Pajero (Montero, Shogun)

1982

Pajero (Montero, Shogun)

Mitsubishi Motors was unable to export the Mitsubishi Jeep to full-feature four-wheel drive markets overseas because of its license agreement with Willys at a time when its rivals were expanding their market share. In Japan, meanwhile, the forecast was that demand for four-wheel drive vehicles would grow as private owners sought them for leisure use and that the time was ripe for the company to develop its own four-wheel drive technology. The result was the birth of the full- feature four-wheel drive Pajero (Montero, Shogun) brimming with Mitsubishi-ness. It was named after the Leopardus pajeros or Pampus cat that inhabits the Patagonian plateau at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, and reflects the company's wish to achieve in the car a harmony between "taste of the wild" and "beauty". The first Pajero, was well received when shown as a concept at the 1979 Tokyo Motor Show and in 1982 metal and canvas top variants of the 3-door short body model were brought to market. A long-body variant was added in July 1983. The lineup was joined by a model using Mitsubishi's own automatic transmission in 1985 while V6 gasoline and intercooled dieselturbo engines were added in 1988. In the meantime, the underpinnings were improved with the original leaf spring rear suspension being replaced by a 3-link with coil arrangement to give further polish to the Pajero's distinguishing characteristic of delivering outstanding all-terrain performance while also providing passenger car-like drivability. The Pajero won the Unmodified 4WD Production Class of the Paris-Dakar Rally, renowned as the world's toughest motorsport event, in 1983 at its first attempt. The Pajero won the first overall victory in 1985 and took the victory for 12 times thereafter. Since it has been a prime mover in spawning and growing the recreation and 4WD vehicle boom and has built up the solid position, it enjoys today in the 4WD / SUV category.

Metal top
Overall length 3930 mm
Overall width 1680 mm
Overall height 1865 mm
Engines 2.0 L, 2.3 L diesel, 2.3 L dieselturbo