History of Mitsubishi Off-Road/4WD Vehicles
After World War II Mitsubishi negotiated a licensing agreement with Willys to build CJ3A Jeeps.
Mitsu then set out to produce its own tough 4WD vehicle.
The first Pajero I prototype was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November of 1973. The Pajero II prototype followed in 1978, five years later. Mitsubishi�s aim was to create more of a recreational vehicle, not just a workhorse, as Mitsubishi Motors has been Japan�s biggest four wheel drive manufacturer before World War II.
The first generation made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October of 1981, and hit the markets the following May. Initially, it was a three door, short wheel base model available with a metal or canvas top and three different engines options: a 2.0 liter gas, 2.3 liter naturally aspirated diesel and a 2.3 liter turbocharged diesel. It was loaded with features never before seen on a Japanese four wheel drive; a turbocharged diesel engine, a front double wishbone suspension with torsion bar springs, power steering and suspension seats. This made the Pajero a four wheel drive vehicle which integrated all the amenities of a passenger car. In January 1983, only a year following its launch, mildly tuned production Pajeros entered the world of motor sport. The Pajero, however, failed to appeal to everyone. It was seen to be a commercial vehicle, and since it was only available in a short wheel base form, it didn�t really appeal to those with families. Hence, in February of 1983, Mitsubishi came out with a long wheel base, five door model, to serve the needs of a larger target market. The long wheel base model was available with a choice of two different engines; a 2.0 liter turbocharged gas and a 2.3 liter turbocharged diesel. The long wheel base model also increased seating capacity to seven, with available third row seats, which could be folded to the sides for additional trunk space or combined with second row seats to form a bed. The Pajero was further refined in June 1984. The turbo diesel engines now had higher horsepower/torque ratings, whilst the long wheel base models got standard four wheel disc brakes and four way adjustable shock absorbers as standard equipment. In January 1985, the first Pajero made its debut at the Paris � Dakar Rally, surprisingly taking first place. To date, the Pajero continues to the one of the most successful vehicles in the Paris � Dakar Rally. This not only gave the Pajero a rugged reputation, but also helped in the department of sales. Four months later, in April 1985, the Pajero set another standard: an available four speed automatic transmission and standard ELR seatbelts. A new flagship model was then introduced in early 1987, with a two-tone paintjob, fifteen inch light alloy wheels, front seat heaters, wool seat covers, genuine leather headrests, a three spoke steering wheel and a sound system with radio/cassette. Finally in 1988, a 3.0 liter SOHC V6 engine was made available, alongside a 2.5 liter turbo diesel engine, with the first 4x4 intercooler. This translated to better acceleration in mid to high rev ranges. The long wheel base models got a leaf spring rear suspension, which formed a coil link suspension system for better ride comfort and off-road ability.
Mitsubishi sold over three thousand Pajeros in 1989 and 1990. However, the time for a redesign was long due and 1992 saw the first Generation II Pajero. Just about everything was now new and further enhanced. A new, larger body was available in four different versions; Metal Top, Canvas Top Convertible, Semi High Roof Wagon and High Roof Wagon (long wheel base). The short wheel base models where stretched by 70 millimeters (2.8 inches) and the long wheel base models by 30 millimeters (1.2 inches). The available engines included a 3.0 liter 12-valve SOHC with ECI-Multi electronic fuel injection and a 2.5 liter turbocharged diesel engine with an intercooler. The second generation also saw the introduction of Super Select 4WD (SS4) [known as ActivTrak 4WD in some markets] and multimode ABS, which were firsts on Japanese four wheel drives. SS4 was ground-breaking in the sense that it combined the advantages of part time and fulltime four wheel drive with four available options: 2H (high range rear wheel drive), 4H (high range fulltime four wheel drive), 4HLc (high range four wheel drive with locked center differential and 4LLc (low range four wheel drive with locked center differential). Another advantage of this system is that it gave the driver the ability to switch between rear wheel drive and fulltime four wheel drive at speeds up to 100 km/h (64 MPH). Multimode ABS, on the other hand, was equally innovative. This meant ABS would be fully functional in all modes of SS4, as braking with a locked center differential requires completely different braking parameters. In July of 1993, two new power plants were introduced; a 3.5 liter 24-valve DOHC with ECI-Multi and a 2.8 liter turbocharged diesel with an intercooler. A new, larger transmission and transfer case was also part of the upgrade. The Pajero Evolution was introduced in October 1997, which was developed in response to new entry requirements for the Paris � Dakar Rally�s T3 Class. The Pajero Evolution came standard with a 3.5 liter 24-valve DOHC V6 with Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and Electronic Lift Control (MIVEC). A new, dual plenum variable intake helped increase horsepower and a new suspension made the ride even smoother. In 1998, vehicles destined for General Export and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council Countries) received a facelift. Wider fenders, new headlights, grille, bumper, fog lights and sidesteps. Driver and front passenger SRS airbags were made standard, whilst an upgraded interior wood trim was made available. A leather-wrapped or leather and wood trim steering wheel was also made available, alongside an upgraded suspension and steering system. The 3.0 liter 12-valve SOHC engine was now upgraded to a 24-valve configuration.
