Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - Return of the G-Wagon
In Thailand, Mitsubishi showrooms are not the most interesting places to visit these days. The Thai Lancer is so long in the tooth that even the billionth facelift, and dealer price promotion efforts fail to make it attractive against rivals.
The Triton is a truck, so if you're a farmer you might get excited about that, and then there is the Space Wagon, which is aimed at exictuitives that need 7 seats! All in all, it's not hard to understand why Mitsubishi showrooms are as quiet as they are boring.
The recent introduction of the all-new Pajero helps matters a little, but this is a big macho machine aimed at folks with more money than sense.
And news on the ground is that it will be a long, long time before we start to see things improve for the marque. The word is that the new 2008 Lancer which is currently ripping up the tarmack in the US, Australia, Japan, Singapore, etc. is not going to make it to Thailand until the latter part of 2009!! The reson for this is mostly down to the need for Mitsubishi to locally produce the car, and they seem to be taking their time getting ready for that.
More on the Lancer at another time.
What is the G-Wagon
The G-Wagon is a PPV, based on the Mitsubishi Strada pickup truck platform. If you still can't picture it, just think Isuzu MU-7 or Toyota Forturner, or Ford Explorer and you're starting to get an idea.
The Strada has since been replaced by the Triton, and the G-Wagon died with the Strada in 2005, but three years on we are yet to see a Triton-based replacement for the G-Wagon.
The Pajero Sport is that replacement. Well, in the metal at least, but possibly not in name. The Pajero Sport has very little in common with the Pajero, but the 4-wheel-drive system does share some similarities.
The Pajero Sport is based on the ladder-frame chassis from the Triton, and if it comes to Thailand it will use the Triton engines, with 2.5 and 3.2 litre diesel options, although in some other markets it will have a V6 petrol option.
The Pajero Sport will be unvailed in Russia first, and will eventually make its way to other countries including the ASEAN reagon. It will be offered in 5 and 7 seat varients, but we can expect the Thai model to have 7 seats, to match up to competation from Toyota, Isuzu and Ford. Pricing should also be in the THB 1 million range, topping out around THB 1.1 million.
Mitsubishi have just recently launched the Pajero, so it is unlikely we will see this in the next few months. However, a November launch at the 2008 Thailand Motor Expo is a possibility.