Get ready to go muddy with the 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

Mitsubishi Lancer. The dream performance car of every Indian to start off with in the 2000’s. However Mitsubishi did not bring a ‘real’ update to the sedan and slowly the aura died. After that, Mitsubishi has been restricted to the premium SUV segment since then, left licking its wounds with a dwindling market share.

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Today, Mitsubishi unveiled the 2016 Pajero Sport which will make its global debut in Thailand and then Australia and ASEAN counties and later on The North American market. Mitsubishi has different names for the same model in various countries. Various alias used by the 7-seater SUV are Challenger, Montero Sport, Nativa and Pajero Dakar in other markets.

The Pajero Sport sits on a 2,800mm wheelbase retaining the same width of 1,815mm as its predecessor, but it’s 90mm longer at 4,785mm and 35mm shorter in height at 1,805mm for the AWD model. Mitsubishi says that ground clearance has increased by 13mm to 218mm which would a grin to those heading off-road.

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While we expected the Pajero Sport to share the L200’s new 2.4-liter MIVEC turbo diesel engine, which in Thailand, is rated at  181PS  and 430Nm of torque (the L200 also get a 154PS / 152hp version of the same unit), Mitsubishi surprised us by offering a brand-new 8-speed automatic instead of the truck’s 5-speed unit. The same unit can be expected on the India bound Pajero Sport.

There’s plenty of chrome trim on the front where we notice a pair of slender headlights incorporating thin strips of LED daytime running lights while the fog lights have been positioned down low on the bumper. The side profile is bland with no curves or creases what so ever. We expect it to be launched by late 2015 or early 2016 in India.

Given that the expected price range would be 22-27 lakhs, it is going to be tough to woo away brand conscious Indian buyers who may prefer a BMW X1  and Audi Q3 starting at 28.99 lakh. This stuff is for the genuine offroader who will be taking it in 3ft deep waters. But if you are that kind of a guy or girl, nothing beats the Pajero!!

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