The third generation Pajero hit the Japanese Domestic Market in 1999, whilst it was made available to other markets in late 2000 as a 2001 model. The vehicle was completely redesigned, inside and out and now has a lower, wider stance. A lower center of gravity meant the Pajero had better on-road handling manners, whilst the new body has over three hundred percent more torsional rigidity. The biggest change to bring this about is that the Pajero now utilizes a unibody construction, as opposed to the previous body-on-frame. This also helped give the Pajero a longer suspension stroke. The fuel tank was also strategically placed between the axles for better safety. The SS4 system was also further refined, as bevel gears were replaced with planetary ones. This meant the front-to-rear torque setting ranged from 33 to 67, with the ability to adjust to 50/50 depending on surface conditions. The system was also made fully electronic, which meant the vehicle didn�t have to be in gear to switch between drive modes. After all the upgrades, the system was renamed to Super Select 4WD II (SS4-II). Alongside rack and pinion steering (as opposed to the recirculating ball system on previous generations), the Pajero also offered a choice of three transmissions; a five speed manual, a four speed INVECS-II automatic and a five speed INVECS-II tiptronic. An all-new 3.8 Liter SOHC 24-valve V6 powerplant was also introduced on this generation. This engine utilizes an Electronic Throttle Valve (ETV), to deliver a refined cruising power with power to spare for offroad ventures.
Mitsubishi Mighty Max/L200/Triton
The Mitsubishi L200 is a compact pickup truck produced by Mitsubishi Motors. The L200 was originally the import version of the Mitsubishi Forte, which had been produced since 1978. When the Forte was discontinued in the Japanese market, the L200 name took the Forte's place in 1987.
The L200 was available in three bodystyles; regular cab, extended cab (which Mitsubishi called the "Macro Cab"), and crew cab (which was not sold in North America). The L200 was sold in North America as the Mitsubishi Mighty Max and was also sold there by the Chrysler Corporation as the Dodge Ram 50. The Ram 50 was discontinued in 1993, while the Mighty Max lasted until 1996. The Mighty Max was eventually replaced by the Mitsubishi Raider (a rebadged Dodge Dakota) for 2006.
In 1997, the L200 became based on the Japanese-market Mitsubishi Strada and was redesigned again for the 2005 model year. The vehicle is also built in Thailand as the Mitsubishi Triton.
Montero Sport/Pajero Sport/Challenger
The Mitsubishi Challenger, known as Montero Sport in North America and Spanish-speaking countries, Nativa in Central America, Shogun Sport in the UK & South America, and Pajero Sport in many other export markets, is a mid-size SUV built by Mitsubishi Motors.
The Challenger began production in Japan in 1996 and was available for most export markets by 1997. It remains in production, although it is no longer available in either its native market or North America.
Despite sharing the name with the Pajero, it is built on the platform of the L200 pick-up truck and the second generation Delica. It does share similar petrol V6s and diesel I4s with the Pajero, as well as the 'Super Select' 4WD system, but unlike its bigger sibling it is not available with a short wheelbase chassis. In North America, a base 2WD version is available.
The Montero Sport was replaced in Japan by the Mitsubishi Outlander and in North America by the Galant-based Mitsubishi Endeavor.
Designed by Olivier Boulay, the Outlander was first introduced to North America in 2003. The Outlander is sold in Asian markets under the name Mitsubishi Airtrek (except in the Philippines, where it continues to be called the Outlander), while in Europe and the Americas, it retains the Outlander nameplate. The North American version is available in three trim levels: LS, XLS, and Limited (introduced in 2005). All trim levels have the option of front wheel drive or all wheel drive. The all wheel drive version uses normal ("open") differentials for the front and rear axles, with a viscous coupling unit for the center differential.
The North American version, however, only offers one engine, a 2.4 L I4 engine which produces a maximum of 160 hp and 162 ft�lbf of torque. The Airtrek, on the other hand, offers the additional option of a turbocharged engine.
