Enter the Pajero Sport
There’s the whiff of a very fresh Pajero Sport baking at Mitsubishi
The last time we spoke to a Hindustan Motors (HM) executive about upcoming products from the Mitsubishi stable, he told us, “With the refreshed Mitsubishi Outlander out of the way, we’ll now concentrate on the Pajero Sport”.
That conversation happened some time in 2010. Since then the world has changed quite a bit. Gaddafi was killed in public, the world’s population touched seven billion, Suresh Kalmadi is out on bail, Sharad Pawar got slapped and the gentleman who gave us this valuable information has left HM. And finally the Pajero Sport has arrived.
So, yes, the Pajero Sport. Unlike the Pajero, which has been around since the Big Khans of Bollywood were in their teens; the all-new Pajero Sport is, well, all-new and has nothing in common with the current Pajero. Except the name.
Like the Toyota Fortuner that is based on the Hilux pick-up platform, the Pajero Sport shares its underpinnings with the L200 pick-up truck. This platform has just gone through a thorough revision, and is a light-year or so ahead of the original Pajero in every way.
We get a 2.5-litre common-rail diesel unit, which makes 178bhp and 400Nm of torque. This should be enough to push the two-tonne SUV ahead of the Fortuner which has ten less horses and 57Nm less torque than the Pajero Sport. Besides, with a smaller capacity engine, the Pajero Sport has better fuel-efficiency than the Fortuner. You also get Mitsubishi’s rally-proven shift-on-the-fly Super Select 4WD and generous ground clearance of 215mm.
The front gets that typical Mitsubishi rally sport treatment. So if you’re looking for that rugged people-mover front, look elsewhere. The side is pretty boxy. And the taillights are inspired. Which may not sound good, but if your taillight inspiration is from an Alfa Romeo, well, no harm done at all.
The black-and-beige inside is one of the best interiors we’ve seen in this segment yet. And after the Outlander, we do think Mitsubishi does classy, sporty interiors. It gets a double-din touch screen stereo, leather seats, climate control, air-conditioning vents for all rows among other things. Other goodies include abundant cargo space and flexible seats that fit in nearly everything an open pickup truck would take. The Sport will be a CBU for now but assembly in India will follow by September 2012.
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport will come only with a 4x4 variant and manual transmission. It is competitively priced at Rs 23.5 lakh ex-showroom Delhi.