicle can dream to encounter – an international cross-country rally, in 1983.

In only its third attempt, the Mitsubishi Pajero won the rally in 1985 and continued to win 11 more victories, cementing the brand and nameplate as one of the most successful SUVs in the world.

All those years spent perfecting the vehicle inside Mitsubishi Motors' design and technology centers, in addition to hundreds of thousands of kilometers on the world's harshest deserts and forests, meant customers drive a winning product out of Mitsubishi showrooms today. Whether it was technology from motorsports or from the lab, there is no denying the Mitsubishi Pajero is one of the most technologically-advanced SUV in its class.

Its success in the world's toughest races, on urban roads and in the forests made the Mitsubishi Pajero the definitive SUV in the 90s. It was the Mitsubishi Pajero, or nothing.

Despite its popularity, Mitsubishi Motors continued its endeavor to refine the product and in doing so also identified a separate market segment that would appreciate a PPV that had all the trappings of the original Pajero – the toughness, durability, performance and safety, but with a higher level of luxury. In 1996, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport was born. It had the DNA of the original Pajero, but with a more 'urbanized' scope.

The first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport featured independent front suspension with torsion beams and a live rear axle. In the pursuit of comfort and luxury, the suspension in later models was changed to coil springs for better ride comfort and driving dynamics. The second-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport came along in 2008 and introduced even more luxury and interior refinement, while upholding the Pajero's on- and off-road performance and class-leading safety.

The third and current-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, first introduced in Thailand in 2015, is certainly the most advanced and fully-equipped to date. For a start, it looks completely different from its predecessors. The new Mitsubishi Pajero Sport incorporated Mitsubishi Motors' latest design language, known as 'Dynamic Shield'. In addition to looking big, tough and rugged, the design is an interpretation of 'form follows function' that combines protection, performance and aesthetics in a functional front-end.

Inside, Mitsubishi Motors endowed the Pajero Sport with even more luxurious and utilitarian appointments including console side garnish soft pad, a high contrast multi information with 3D animation display, and a Nanoe air purifier. Other convenient touches include a 220V AC power supply, smartphone pocket for driver and passenger, electronic parking brake, improved air outlet vents for the second and third row seats, keyless operation and engine start and the most spacious cargo space in its category.

The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport's luxurious conveniences continue with dual-zone climate control, tilt-and-reach adjustable steering wheel, eight-way adjustable power-adjustable front seats for driver and passenger, roof-mounted monitor for rear passengers, auto-dimming rearview mirrors and rear climate control.

Ergonomics has also been updated with the T-Shaped High Console that puts all controls within easy reach of the driver including the seven-inch touchscreen entertainment and navigation console. The multi-function steering wheel houses controls for adaptive cruise control and audio controls, and paddle shift for manual control of gear changes.

Advanced systems to aid driving convenience include the radar-guided Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). It maintains a preset distance to the vehicle in front, and if the vehicle in front slows down or stops, ACC will follow, maintaining a safe distance. If the vehicle in from speeds up, ACC will also follow it until the preset speed.

The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport also comes with the Electronic Time and Alarm Control System (ETACS). The system controls all electrical components in the vehicle, including the speed-sensing front wipers, power window timer, automatic headlamps, assisted signals for lane changes, low light warning, emergency stop signal, speed-sensing automatic door locks, coming home and welcome lights, vehicle immobilizer and keyless operation system.

There is also no shortage of active safety technologies in the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. They include Forward Collision Mitigation System (FCM), Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Multi Around Monitor, Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), Hill Start Assist System (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC). Passive safety technologies include a total of seven airbags and a Reinforced Impact safety Evolution (RISE) body system that uses strong, high-tensile steel to create energy-absorbing elements against impact from all directions.

From the technological know-how garnered from the world's toughest racing arenas, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is endowed with best-in-class performance, featuring a 181ps and 430Nm engine with aluminum block mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission for the most efficient use of the engine's output.

The driving system is Mitsubishi Motors' Super Select 4WD-II drivetrain featuring four drive modes including 2H (2WD High-Range), 4H (4WD High-Range), 4HLc (4WD High-Range with Locked Transfer) and 4LLc (4WD Low-Range with Locked Transfer). The system also features various off-road modes and rear-differential lock, with algorithms programed after its race-bred vehicles.

The combination of aesthetics, innovative technologies and the power and drivetrain's capabilities makes the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport one of the most fully-equipped all-round PPV in the market. Who would have guessed the open-roofed utilitarian Pajero from 1973 would inspire the development of one of the best PPVs in the market today?

About Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh)

Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co., Ltd., the largest plant in the MMC group and an export hub to more than 120 countries, is one of Thailand's leading automotive manufacturers committed to produce and sell a range of vehicles that are eco-friendly, high in quality, performance, safety, comfort, technology and customer satisfaction. In 2018 MMTh celebrated a total production of five million units. It also introduced the Education Academy in the same year. MMTh's current range of vehicles includes the Mitsubishi Triton pickup truck, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport PPV, Mitsubishi Attrage and Mitsubishi Mirage city cars and the Mitsubishi Xpander crossover. To ensure the highest quality, MMTh uses its proving ground in Sriracha, Chonburi to assess products from design and prototype stages to pre-production and commercialization. This ensures customers take delivery of vehicles that are second-to-none in all aspects of quality.

Please contact Mitsubishi dealers nationwide for more information and test driving, or contact Mitsubishi Call Center Tel. 02-079-9500 every day at 8:30 – 17:00 hrs.
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