The MITSUBISHI MOTORS team entered the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup. It developed a new T2 specification PAJERO/MONTEROs based on the new PAJERO/MONTERO model, which debuted in September 1999. The body used a lightweight monocoque (unibody construction) structure instead of a ladder frame platform, and the wheelbase was extended, with a four-wheel independent suspension. High-speed stability was improved by increasing the wheelbase and at the same time lowering the center of gravity and enhancing rigidity. It also featured increased capacity fuel tanks and was loaded with four stacked spare tires. The 3.5L 6G74 type MIVEC gasoline engine remained unchanged and was mated to a full-time 4WD transmission with a 6-speed gearbox. For the 2000 event, the team fielded five PAJERO/MONTEROs and one L200. Three of the five PAJERO/MONTEROS were the new T2 specification version and were entrusted to Shinozuka, Fontenay and Kleinschmidt. The other two cars were a modified T2 specification version of the PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION and were driven by Masuoka and Prieto. Sousa also entered in a T2 specification L200.
To celebrate the last year of the second millennium, the 22nd event crossed the continent from west to east for the first time in its history. With this new route, the competitors set off from Dakar, Senegal, and headed to Cairo, Egypt. After a prestart ceremony in Paris, France, the vehicles were transported by train to the port of Le Havre in France and then by ferry to Dakar in Senegal where the event actually kicked off. The competitors made their way through Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger with a rest day in Agadez, then into Libya, finally entering Egypt after a grueling 18 days of competition to be greeted at the foot of Giza's pyramids in Cairo. The event traversed seven countries with a total distance of 7,863 km, including a 5,012 km of competitive stages (SS).
A total of more than 400 competitors started the Dakar to tackle twisty tracks through the savannah bush. Shinozuka took an early lead with his PAJERO/MONTERO and then maintained the top position. Schlesser, in his Schlesser Buggy, gradually made his way up the rankings to reach second. When the competitors entered Niger and arrived at Niamey, the first bivouac in the country, threats of a terrorist attack forced the organizers to suspend the rally and led to the cancellation of all the special stages in Niger. All the competition vehicles were airlifted and the event resumed from Waw El Kebir in Libya. In the latter half of the rally, Schlesser ascended to the top position by taking advantage of a flat high-speed stage. Undaunted, Shinozuka, who had slipped back to third place, charged ahead. Stuck in a dune, the three MITSUBISHI MOTORS drivers, Shinozuka, Sousa and Prieto, as well as Nissan’s Grégoire de Mevius of Belgium, were forced to abandon the race. Schlesser, continued to widen his lead to win his first Dakar. Built with technical cooperation from MITSUBISHI MOTORS and RALLIART, SBM's T3 spec Mega Desert driven by Peterhansel finished second. MITSUBISHI MOTORS drivers Fontenay, Kleinschmidt and Masuoka finished third, fifth and sixth respectively, while Kolberg took second in the non-modified production car class.