Mitsubishi will bring the all-new Pajero Sport to India by summer2018. Known internally as the QX (QE in some markets), this all-new SUV, like earlier, is built on a strong ladder-frame chassis and is based on the Triton light pick-up truck. A direct rival to the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner, this larger than life SUV holds your attention with its high-set bonnet and striking new grille. Mitsubishi calls the latter the ‘Dynamic Shield’, and with fat bands of chrome running around the radiator and down the chin, it does inject plenty of drama into the design. Mitsubishi says the large grille is not just decorative. The firm claims it has also been designed to keep the windscreen splash-free when you drive through deep water. Adding to the chrome flourishes on the nose are multiple ridges and folds on the bonnet. The new Pajero Sport also gets chic-looking bi-LED projector lamps. Around the sides, the SUV’s extra span is noticeable. The rear overhang is longer and frees up more room for third row occupants.
Also prominent are the large squared-off wheel arches and the pinched waistline. However, the shallow back bumper and quirky looking tail-spotlights, that seem to be dripping liquid plastic, look a bit strange. In all, the new Pajero Sport is a good 90mm longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase remains unchanged from before, and the length comes courtesy the longer front and rear ends. The fact that the Pajero Sport has developed in size is sure to go down well with the ‘bigger is better’ breed of Indian SUV buyers. The Pajero for India will be powered by Mitsubishi’s 2.4-litre MIVEC, four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit good for 181hp and 430Nm of torque. Power will be spread to a new 8-speed auto gearbox and, the new Pajero Sport will also come with an updated version of Mitsubishi’s Super Select four-wheel-drive system. It gets a low-range transfer case, a center differential lock as well as a rear diff that locks on certain versions. And it might also be the first SUV in its class to get an electric-handbrake too. On the inside, the new dash looks clearly more upmarket. The design mirrors that of the nose, to some extent, with loud chrome highlights on the canter console, steering wheel and door pads adding bling to the cabin. A large touchscreen with modern connectivity options will also be part of the package. The current Pajero Sport sells for around Rs.28 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which puts it in the same price range as the top-trim Ford Endeavour 2.2 and makes it slightly more expensive than the recently launched Isuzu MU-X. Question, how will Mitsubishi price the new Pajero Sport? We will get the answer in April 2018 when the big SUV is launched in India.