The main thing we had to decide on was what direction to go with: Should we continue with the softer luxury path of the current model, or go back to the rugged route of the first two generations? We went for the latter, of course. Among the early iterations, we chose the second-gen model as our inspiration as some interesting variants came from that era—namely, the rare high-performance Pajero Evolution.
Our goal was to make our design easily recognizable without being too retro. Its boxy shape and the silhouette are classic Pajero, with a tall, airy greenhouse, large windows, and slim pillars. Up front, it features a bold grille flanked by round headlights inside the trademark light clusters.
Another throwback is the metal central section of the frame-mounted bumper; the outer tapered sections are plastic. Moving on to the sides, the flared front and rear arches borrow elements from the refreshed second-gen Fieldmaster and the high-performance Evolution variant. The door surfaces are now cleaner, but they retain the character line that runs through the modern door handles.
The rear end is nearly vertical and features the traditional side-hinged fifth-door. It features an external spare tire just like its predecessors did, too. Protruding from the front and rear bumpers are the standard recovery hooks.
We envision this Pajero to incorporate the basic safety and convenience features found on a high-trim Montero Sport. Instead of adding more luxury features, it will instead focus on hardware upgrades that improve off-road performance.
Our Modern Rugged Pajero also happens to ride on a modified Montero Sport chassis. Its 2,800mm wheelbase is unchanged, while track width is up by 63mm on both ends. It uses a beefed-up version of the Montero Sport’s front double-wishbone and rear three-link live axle suspension. The high-trim variant comes with 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 275/65 R18 32-inch diameter tires.
Under the hood is a high-output version of Mitsubishi’s 2.4-liter 4N15 diesel mill with around 200hp and 500Nm of torque. This will be mated to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive is, of course, standard.
If Mitsubishi were to build this Pajero, would you choose it over a Montero Sport or a Toyota Prado? Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think.