The Pajero is possibly the most revered model in the Mitsubishi Motors line up.
The current-generation model has been in production since 2006 and has only undergone several design updates over the years. In Japan, the brand’s flagship SUV has been discontinued since early 2019, but it continues to be sold in various countries around the world including the Philippines.
There has been much uncertainty about the Pajero's future. While Mitsubishi's CEO has stated that the model may be shelved due to CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations, it seems that new drive technology could rescue this stalwart of the company's model line.
According to Japanese website Response.jp, the next generation Pajero may be in the works, and could look like the rest of Mitsubishi's vehicle line up. Specifically, the site thinks that the next-generation SUV could end up looking something like Mitsubishi’s GC PHEV concept from 2013.
Styling-wise, the GC-PHEV does look the part with the automaker’s current design language. Upfront it features a two-tier headlight design paired with Mitsubishi’s signature Dynamic Shield grill. This design has been adopted by almost every model in Mitsubishi’s current lineup, including the updated Mirage. It won’t be a surprise if the next-generation Pajero also features a similar design. At the rear, the concept features a boxy shape, which has been a staple design cue in all-generations of the Pajero.
The important bit is that the supposed all-new Pajero will likely be a plug-in hybrid, thus making it feasible under for the company's overall emissions. According to Response.jp, the powertrain will be shared with the current-generation Outlander PHEV which uses a 2.4-liter inline-4 with two 60kW electric motors and a 13.8kWh battery. Considering the powertrain does have an all-wheel-drive system as standard, it might be feasible on a heavier vehicle such as the Pajero/Montero, though it is expected that Mitsubishi will likely bump up the power and torque for the bigger SUV.
Much of what was stated by the Japanese website, based on our assessment, is still very speculative. Mitsubishi has been very quiet about the development of a next-generation Pajero, or even if they are actually working on it. There have been no teasers, nor have there been any sketches. Another possibility for a Pajero-like vehicle could be the electric Engelberg Tourer Concept that Mitsubishi debuted last year, but Mitsubishi has yet to push forward with a production model.