The Mitsubishi Pajero is a vehicle that we will sorely miss. For many of us at AutoIndustriya, the Pajero (particularly the second generation “Fieldmaster” body) has always been a symbol of hardiness and off-road capability without the so-called Land Cruiser Tax or the high asking prices for second-hand models. Actually, one of our writers even has one.
Over the generations, the Pajero has spawned many sub-models and body styles like three-door, five-door, soft top, rally-raid vehicle, and even a pick-up. But we never thought that an amphibious Pajero exists. Thanks to our friends over at Grand Prix in Thailand rummaging through their vault, that's exactly what we're looking at.
What you're seeing is the Pajero El Lago. Quite literally it is one part 1987 Pajero and one part boat much like those old Volkswagen Schwimmwagens. The vehicle appears to be based on a three-door Pajero that has been extended and modified to have a hull similar to a boat. That hull is made with CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) and filled with polyurethane foam (PU foam) to give it buoyancy.
The body of the El Lago is basically a chop top Pajero, but the interior is also interesting because Mitsubishi used what appears to be wood on the dashboard and the rear deck; yes, a deck like a yacht. The El Lago is just a two-seater.
But there are no oars on this special first-gen Pajero project. This is a fully functional vehicle with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel under the hood, and even has a snorkel that raises up the intake above the windshield.
Information is very limited, but the propulsion system for the water appears to be the dual outlets on the back beneath the spare tire because there don't seem to be any propellers. This is probably has a jetski-style propulsion system, minus the speed.
The Pajero El Lago made its appearance in Thailand at the 9th Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) in 1988, and back then it was held in a venue in central Bangkok that has a lake. That's ideal for the demonstration, as El Lago is Spanish for the lake. Given the proportions of the vehicle, it's unlikely that this would be seaworthy and would only be good for enclosed bodies of water without big waves.
Of course, this was just a one-off and would definitely be highly impractical on the road. But if you live near a lake (or a place that floods) then you can just drive onto the water and be on your way.