As the most successful model under the Mitsubishi camp, Mitsubishi Pajero has grown into a flourishing independent car series as early as the 1990s. In addition to the Pajero we are familiar with, there are Pajero Mini in the K-car camp, Pajero Junior and Pajero io in the small SUV camp. And, what we will talk about next is the Pajero Sport, which is based on the pickup truck platform and focuses on the tool SUV market.
For the Chinese market, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is not only a very familiar model, but also an unfamiliar product. Speaking of familiarity, it is because as early as 2003, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport was made in China under the name of Pajero Speedo in Beijing Jeep at that time. In 2013, the second-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport became the second domestically produced model of GAC Mitsubishi as Pajero Jinchang. And its third-generation model has also had a very high demand for localization since its debut. With its excellent off-road performance, whether it is the first-generation Pajero Speed or the second-generation Pajero Jinchang, they are all well-known classic models in the circle of off-road enthusiasts.
And when it comes to unfamiliarity, it is because whether it is the first-generation Pajero Speedway or the second-generation Pajero Jinchang, they are all experiencing serious acclimatization in the Chinese market. It is no problem to describe the market sales as very few, and although the two generations of models have been domestically produced, they have entered history early due to sales problems. It’s just that word-of-mouth and sales are completely unequal, it’s worth me to talk about the ins and outs of Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
The first generation Pajero Sport.
The SUV based on the pickup truck platform has a long history. In fact, strictly speaking, the birth of the SUV comes from those pickup trucks that can endure hardships and stand hard work at any time. However, after a long period of development, it was not until the 1990s that the passenger positioning of SUVs began to be clarified. And it was in the middle and late 1990s, as the trend of SUV passengerization became more and more obvious, there was a market segment for tool-type SUVs based on pickup truck platforms.
The birth of Mitsubishi Pajero Sport appeared under such a premise. In 1996, Mitsubishi officially released the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport based on the Triton pickup. And this model was introduced to the global market. According to different market differences, Pajero Sport was named as Challenger, Montero Sport, Nativa, Caribbean, Shogun Sport, Strada G-Wagon and so on. It can almost be regarded as the most named model in the Mitsubishi camp.
Compared with its contemporary second-generation Pajero, the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is obviously much leaner and more pragmatic in terms of overall image. Under the Mitsubishi camp in the late 1990s, the second-generation Pajero was still based on a non-load-bearing body platform. Therefore, the first-generation Pajero Sport also logically continued the body platform of the second-generation Pajero. The new car is also introduced to the tool SUV market as a product positioned lower than Pajero. Almost in the same year, Mitsubishi also launched the Triton pickup in the same period in the Thai market, and the two shared almost all the exterior parts before the front door.
However, the more pragmatic positioning made the body width of the first-generation Pajero Sport much narrower than that of Pajero, and the roof was also lowered. The narrower body makes the first-generation Pajero Sport look more slender, and against the background of the lower roof, the overall posture of this car presents a very clear sense of lightness. As far as the overall image is concerned, compared with the Pajero that has become more and more robust, the image of the first-generation Pajero Sport is indeed worthy of the suffix of Sport.
Of course, the narrower body width and lower vehicle height also limit the interior space performance of the first-generation Pajero Sport. Compared with the classic second-generation Pajero, the rear seat cushion of the first-generation Pajero Sport will be significantly lower Some. Moreover, the performance of head room and shoulder room is much weaker than that of the second-generation Pajero. However, from the perspective of cross-country passability, without so many burdens, the passability of this car is much better than that of the second-generation Pajero, especially the ability of the narrower body to pass through narrow roads .
In terms of the front face, the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport did not continue the design of the Pajero family, but adopted the same front face shape as the Mitsubishi Triton. The air intake grille and headlights form a horizontal whole, and the internal structure of the air intake grille adopts a straight waterfall design. The visual height of the entire front face is higher than that of Pajero. In 2000, with the advent of the new century, the first-generation Pajero also underwent a minor facelift, with the focus on the front face.
The air intake grille of the facelift model cancels the vertical structure and replaces it with a honeycomb structure. And the longitudinal size of the air intake grille has also been increased to a certain extent. This change also makes the split between the air intake grille and the front bumper mask of the facelift model no longer a typical off-road vehicle. The front bumper mask has also been optimized and adjusted along with the upgrade of the front face details, and the auxiliary light sources on both sides have changed from the turn signals of the first-generation model to circular fog lights. The turn signals are integrated into the headlights.
In 2005, the second minor facelift of the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport was officially released for some markets. Compared with the model before the facelift, the new car adjusted the shape of the air intake grille according to the Mitsubishi family design at that time. And multi-function instruments have also been added inside the vehicle.