Another feature which sets the Outlander apart from some other crossover SUVs is its Sportronic semi-automatic transmission system (sometimes referred to as a Tiptronic shift system), which allows the driver to selectively shift gears up or down by pushing the shift lever up or down. This system has recently been used on many different types of vehicles, and is generally regarded as a good compromise between an automatic transmission and a manual transmission. The 2005 model year, however, introduced a 5-speed manual transmission for the LS trim.
On October 17, 2005, Mitsubishi announced that the new Outlander would launch in Japan that same day. The redesigned Outlander will start at �2,352,000 (about US$20,545). The new Outlander will feature a CVT with a six-speed manumatic function, three row seating, a split tailgate, and an electronically controlled four wheel drive system. The Outlander will use the brand new Mitsubishi GS platform, now used by some DaimlerChrysler models.
Some new features include a lightweight and safer body, a new DOHC 2.4 L 16-valve MIVEC 4B12 engine; a new INVECS-III Sport Mode CVT, electronically controlled four wheel drive, stability control and other to-be-announced features.
The North American version which will be powered by a newly designed 3.0L V6 SOHC MIVEC was shown in April 2006 at the New York Auto Show.
There are plenty of SUVs to drive if you want to fade into the crowd and go incognito. The new Endeavor is designed for those who are a whole lot more comfortable with the "hey, look at me" school of thought. Endeavor has that effect. It�s called charisma, and while you can�t quite put a finger on the source of its magnetism, there are subtle forces at work here: blue ambient lighting, satin-metal finish interior, and standard 17" alloy wheels.
Its style is unapologetically aggressive, inside and out. And with its torque-rich, 3.8L V6 engine under the hood, Sportronic� transmission and available AWD, nobody will mistake Endeavor�s bold posture as mere posturing.
So let the average man-in-the-street go stare as you drive by. Bring on the gawkers.
The Mitsubishi Endeavor is a mid-size SUV that is based on the platform of the North American version of the Mitsubishi Galant. The Endeavor is built in Normal, Illinois. It debuted as an early 2004 model. Like the Lancer-based Outlander, the Endeavor offers an optional all-wheel-drive system that splits the torque 50/50 by default. It replaced the Mitsubishi L200-based Montero Sport in the lineup, slotted between the small Outlander and the large Montero.
The Nessie represents an in-depth analysis into the issue of the day, the SUV.
For the centennial Geneva Motor Show, Italdesign Giugiaro, in collaboration with Mitsubishi and the Linde Group, pushed creative-thinking towards intermeshing, yet again, technology and style, giving tangible form to a heart-pounding yet clean sports utility vehicle that offers advanced solutions to the environment-friendly dilemma.
Research into styling was focused unassailably around all-new product sculptural modeling, with a keen eye steered towards bodyside and volume plasticity giving breath of life to a vehicle architecture never seen before, the 2.5V SUV coup�.
A 2.5V SUV coup�
Nowadays, the SUV line-up in all its declinations has secured a bold market niche. Forging an agreement with a leader brand such as Mitsubishi was the trigger for priming this all-new research.
Having attained an operating chassis, drawn from the string of experience gained winning tough and rugged world rallies like the Paris Dakar, starting to take shape within Italdesign Giugiaro was a rational route towards technical design with a view to installing a powerful yet pleasurable V8 engine along with, as a consequence, a hydrogen fuel system, applied in collaboration with the Linde Group, a clean power source that renders this vehicle absolutely 'clean', all of which operated and managed by an automatic gear box and a sophisticated electronically controlled wheeldrive.
The Nessie respects environmental concerns. As such, the Nessie provides the answer to questions, even those more skeptic, about the impact that SUVs may have on the environment, especially town and built-up areas, and perhaps removes the ultimate obstacle barring the way to full acceptance of this new type of vehicle as consolidated product line-up reality.
Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) today announced the pricing of the all-new 2006 Raider mid-size truck. With a starting price of $19,180, the all-new Mitsubishi Raider pickup offers buyers an exciting new choice in the light truck market. Available in a combination of extended and double cab body styles, two- and four-wheel drive and equipped with six-passenger seating, the Raider will appeal to truck buyers and those looking for fresh alternatives to mid-size sedans and SUVs. Raiders will begin arriving in dealerships this weekend.
