As hybrids, electric vehicles, as well as crossovers continue to dominate the car market, some auto enthusiasts are fearing that some of the most revered nameplates to ever hit the road will soon become part of history.
One of those vehicles that many fear may soon forever be consigned to the history books is the Mitsubishi Pajero. In fact, Japan has already made a Final Edition model which serves as the send-off for the fourth-generation SUV. But does that mean that Mitsubishi will finally retire the Pajero nameplate?
Mitsubishi engineers, including current Chairman Osamu Masuko, have stated that the current generation Pajero may be the last model they make due to CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) regulations. But despite the plans to cease production sometime in the near future, the automaker has no plans of killing off the name just yet.
Speaking with Hiroshi Nagaoka, senior vice president of engineering at Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), the company has no solid plans yet on making an all-new Pajero, but he said the name can still be used in the future once they have already firmed up their plans.
No exact details were revealed as to how they plan to do it, but they did say that they will not rush into it.
When asked if the Engelberg Tourer concept (which was also shown in the metal at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show) will become the basis of the next-gen Pajero, Nagaoka said that that particular concept is a precursor for an already existing nameplate.
Without much details to go on, we can only speculate that the Engelberg Tourer might become the all-new Outlander PHEV as both it and the concept use a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It could also become the Endeavor; a model Mitsubishi last produced in 2011.
With the other competitors still making a name for themselves building such SUVs (i.e. Toyota Land Cruiser / Land Cruiser Prado, Nissan Patrol), maybe Mitsubishi is actually onto something. And with the name still revered across countries, owners, as well as 4x4 enthusiasts, it might be a big mistake for Mitsubishi to drop it entirely.
We're also curious as to how the next-generation Pajero will look like with the new Dynamic Shield design language. But for now, all we can do is wait and speculate as to how the company will do it.