It's a sad day over at Mitsubishi. They have announced that they will be winding down production of the Pajero, in its home market at least. However, it casts a shadow of doubt over the future of the big SUV. Will there still be a next-generation model?
But before we study the odds of an all-new Pajero, Mitsubishi isn't dropping their flagship SUV in Japan without a proper send-off. With that, they have unveiled the Final Edition Pajero, and it's limited to just 700 units in its home market. If there's any good news, Mitsubishi will still be making Pajeros in limited markets outside of Japan. Hopefully, we're still included in that.
The Pajero Final Edition isn't much different from the spec we have here, save for ours being left-hand drive. This limited-edition model comes with a large sunroof, the same as we do here. However, the seats are trimmed in genuine leather (in either black or tan), and it also has a pair of roof rails. Other than that, it looks largely like the standard Pajero. It's even the same under the hood with its 3.2-liter turbodiesel with 192 PS and 441 Nm of torque. However, they did beef up the four-wheel drive system by adding a rear locking differential standard, complementing the center locking differential.
But what makes the Final Edition that bit more special are the extra items Mitsubishi will give you, provided you live in Japan, that is. First is a set of scuff plates, each of them serialized making it unique.
The second is a pair of stickers you can put on the SUV, and the only way to get them is to have the Final Edition Pajero.
To top it all off, they're even giving away a limited Citizen quartz watch. It has a Mitsubishi Motors logo on the dial and they even went as far as putting a serial number on each one to match the SUV. Like the Pajero Final Edition, the watch is also limited to 700 pieces.
As for the future of the Pajero, it's still in limbo. In some markets, the Pajero has been dropped in favor of the Pajero Sport, which we know here as the Montero Sport. Europe, for instance, has adopted that strategy, and it also helps that the Montero Sport has a smaller, more modern turbodiesel engine. The US market on the other hand has not had the Pajero (called the Montero over there) since 2006.
However, there is a glimmer of hope in the form of the Engelberg concept, which was shown as the e-Yi concept over in Shanghai. There are those who have touted the concept as the direction Mitsubishi will take for the Pajero, should they decide to build it in the first place.
As they are also part of the Alliance (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi), it is possible that the next-generation Pajero could be co-developed with the future Nissan Patrol. However, there are no significant updates regarding an all-new Patrol, meaning it could be a long wait for the fully redesigned Pajero if they decide to join forces with Nissan.