So by now you've been reading about the new and updated Mitsubishi Montero Sport; it is, after all, one of the most popular models in the Mitsubishi Motors Philippines line up.
The new model is an update over the current Montero Sport generation that was launched in early 2016, and now sports a redesigned front end with the refreshed Dynamic Shield, new wheels, and some revisions to the rear. The Montero Sport gets a quite a few upgrades to its list of features, particularly with the top of the line GT with the power tailgate, digital meters, and many more.
Mitsubishi Motors launched just two variants of the very popular model: the GT 2WD 8AT priced at PhP 1,998,000 as well as the GLS 2WD 8AT priced at PhP 1,769,000. Mitsubishi had actually intended to launch a third variant, the GLX 2WD with the manual gearbox, but decided to hold off on it for reasons they haven't disclosed to us.
But there is another question: where are the 4x4 versions of Mitsubishi's very popular SUV?
The answer to that question is simple: the Montero Sport (AKA Pajero Sport) has been sent to the weight loss clinic. No, we're not kidding.
During our shoot at the Mitsubishi Motors Philippines manufacturing plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna for the new L300 Euro4 and the 2020 Montero Sport last week, we asked the same question to their product planning specialists. The answer we got was the 4WD variant of the Montero Sport got heavier compared to the 2016-2019 model.
That extra weight, we've been told, has pushed the 4WD version of the Montero Sport past a certain threshold for the emissions standards or certification.
We're not quite sure what the limit was or whether they were referring to the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or dry kerb, but the current 2016-2019 Montero Sport GT 4WD weighed (curb weight) in at 2030 kilograms based on the information on the Mitsubishi Motors Philippines website. A check of the 2020 Pajero Sport GT Premium 4WD on the Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (which already launched the 4WD model) website reveals that the curb weight of the Thai counterpart is now at 2075 kilograms.
An extra 45 kilograms may not seem like a lot for a vehicle like the Montero Sport, but presumably that added enough to tip the scales against the 4WD Monty. The major reason for that extra weight, as we've been informed, was the addition of new features in the Montero Sport for the 2020 model year, on top of the heavy weight penalty of having a 4x4 system with the prop shaft, axles, differential, and the like.
While most of the new features seem to be electronic, the only major addition we see that could have added the most weight to the top spec 4WD variant would be the power liftgate. Presumably, that could be the culprit given the weight penalty of adding the motor (or motors) for it, among others.
Also, we're not quite sure if the Thai counterpart's weight has the power moonroof like the 2016-2019 Montero Sport GT 4WD in our market. If the Thai model doesn't, we'll venture a guess that it could add another 20-25 kilograms on top of the 2075 kg, possibly pushing the curb weight to 2095 or 2100 kg.
Again, we're just guessing on this, but what's certain is that Mitsubishi is trying to reconcile that issue, and they're working to lighten the Montero Sport 4WD... somehow.
We don't yet know how they can manage it, but Mitsubishi's product planners say the new 4WD model could be set for a Q1 2020 debut. If you're looking forward to off-roading with a 2020 Montero Sport 4WD, keep your fingers crossed that they can address the weight issue.