'The Raider is much more than the traditional utility-type truck seen in the mid-size class,' says Dave Schembri, executive vice president of sales and marketing. 'With the distinctly-Mitsubishi styling, exclusive DuroCross model and available Sirius(R) Satellite Radio, Bluetooth(TM) hands-free phone interface and a 508-watt high output audio system, this isn't a pickup, it's a pick me up!'
The Raider also is the only mid-size import nameplate to offer a potent V-8 engine that produces class-leading torque (290 lb-ft) and towing capacity (6,500 lb.). A 40 cubic foot cargo bed provides one of the largest payload capacities (1,700 lb.) in the mid-size truck segment. The Raider boasts a spacious interior with class-leading rear legroom.
Its dynamic look with an urban edge is highlighted by a sporty 'one line' flush profile and curved full surfaces complemented by a distinctive hood, flared wheel arches and step-side style fenders that give the Raider a toned, muscular physique. A thin upper grille and thick lower bumper provide the Raider with an aggressive demeanor reminiscent of other Mitsubishi models. New-generation head lamps and tail lamps round out the Raider's standout design.
Raider's standout design is best represented by the DuroCross trim line which features rugged styling accented by a skid-plate style bumper, fog lights, black fender flares, side steps, a durable bedliner, 17' wheels with off-road tires, exhaust tip, sliding rear window and floormats.
Also available in LS and XLS trim lines, extended and double cab configurations and various combinations of two- and four-wheel drive, customers can easily match the Raider to their needs. A powerful 3.7-liter V-6 LS 2WD extended cab, with manual transmission, starts at $19,180, while the 4.7-liter V-8 DuroCross 2WD extended cab with automatic transmission begins at $25,440. The XLS double cab with V-8 and automatic begins at $30,675. A High Output Audio Package is available for $1,845 and provides a 508-watt premium audio system with AM/FM/six-disc CD with MP3, nine speakers and Sirius satellite radio with a six-month pre-paid subscription. Other XLS options include leather trimmed bucket seats and side and curtain airbags.
The Raider holds the 'Best Backed' mid-size truck distinction with a five-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper new vehicle warranty with roadside assistance that gives customers piece of mind whether using the truck for utility purposes or cruising the highway.
Explanation of the names Pajero, Montero, and Shogun
For the curious, the Spanish word pajero means wanker, from paja meaning wank (literally, straw), in the expression hacerse una paja, (literally to do oneself a straw). These slang expressions come from the fact that both a straw and the penis are similar in being pipe-like. It is the first meaning to come to mind to Spanish speakers in both Spain and the majority of Latin America.
Pajero has some non-rude agricultural meanings, referring to someone selling or transporting straw or (in the Canary Islands dialect) the barn where it is kept. These are the original meanings of the word, but not common these days. It is also an obscure nickname for people from Santo Domingo de la Calzada in La Rioja, presumably due to historical straw production in the village.
In the dialects of Nicaragua, Colombia and Guatemala, paja is used to mean tap (i.e. the end of the pipe), and so, in Nicaragua at least, a pajero is a plumber, to the mirth of other Spanish-speakers.
However, none of these rude or innocent meanings gave the vehicle its name. There is a feline, scientifically classified as Oncifelis colocolo, which is known in Spanish as the gato pajero (grass cat) or gato de las pampas (Pampas cat). It is similiar to the ocelot and hunts small animals in the reeds and grasslands of South America. There are several subspecies, including Oncifelis colocolo colocolo found in central Chile and Oncifelis colocolo pajeros found in central Argentina. In this official press release in Japanese (media.mitsubishi-motors.com/pressrelease/j/products/detail310.html), Mitsubishi explains that they got the name for the vehicle from the latter subspecies, which they call by its short name Felis pajeros. The Pampas cat featured on the emblem on early Pajero SUVs.
Genteel sources such as the BBC claim that pajero means masturbator, which is incorrect given that it is offensive slang, just like the English term. The pronunciation of Pajero tends to be anglicised to puh-JEER-oh, but the original Spanish is quite different: very approximately pah-HAIR-oh. It is the anglicised pronunciation that is used as the basis of Japanese �������� (pa je ro).
The Mitsubishi Pajero was renamed Montero (hunter in the mountains) in Spain and the Americas, and strangely Shogun (Japanese warlord) in the UK; but people in other parts of the world, including Australia and continental Europe, drive about cars which proudly proclaim their driver to be a Pajero in lettering along the side.
Page One- My Endeavor info and pics
Page Two- My Mitsubishi offroad diecast collection
Page Three- Dakar history & pics of various Mitsu SUV's I have seen in person
Page Four- History of Mitsubishi Off-Road Vehicles