In terms of size, the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport has a body length of 4620 mm, a body width of 1775 mm, and a body height of 1735 mm. The wheelbase is the same as the second-generation Pajero at 2725 mm. The first-generation Pajero Sport not only looks more compact than Pajero in appearance, but also in terms of data performance.
However, purely from the perspective of the shape of the vehicle, under the effect of the design trend in the 1990s, although the length of the body is less than 4.7 meters and the width is less than 1.8 meters, the first-generation Pajero Sport relies on the larger The space and volume occupancy ratio, as well as the square lines, the visual volume of the vehicle is not small. Moreover, under the typical styling style of hardcore off-road vehicles, it also extracts a sense of handsomeness that current SUVs have never had.
In terms of chassis, the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport uses the same front independent rear non-independent suspension structure as the second-generation Pajero. The front axle uses a combination of double wishbone and torsion bar springs, while the rear axle uses a leaf spring and integral rear axle design. This is a very typical pickup truck design, with outstanding load-carrying performance and durability. During the minor facelift in 2000, the rear axle of the minor facelift model was upgraded to a coil spring, which improved the comfort of the rear axle. But even so, the drag of the rear axle of the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is still obvious when encountering bumps, which is also a major feature of this type of non-independent integral bridge model.
In terms of power, the most common configuration of the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is the famous 6G72 3.0L V6 naturally aspirated engine. This engine is still in service on the Pajero V93 until today. It has a maximum output power of 130 kW at 5000 rpm. It also includes 4G64 2.4L inline four-cylinder gasoline engine; 6G74 3.5L V6 engine. In terms of diesel power, it provides 2.5L, 2.8L and 3.2L four diesel power. Matching transmissions include four-speed automatic, five-speed semi-automatic and five-speed manual transmissions. In terms of driving form, it provides two configurations of rear-wheel drive and part-time four-wheel drive. As a model positioned lower than Pajero, there was no super-selected four-wheel drive configuration on the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
In the domestic market, under the affiliation of DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi, Beijing Jeep at that time also officially put into production Mitsubishi brand models since 2003. The first-generation Pajero Sport is the first batch of models put into production under this partnership. The domestically produced version at that time was a small facelift model at that time. According to different configurations, the domestically produced Mitsubishi Pajero Speed offers a total of three models. The entry-level model is equipped with a 2.4L inline four-cylinder engine, which is matched with a combination of five-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. The middle and high-end models provide 3.0L V6 power, and only the top-end models provide four-speed automatic transmission and part-time four-wheel drive configuration.
The first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, which was launched in China in 2003, was also the leader of the domestic SUV concept. Together with the Paladin at that time, it formed a pair of the most direct competition. However, compared to the Paladin, which could be called an Internet celebrity at that time, the reputation of the Mitsubishi Pajero Speed was obviously overshadowed. The relatively few model configurations and higher prices also weakened the market competitiveness of this car. .
Moreover, due to the equity relationship between DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi and the subsequent equity division of Beijing Jeep, it also affects the continued development of Mitsubishi Pajero Speed in the Chinese market. Not long after Beijing Jeep completed the equity change in 2006, after digesting the inventory, the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Speedo ended its fate with the Chinese market.
It is worth mentioning that Arino Shi said that at that time, in order to free up resources to introduce Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, BAIC stopped the development of the Challenger of BAIC’s own team, which also contributed to the resignation of the entire core team. And this design team after resignation later established the Great Wall Huaguan Design Company.
Going back to the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, in 2008, the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport was discontinued in Japan. It was subsequently replaced by a second-generation model.
However, the history of the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport did not end there. Like the Pajero iO, Mitsubishi’s Brazilian company launched the Brazilian version of the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport in 2009 for the local market. Compared with the original model, this Brazilian version has comprehensively improved the exterior details Optimization. The shape of the front face adopts a design that is more in line with the needs of the local market, and a large number of rounded details are added. The size of the headlights has been stretched longitudinally, and the air intake grille and the central air intake grille also form a U-shaped front face feature.
In addition, at the rear of the vehicle, the Brazilian version of Mitsubishi Pajero Sport also cancels the hidden C-pillar, and this detail is strengthened through the design of the same body color. The D-pillar also incorporates a more defined toughness. The taillights have become circular light sources on the original outline. After such a change, the Brazilian version of Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is completely different from the normal version. However, this model has not existed in the Brazilian market for a long time, and it was officially discontinued in 2011.
Subsequently, Mitsubishi also launched the second-generation and third-generation Pajero Sport, but due to space constraints, we will talk about the things about these two cars in the next book.